Was just reading the obit of the famous novelist, Elmore Leonard, for the third or fourth time and was saddened by his passing from this world. I began wondering about his writing, why he switched to mystery and crime after being successful with Westerns. Was it because he just wanted to try something different? Was it because he was tired of the Western genre? Was it because he could make more money in crime stories? Were crime stories easier to write? All of the above?
I see he received the Grand Master Edgar Award. In 2010 he received the Peabody Award and in 2012 the National Book Award, Medal for Distinguished Contribution, and Best Drama Script by the Western Writers of America in 2013 with others for "Justified" by FX.
I haven't read many of his works, but what I have I thoroughly enjoyed. He put forth his The 10 Rules of Writing, which I've read, but can't recall any. One has to be "Keep it skimpy and terse." The obits mention his style of writing, comparing it to Hemingway, a fine compliment.
Back to the questions above, several of today's Western writers also write crime and mystery, which is fine and dandy with me, since many Westerns involve the same subjects and it is just a short step away to make it a crime novel instead of a Western. I think the attraction is readership and the daily headlines that feeds new stories. Every morning newscast seems to have a shooting, a knifing, a brawl, a kidnapping, or abuse of some sort, even a bank robbery, a store holdup or a gas station, pawn shop, or jewelry store holdup. Lots of stories there to make into a Western or a crime/mystery book. The choice is yours.