Although I love traditional mysteries with their law abiding, law enforcing heroes and heroines, I admit to having a soft spot for the crime stories that flip the hero paradigm around and put the law breakers into the spotlight.  Still under the umbrella of crime fiction, these stories focus on the successful achievement of a criminal undertaking rather than preventing a crime or catching the criminal.  Charming rogues, loveable rulebreakers, and morally ambiguous anti-heroes are my catnip.  In both capers and heists, much of the appeal is related to characters.  You have to like these characters (or at least be interested by them) in order to follow them to the dark side.  It helps that the characters in a caper or heist is often funny and smarter than everyone around them.  The other big appeal is plot, of course, as they tend to be intricately planned schemes that reward careful attention and showcase the clever ingenuity of the lawbreakers.   Two overlapping stories that explore stories that flirt with (or fully embrace) the criminal side of the mystery line are capers and heist stories. (more…)