Busybodies, Meddlers, and Snoops: The Female Hero in Contemporary Women's Mysteries

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 168 pages
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Although the mystery novel has been popular with women readers since the 19th century, until the late 1970s, fictional women detectives typically were portrayed as stereotypic and passive, and often overlooked by critics. Over the last two decades, however, women mystery writers have begun creating a new type of hero: the modern female detective-an independent, intelligent, witty, and compassionate woman who can take care of herself. This volume analyzes the new female serial detectives and highlights their struggles with femininity and feminism in the everyday and the way they have profoundly altered the genre's standard plotting and characterization.

 

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Contents

The Mystery Novel as MassMarket Construction
1
The Private Eye
17
The PoliceTrained Detective
57
The Amateur Sleuth Revolution
95
Mysterious Women Feminism Femininity Heroism and the Ordinary
133
Bibliography
155
Index
165
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About the author (1998)

Kimberly J. Dilley is a freelance writer. She has a PhD in Communications from the University of California, San Diego.

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