Bestseller Watch — Monster of Florence

The current issue of USA Today features The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston. Preston’s mystery series with Lincoln Child, as well has his solo titles, recently broke onto the bestseller lists. This is his first nonfiction title (Correction: as noted below, Preston has written nonfiction before).

The book has been getting attention (excerpted in The Atlantic Monthly, a strong review from Entertainment Weekly).

From a readers advisory standpoint, the most interesting is Sarah Weinman’s article on true crime in last Sunday’s LA Times. Working in a bookstore, Weinman began to realize that “crime fiction readers and crime nonfiction readers are two distinct camps.” Why?

Crime fiction readers and writers express frustration about the lack of motivation and satisfying resolution of real cases, and prefer fictive escapism to reality’s lack of order; true crime enthusiasts wish fiction purveyors would pay more attention to the facts and appreciate the messiness and viscera of real murder.

She then suggests titles that will appeal to both camps; true crime novels with strong narratives. Monster of Florence leads the list.

Looks like she’s right; the book now ranks #6 in nonfiction sales on Amazon. Expect to see it on upcoming print bestseller lists.

Libraries bought this one conservatively; reserves are heavy in most areas.

The Monster of Florence
Douglas Preston

  • Hardcover: $25.99
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 10, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0446581194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446581196
  • Audio CD: Unabridged edition, $39.98
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; (June 10, 2008)
  • Reader: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • ISBN-10: 160024209X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600242090
  • Large Print, Hardcover: $27.99
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 10, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 044650534X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446505345

One Response to “Bestseller Watch — Monster of Florence”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Hi Nora,

    Thanks for the kind words, both here and elsewhere. A slight correction: though it’s Preston’s first non-fiction book in some time, he has written several NF books before (including JENNIE, an account of teaching a chimpanzee how to communicate using American Sign Language.)