Friday, 18 September 2015

The mystery of the forgotten women authors

Over the years I have come across dozens of women authors of crime, detective-mystery, and suspense on the internet and I confess to having read very few of them. Below are the covers of seven paperbacks written by female writers who, I assume, were (and are) noted for their craft. I didn't know about them, let alone read their books. I just happened to find them online. Looking up 20th century authors is a pastime. Have you read their books?







10 comments:

  1. Christianna Brand and her GREEN FOR DANGER are neither of them at all obscure, Prashant...I haven't read that, but you could do worse than what I have read. "Amanda Cross" was the pseudonym of a Columbia University professor who was famously slighted by the administration there, Carol Hielbrun. The others are less familiar to me, though the Frances Crane's rather ridiculous cover and title have inspired a few FFB reviews over the years...

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  2. I'm familiar with both Amanda Cross' work and of course Christianna Brand's (whose novels I recommend). The rest I'm less familiar with, Prashant. I know a bit about Frances Crane ('though not as much as I'd like), and I've read just a bit of Sue Henry. I've not read any Diana Raymond though.

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  3. Carolyn Heilbrun ("Amanda Cross") was a very personable woman whom I met once. Her mysteries were very popular back in the period between 1964 and 2002 (perhaps a bit less so as she neared the millennium). IN THE LAST ANALYSIS won an Edgar for Best First Mystery in 1965. A distinguished scholar, her 1988 book WRITING A WOMAN'S LIFE was a noted feminist study. She committed suicide in 2003 at age 77.

    Christianna Brand's GREEN FOR DANGER is arguably her best-known mystery, although TOUR-DE-FORCE and FOG OF DOUBT are also strong contenders for that honor. GREEN FOR DANGER was made into a noted film starring Alastair Sim. Any mystery by Brand is most likely worth your time.

    Mary Daheim writes two very popular mystery series: The Bed-and-Breakfast series (29 books so far, with #30 coming next year)and the Alpine series (26 books). She also writes historicals.

    Sue Henry's MURDER ON THE IDITAROD TRAIL won both the Macavity and Anthony Awards for Best First Mystery. She's published 13 books in that series and another four books featuring widow Maxine MacNab and her pet dachschund who find mystery as they travel America in their Winnebago.

    Frances Crane's mystery series about Pat and Jean Abbott ran for 26 novles (each with a color in the title) from 1941 to 1965. These mysteries continue to have a strong fan base. The Abbott books were the basis of two separate radio series in the 1950s. Abbott's daughter, by the way, was married to the prolific pulp writer Norbert Davis.

    I've never heard of Amanda M. Lee or Diana Raymond.

    All things considered, you have some pretty interesting reading ahead of you, Prashant.

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  4. I have read books by Brand including the one depicted here which is pretty good. I have an Amanda Cross on my shelves. The rest are unfamiliar. The Lee cover is good while the Crane one is hideous.

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  5. I have read one book by Frances Crane and liked it mainly for its setting, New Orleans. I also liked reading about the time she was writing in (1940's and 1950's). I have two books by Christianna Brand and liked one (Green for Danger) and did not like the the other. I read many books by Amanda Cross years ago and I thought that they were very good at the time.

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  6. I've read Cross, Brand and Henry and enjoyed them all.

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  7. Cross, Brand, Daheim and Crane are all authors I've read. Brand is very good - as most above seem to agree - and I enjoy Crane without giving her a wholehearted recommendation! I can take-or-leave the other two...

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  8. Not tried any, but Brand is on the pile!

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  9. A nice selection, Prashant. The only one I've read is GREEN FOR DANGER by Christianne Brand and I do highly recommend it. She also wrote what I consider a masterpiece of deception, TOUR DE FORCE - you must read it.

    The other writers mentioned I haven't read.

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  10. The Brand novel is definitely a bit of a classic Prashant! And the 1940s movie version might be even better - well worthy of your time chum!

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