Great women mystery writers : classic to contemporary

Format: Print Book 1994
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Noncirculating (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Desk Reference r PR830.D4 G74 1994
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Desk Reference
Call Number  r PR830.D4 G74 1994

This comprehensive biocritical 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. The dictionary also serves as a reader's advisory to frequently asked questions: Which novels shouldn't be missed? In what order should you read them? What other writers will you enjoy if you like a particular writer, setting, or type of mystery?

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: the relationship among her novels, her place in the genre; recommendations of her best books; whether to read a series in order; and which novelists have similar settings, writing styles, or reader appeal. A complete mystery bibliography and selected critical bibliography are included in each entry, and helpful appendices conclude the volume. G reat 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.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "One hundred sixteen women mystery writers are described in this guide edited by Klein, who teaches English and women's studies at Southern Connecticut State University and is the author of other books on detective fiction. Chronological coverage ranges from Mary Elizabeth Braddon, whose Lady Audley's Secret was published in 1862, to such contemporary writers as Linda Barnes, Patricia Cornwell, and Elizabeth George. In her introduction, Klein traces the history of mystery fiction in general, and mysteries by women in particular, from the beginnings through the golden age of Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, and Dorothy Sayers to the emergence of the female private eye in the 1980s. Appended to the introduction is a reading list of 26 titles that "include substantial information about women mystery writers." Writers are listed alphabetically. Each entry begins with an essay giving biographical information and describing the chief features of the writer's work. Generally, the essays conclude with advice to interested readers. For instance, that for Catherine Aird notes that readers "might also enjoy works by others, like Ngaio Marsh, Josephine Tey, and Dorothy Simpson, who write in a similar vein." Lists of each writer's mystery fiction follow the essays. Works in series or written under different names are listed separately. Finally, each entry concludes with a brief bibliography of critical works. Each of the entries is signed, and information about the contributors is provided in an appendix. Other appendixes include an essay about the Edgar Awards, with a list of women nominees and winners; a list of winners of the Agatha Award and at the annual Malice Domestic conference; and an essay by Sara Paretsky about Sisters in Crime, the group of women who read, write, sell, publish, or review mysteries. "Putting Out the Word: Alternative Activities for Mystery Fans" lists fan-centered conferences, such as Malice Domestic, and academic conferences, such as those of the Popular Culture Association, as well as periodicals. Another appendix describes Dorothy-L, the electronic discussion group for mystery fans. Other appendixes include a list of mystery bookstores in the U.S. and Canada and a list of 14 categories of mystery fiction, such as Comic/caper, Lesbian, and Locked Room, with examples. The only indexes are by author and title. In By a Woman's Hand: A Guide to Mystery Fiction [RBB Je 1 94], coverage begins in 1977 and so excludes all earlier writers. On the other hand, its more than 200 entries include many contemporary writers not found in Great Women Mystery Writers, such as Lindsey Davis and Jennie Melville, as well as writers of romantic suspense, such as Mary Stewart and Phyllis Whitney. Eighty-five authors appear in both sources. Despite the fact that it covers fewer writers, the biographies and bibliographies in Great Women Mystery Writers make it a much more useful reference tool. In addition, while By a Woman's Hand offers the standard geographic and series character indexes found in many sources, several of the appendixes in Great Women Mystery Writers are unique. Finally, while both provide "read alike" information, Great Women Mystery Writers goes a step further by adding advice on how to read the author being discussed. By a Woman's Hand filled a void in the literature of mystery fiction because it focused on women, but it is superseded by the more authoritative Great Women Mystery Writers, which is highly recommended for public and academic libraries. A circulating copy of the relatively inexpensive By a Woman's Hand would make a useful reader's advisory tool. (Reviewed October 15, 1994)"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Detective and mystery stories, English -- Bio-bibliography.
Detective and mystery stories, American -- Bio-bibliography.
Detective and mystery stories, American -- Dictionaries.
Detective and mystery stories, English -- Dictionaries.
English fiction -- Women authors -- Bio-bibliography.
American fiction -- Women authors -- Bio-bibliography.
Women authors, American -- Biography -- Dictionaries.
Women authors, English -- Biography -- Dictionaries.
Publisher Westport, Conn. :Greenwood Press,1994
Contributors Klein, Kathleen Gregory, 1946-
Language English
Description xv, 432 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
ISBN 0313287708 (alk. paper)
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