Murdering Miss Marple: Essays on Gender and Sexuality in the New Golden Age of Women’s Crime Fiction

July 3, 2013 - Comment

During the interwar “golden age” of British detective fiction, women writers like Dorothy L. Sayers and Agatha Christie reigned, but their work remains tame compared to today’s crime novels. Elements of sexuality and gender, including soft porn and sexual psychopathy, pervade contemporary detective fiction. The 10 essays in this collection explore issues of gender and

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During the interwar “golden age” of British detective fiction, women writers like Dorothy L. Sayers and Agatha Christie reigned, but their work remains tame compared to today’s crime novels. Elements of sexuality and gender, including soft porn and sexual psychopathy, pervade contemporary detective fiction. The 10 essays in this collection explore issues of gender and sexuality in crime writing by women from 1985 to 2011, surveying works about girl sleuths, parodies, hard-boiled detective fiction, police procedurals, and recent serial killer series. They examine the relationship between genre and gender and explore how later works enter into a field of “post-feminism.” Most importantly, this volume demonstrates how popular women writers of the last three decades have reconceptualized what it means to be a female detective.

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