Let's Talk Books

Murder, She Wrote

When all is said and done, I still think women write the best crime fiction. I think they have a knack in thinking up ways to successfully, eh, murder people. I mean, come on, think Lynda LaPlante and Val McDermid, and the new crop of crime writers, Gillian Flynn, Karin Slaughter, and Tana French that everyone seem to be enamoured with.

Though most of you, my regulars, already know who my favourite go-to authors in crime are: Sara Paretsky, Laurie R. King and, of course, the most talented of all: Louise Penny. But I also love me a bit of Tess Gerritsen and, once upon a time, also Kathy Reichs. And way back when I started reading, I diligently read a lot of Agatha Christie too.

So who is on your list of go-to female crime writers?

Here’s a list of authors that I’ve read—some I’ve enjoyed and read several books of, while others I’ve read only one, being a little more so-so:

  • Sarah Bailey
  • Alex Barclay
  • Peggy Blair
  • Steph Broadribb
  • Rita Mae Brown
  • Alexandra Burt
  • Lindy Cameron
  • Linda Castello
  • Agatha Christie
  • Mary Higgins Clark
  • Ann Cleeves
  • Patricia Cornwall
  • Fiona Cummins
  • Barbara D’Amato
  • Daphne Du Maurier
  • Tana French
  • Gillian Flynn
  • Lisa Gardener
  • Tess Gerritsen
  • Elly Griffiths
  • Elizabeth Hand
  • Jane Harper
  • Patricia Highsmith
  • P.D. James
  • Faye Kellerman
  • Kathleen Kent
  • Laurie R. King
  • Christina Kovac
  • Lynda La Plante
  • Lori L. Lake
  • Donna Leon
  • Val McDermid
  • Clare McNabb
  • Clare Mackintosh
  • Angela Marsons
  • Alex Marwood
  • Becky Masterman
  • Kate Mosse
  • Katherine Neville
  • Sara Paretsky
  • Carrie Stuart Parks
  • Louise Penny
  • Kathy Reichs
  • Ruth Rendell
  • Lisa Scottoline
  • Karin Slaughter
  • Jo Spain
  • Dana Stabenow
  • Taylor Stevens
  • CL Taylor
  • Emma Viskic
  • Sara Ward
  • Ruth Ware
  • Carol Wyer

12 Comments

  1. I love everything written by Karin Slaughter, especially her two series. I’m also a big fan of J. D. Robb’s In Death series (Nora Roberts’ pseudonym). Liz Nugent has recently been added to my auto read list, too. I’m also a big fan of Val McDermid and her Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series. Some others on your list are favorites of mine, too.

    • Alexandra says

      Looks like we share a lot of fav authors then, Jonetta. And I really need to read more Val McDermid, especially a good series. And I always forget J.D. Robb is Nora Roberts.

      One of my new favs is Emma Viskic, I really enjoyed Resurrection Bay, and have ordered And Fire Came Down.

        • Alexandra says

          She’s one of the new breed of Australian authors hitting our shelves. I discovered her by accident, and thoroughly enjoyed her first book. Really different take on the MC.

  2. There aren’t many female writers of country noir, but one of the best is up in my new neck of the woods: Bonnie Jo Campbell.

    The collection of short noir tales set in Houston that I reviewed today includes a bunch of female writers.

    • Oh, never heard of her, HP, so thanks for sharing. I’ll go check her out. Not that I’ve read much country noir (I think), but I am getting into a lot of stuff set in and around the southern states, Texas mainly.

  3. I have read and enjoyed books by Agatha Christie (let’s face it she is the queen), Kate Moss (gothic vibe for that one if I recall correctly) and read on eMary Higgins Clark (La Nuit du renard) that was so good that I could not breathe anymore and stopped reading her for my own health. Now why are we so gifted at murdering people? Is it our sense of details? our subtelty? Our keen sense of observation/sixth sense?

    • Oh, I think you nailed it, Sophie, with how women think about all the little details, like how best to exact revenge maybe? lol! And, as writers, we do love to come up with great ways to kill people. 😉

  4. They really do write some really interesting murder mystery. I think most of my favorite books in this genre have been by female authors. They really know how to make you feel involved, so you aren’t as disconnected.

    • Alexandra says

      Exactly, Lily. It’s the depths of emotion that really makes a good story for me, along with well-written characters.

  5. You listed some of my faves <3 Used to read a lot of Ruth Randell when i was around 19-20…
    Been thinking recently i should read them in English as well at some point 😀

    And i'm totes checking out the rest! I think i even have some Carol Wyer books on my kindle.

    • I was quite surprised how many women I had read, Norrie. I was like, wow, okay, and started to look into the kind of books they wrote, and they usually scored so much higher than the guys. Well, except Steve Cavanagh, who gave us Eddie Flynn!

      I want more books like that, with fun premises, great characters and no need for ultra violence, demeaning women or any other cliched crap that is from 20-30, or 40 years ago.

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