Happy Easter weekend to all the lovely Dorset Book Detective readers!
If you’re looking for a new tradition for Easter this year, when things are a bit weird, then I’ve got the perfect idea for you: read crime fiction.
Hear me out: I know crime fiction doesn’t sound very Easter-y, but in some countries it actually is a time-honoured tradition to read thrillers at this time of year.
At Easter here in the UK, traditions include hiding chocolate Easter eggs for kids to find, eating a cake made with marzipan balls meant to symbolise the apostles and cooking an oversized roast dinner.
While the holiday retains some religious symbolism for some Christian households, most of us just enjoy having the time off, seeing our loved ones and stuffing our faces with tasty treats.
One international tradition that I think we should adopt in the UK is the Norwegian habit of Påskekrim, or reading crime novels at Easter.
At Easter, in this beautiful and chilly Scandinavian country, people cuddle up with a gripping thriller or binge watch a Scandi crime film or TV show.
The tradition allegedly started when two Norwegian crime writers took out an advert in the newspapers that convinced readers to read their new novel. The advert was so persuasive that many readers thought the tale was true.
Thanks to the success of the stunt the book was a huge success. As well as literary success, the publicity strategy started a tradition where readers would seek out new thrillers and mystery novels to read at Easter.
As a result, publishers started timing the releases of new crime fiction novels to coincide with the religious holiday. That meant that there were even more awesome thrillers for readers to check out at Easter every year. It also meant that it’s become a time-honoured tradition to read them over Easter.
Personally, I think that reading crime fiction at Easter is the perfect tradition for the UK. It’s a great way to reinvigorate yourself over the long weekend and expand your mind, while being lazy at the same time. Crime fiction is gripping and great for helping you to escape tough times.
It’s safe to say that there haven’t been too many times that have been tougher than these. That’s why crime fiction is particularly useful for this Easter. After all, we’re probably going to all being feeling a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) as we’re not able to meet up with as many people or do the fun Easter activities that we’re used to enjoying. But reading, particularly gripping mysteries and thrillers, is a great way to feel exhilarated even while you’re stuck indoors, or in the garden if the weather stays fine.
Really well written crime fiction novels can take you out of your home, or garden, and transport you to a new time, place and situation. There’s a type of crime fiction for every writer, ranging from quaint cosy crime fiction through to terrifying political thrillers and more. That means that whatever you’re into, there’s a mystery for you to enjoy this Easter.
Also, reading crime fiction is one of the few Easter traditions that doesn’t involve food. Don’t get me wrong: food is really good. Everyone needs food, and most of love eating it (except for people who just eat those weird Huel meal replacement things, and they’re weird). However, Easter is a lot about food for most Brits. From the cake with the marzipan apostles to the classic crème egg, hot cross buns to the all-important roast dinner, there’s just so much traditional Easter food to choose from. So, it’s nice to have a new tradition that’s not edible.
While I know some people who do use this time to read, or re-read, the Bible, as it’s a religious holiday, most of us don’t believe and therefore choose not to read it.
If that’s the case, then Påskekrim could be the perfect solution. By making this a yearly tradition, we can feel comforted by the familiarity and get the chance to read shiny new crime fiction novels. It’s a win-win situation if you ask me!
Going one step further with the tradition and giving crime fiction books at Easter could be the UK’s way of stepping up this tradition, and I for one am all for it! While we give out loads of edible gifts, mostly in chocolate form, we could start giving out a longer lasting reminder of the awesomeness of Easter. Whether you’re religious or not, this is an amazing time of the year. We get time off and the sun is shining. There will soon be cute baby animals for us to fawn over and pretty flowers. The days are getting longer and the weather’s getting better, and this year, we’re also beating a pandemic.
Being reminded of all that with a shiny new mystery novel would be ace. I for one have already treated myself to a few new thrillers over the past couple of weeks, and I’ll be reading them over the long weekend to celebrate Easter. I think in the future, getting one wrapped in egg covered wrapping paper would make me a very happy reader!
In all, I hope the weather does stay fine for us all this Easter weekend, and that everyone gets the opportunity to read an engaging thriller. It’s even better if you can eat some yummy chocolatey treats while you’re reading too! It’s been a tough year of lockdown, and while it’s getting easier, life is far from back to normal. So, please, be kind to yourself this Easter and consider adopting a new tradition: self-case and reading your favourite crime fiction.