This is an interesting category because it’s always been there—many classic mysteries are also romantic and can be on different levels—but this category has blossomed in recent years because of the simple reality that most fiction readers are women.
Traditionally, publishers have preferred stories and characters that fit neatly into categories because book buyers tend to shop for books that fit into distinct patterns that they are already familiar with. Or, in the case of a celebrity author, they will buy a book written by someone whose name they know. So, “hybrid” categories were frowned upon.
Now, going to any online bookseller or large shop you will see many categories like categories “Mystery Romance,” “Romantic Suspense,” “Romantic Thrillers, etc.
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