After Agatha & The Women Of Crime


I was reading an article on female crime writers this morning entitled, “After Agatha Christie” and I stumbled across the following quote by Laura Lippman,

Thinking about crime is very personal for women because they know what it’s like to be prey.

That’s both true and fascinating to me. Fascinating because if we consider the statement in reference to crime fiction written by women, we can’t help but agree. For as long as we can remember, women have been prey. Physically and socially. All one has to do is look at the #MeToo movement that was long overdue and cast an eye over the media. Rapes, assaults, psychological crimes like stalking, domestic assaults…and the list goes on. So it’s no surprise that crime novels written from domestic, psychological and police procedural perspectives are ever-rising in popularity. As is pointed out in the article mentioned above, who better to write female-centric crime than a female?

The big names in this genre are household names, and I love that there’s plenty of room for up and coming authors here too. (A fact that reassures me as a writer). Even more satisfying? Our arc has swung so far that the field is populated with men writing women’s crime fiction under female pseudonyms.

Now if we could just get to a point where women-centric crime falls off, we’d all start to breathe a little easier.

Do you read any female authors? Who? What genre do they write in?

What keeps you reading them? Let me know in the comments section below!

5 thoughts on “After Agatha & The Women Of Crime

  1. I read a lot of women authors, across genres.
    As a crime writer I didn’t warm to Agatha much preferring her contemporaries Ngaio March and Margery Allingham. Agatha’s autobiographies are brilliant though, and I reread them at intervals.
    And sadly yes to ‘women as prey’. Which is still the truth on so many levels.

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  2. This is a hard question to answer, but fun trying! In the past, I’ve enjoyed Dorothy L. Sayers but I’m not sure how I would like them now. Jane Smiley wrote a terrific thriller (she can write any genre it seems), Duplicate Keys. I recently read two Kate Quinn thrillers and they are fabulous, and one at least is not relentlessly heterosexual: The Alice Network and The Huntress (to be read in that order). Louise Penny is very popular and while a good writer, her gay men are stereotypes, so I’ve given up on her. Ann Cleeves writes good, traditional mysteries (Vera and Shetland) and so does Hallie Ephron. I do read women novelists and always have: Edith Wharton (Ethan Frome was an aberration), Anne Enright, Emma Donoghue (Room is not my cup of tea, although I’m sure it’s excellent), Jennifer Johnston. Kate Atkinson is a great novelist and favorite of mine, but not her Jackson Brodie mystery series. Right now I’m on an Eleanor Roosevelt-Lorena Hickock love affair kick, and I love Amy Bloom’s novel about them, White Houses. I’ve followed up with Susan Quinn’s non-fiction Eleanor and Hick. I’m sure I’m forgetting tons of novels by women, and there are one-off novels by authors I’ve never followed up on too, such as Susanna Kaysen’s (she of Girl, Interrupted fame) Far Afield, and Stella Gibbons’ Cold Comfort Farm. Many have been left out I’m sure, but I hope I’ve given readers some new ideas, and here’s another, my own LGQ hist fic set in 1920s-1940s Ireland, Heroine Of Her Own Life, available on Amazon. com and Also available on Amazon is Carolyn’s A Thousand Shades of Feeling, which I’ve just added to my reading queue!

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