Thursday, July 08, 2010

What's in a Title?

Just for a bit of fun, I queried my euro crime database to see what the most popular title names are. There are nearly 9000 titles (so far) in the work in progress that is the (soon to be back in Access, hurrah) database. Two titles were repeated 5 times and 11 appear 4 times. I've restricted my post to these top two places.

Here are the more frequently used titles:
5 Times

Killing Time
Missing

4 Times

Angel of Death
Betrayal
Blood Ties
Cold Blood
Deadline
Innocent Blood
Last Rites
Nemesis
Requiem
Vanishing Point
Written in Blood
A few more statistics: 196 titles have "blood" in them, 567 have "death", 443 have "murder" but only 66 have "crime" and 57 have "mystery" in them.

7 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Karen - Interesting....makes you wonder about the sort of people who write and read crime fiction... ; )

Maxine said...

Fascinating! I was actually wondering about "bones" - seems an incredibly popular title word from browsing around. But perhaps most popular in the US so might not show up so strongly in eurocrime database?

Words in titles that attract me like a magnet are "black" "shadow" "cold" "dark" etc, so I am most happy reading a book such as "Black Water Rising", "Hypothermia", "The Darkest Room" and so on.......words like blood and murder tend to put me off. Strange!

Great post, Karen, I am intrigued to know which those 5 books are in each case. I can think of two Missings (Karin A and Jane C) but the others? And the Killing Times? One is on the tip of my memory, so to speak.....I hope all may be revealed in a future post!

Karen (Euro Crime) said...

51 mentions of "Bones". You read my mind - I hope to follow this post up :).

Karen (Euro Crime) said...

Jane Casey's is *The* Missing so the query didn't count that one :). 27 mentions of "missing" in the title.

Barbara said...

Fascinating! Thanks for doing that bit of research.

Maxine said...

I know of two Nemeses - Christie and Nesbo - but most of these are fascinating conundrums...so it would be fun to know more details of the phenomenon ;-)

Gary Baker said...

But titles are so HARD, aren't they? My sister has a tape of me being interviewed by a local radio station back in 2005: I'm asked about the inspiration for the title of my last book. "Well," says I, "one of the characters is called Nurse Becky and .. umm .. she gets shot." I think Noel Coward can rest easy ...