Great Women Mystery Writers: Classic to Contemporary

Great Women Mystery Writers: Classic to Contemporary

Great Women Mystery Writers: Classic to Contemporary

Great Women Mystery Writers: Classic to Contemporary


This comprehensive bio-critical dictionary evaluates 117 widely read historical and contemporary women mystery writers and over 1,000 novels. From the sensationalist women mystery writers of the 19th century to the mid-1990s practitioners such as Margaret Maron, Karen Kijewski, and Sue Grafton, this work celebrates the contributions of women writers to mystery fiction, with an emphasis on contemporary writers. Signed interpretive and evaluative essays by 86 scholar-critics who are experts in the field are 4-5 pages in length and review the totality of the writer's work. A complete mystery bibliography and selected critical bibliography are also included in each entry, and helpful appendices conclude the volume. Great Women Mystery Writers is a full-fledged critical companion by noted scholars and critics, and can be used for its critical interpretations, as a reader's advisory, and as an essential reference tool for librarian and patron alike.


Great Women Mystery Writers is a dictionary of classic and contemporary women mystery authors organized alphabetically according to the bestknown name under which the writer publishes. The Author/Pseudonym Index lists each author's legal name and all names under which she publishes mystery fiction; the index refers users to the name under which the entry can be found: e.g., Vine, Barbara. See Rendell, Ruth. All authors cited in the text are included in this index.

The entries, each by a scholar-critic in the field, contain the following: available biographical information, a critical analysis of the fiction, recommendations (e.g., best books, whether to read a series in a particular order), other writers whose work is related, a complete mystery bibliography, and a selected critical bibliography.

Mystery bibliographies are organized by the name/pseudonym under which the works were published and further divided into nonseries and series books. Short story collections are included with novels; uncollected short stories are not listed. Original British and U.S. publication information is given, while books first published elsewhere include that original publication information.

The appendixes provide additional information useful to readers and reference librarians. They include descriptions of the Edgar and Agatha awards, with lists of women writers who were nominated and those who won; a brief history of Sisters in Crime; a description and listing of fan-author-centered and academic conferences; subscription information on fan, review, and academic publications about mystery fiction; access information for DOROTHYL, the electronic billboard for mystery fans; and a list of North American bookstores specializing in mystery fiction. A category listing of novels by popular subgenres (classical, hard-boiled, police procedural, softboiled, cozy, etc.) is also included. The two indexes cover author/pseudonym listings and the titles of works mentioned in the critical essays.

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