The history of women in mystery

The first recorded female writer of crime fiction that I’ve found was Anna Katherine Green, who published in the 1870’s.  She wrote two novels featuring female detectives, but her male detectives were more popular.  People weren’t yet ready to fully accept women as detectives, I suppose!

Fast forward to 1908 when both ANNE OF GREEN TABLES AND Mary Roberts Rinehart’s mystery, THE CIRCULAR STAIRCASE, were published!   Books by and for women were gaining notice–AND sales!

Then on to the “British ladies” like Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Marjorie Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, and Josephine Tey.  But, except for the passive Miss Marble and one or two other frail, elderly women, female British authors wrote about male detectives.  Interesting how these authors thought of their sisters, isn’t it?  The guys still have it!

And what came next?   Do you remember?

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One Response to “The history of women in mystery”

  1. dan Says:

    Don’t forget about Harriet Vane!

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