Women of Mystery: The Lives and Works of Notable Women Crime Novelists (Google eBook)

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Macmillan, Dec 11, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 464 pages
3 Reviews
In this remarkable book, Martha Hailey DuBose has given those multitudes of readers who love the mystery novel an indispensable addition to their libraries. Unlike other works on the subject, Women of Mystery is not merely a directory of the novelists and their publications with a few biographical details. DuBose combines extensive research into the lives of significant women mystery writers from Anna Katherine Green and Mary Roberts Rinehart with critical essays on their work, anecdotes, contemporary reviews and opinions and some of the women's own comments. She takes us through the Golden Age of the British women mystery writers, Christie, Sayers, Marsh, Allingham and Tey, to the leading crime novelists of today, focused on the women who have become legends of the genre. And though she laments, "so many mysteries, so little time," she makes a good effort a mentioning "some of the best of the rest."

When DuBose writes of the lives of her principal players, she relates them to their times, their families, their personal situations and above all to their books. She subtly points out that Sayers, whose experience with the men in her life was inevitably disastrous, created in Lord Peter the ideal lover -- one who is all that a woman desires and needs. DuBose gives us the curriculum vitae that Dorothy Sayers created to help her bring Peter Wimsey to a virtual actuality. Ngaio Marsh would give up an active presence in the theatrical world she loved, but she recreated it for herself as well as her readers in many of her novels. The biographies of these woman are as engrossing as the stories they wrote, and Martha DuBose has shined a different, intimate and intriguing light on them, their works, and the lives that informed those works.

This book is so full of treasure it's hard to see how any mystery enthusiast will be able to do without it. And what a gift it would make for anyone on your list who has been heard to announce "I love a mystery."

Some of the treats inside:

In the Beginning: The Mothers of Detection
Anna Katherine Green
Mary Roberts Rinehart

A Golden Era: The Genteel Puzzlers
Agatha ChristieDorothy L. Sayers
Ngaio Marsh
Margery Allingham
Josephine Tey

Modern Motives: Mysteries of the Murderous Mind
Patricia Highsmith
P.D. James
Ruth Rendell
Mary Higgins Clark
Sue Grafton and more!!

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - empress8411 - LibraryThing

A fine compilation of brief biographies of famous female mystery writers. A good place to start if you are interested in the lives of authors like Agatha Christine or Mary Roberts Rhineheart. Well written book with easy to read prose and organization. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gbelik - LibraryThing

This book tells a little of the lives of the women who became the founding mothers in the mystery genre and it includes brief summaries of some of the current authors in the field. I did tend to skim ... Read full review

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Contents

Title Page
AND THE INSPECTOR
THE GENTEEL
CRIME
MIND
MYSTERIES
TWIST
JAMES AN ARTFUL KIND OF ORDER
DISSECTION
MINETTE WALTERS DARK SHADOWS
EMMA LATHEN FATAL GREED
MARGARET MILLAR LEST WE FORGET
PLEASANT
ANNE PERRY PAST IMPERFECT
A CRIMINOUS CHRONOLOGY I
TO PRESENT

RUTH RENDELL TRIPLE THREATENING
DISTRESS
SUE GRAFTON AN ORNERY ORIGINAL
Copyright Page
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Martha DuBose is a writer and the owner of a writing, marketing and research firm in Nashville, Tennessee. She lives in Bell Buckle, Tennessee.

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