Whenever you’re faced with a snob who looks down on your plebian pulp tastes, it’s always helpful to throw a little French their way.
And fortunately for you, there’s a phrase that’s apropos. (You get extra points if you use the word apropos.) That phrase is: Série noire. (Not to be confused with the band of the same name, although it’s pronounced the same.)
Série noire literally means “black series,” but in standard conversation, it is an elegant way of describing a particular sub-genre of tough, hard-boiled mysteries, the precursors to what are nowadays called “policiers.” You know the kind of thing—crooks and cops and guns and blood. The French, it seems, take their pulp seriously. As it should be.
So tell your snobby friend to take his copy of L’Homme Qui Aimait les Femmes and put it where the sun don’t shine.