A Suitable Job for a Woman: Inside the World of Women Private Eyes

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Poisoned Pen Press, 1999 - Social Science - 302 pages
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"But down these mean streets must go a man who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished or afraid." When Raymond Chandler wrote these words in his classic The Simple Art of Murder, he drew a blueprint for the male private eyes who descend from Philip Marlowe to populate the world of crime fiction.
But what if the private eye is a woman? And what if she is not a character in a novel but a real, working investigator testing not only the meanness but the absurdity of life on seamy streets? Who will tell her story?

Enter Manchester's Val McDermid, herself a skilled writer of the P.I. novel but for years a professional journalist. In an effort to plumb the real world of working women--and throw new light on her own craft--she has interviewed women private eyes from both sides of the Atlantic and assembled their stories with an eye for the absurd and a keen grasp of the gritty nuts and bolts of the profession.

As fascinating as fiction, A Suitable Job for a Woman is, in the words of Edgar-winning author Nevada Barr, "a concise and eye-opening trek through the competence, humor, and humanity of women."

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About the author (1999)

Val McDermid was born in Scotland on June 4, 1955. She was the first student from a state school in Scotland accepted to read English at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She graduated in 1975 and became a journalist. She wrote her first novel at the age of 21. It didn't get published, but she turned it into a play entitled Like a Happy Ending. It was performed by the Plymouth Theatre Company and was later adapted for BBC radio. Her first book, Report for Murder, was published in 1987. She is the author of the Lindsay Gordon Mystery series, the Kate Brannigan Mystery series, and the Dr. Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Mysteries series as well as several stand alone books including The Distant Echo, A Darker Domain, and Trick of the Dark. The Mermaids Singing won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year.

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