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p. 825. Genderlocked

  • Richard Bradford

Abstract

‘Gender’ considers the work of women crime writers and central female characters in the crime novel. In the relatively few novels featuring a woman detective produced between the period of Holmes and the Golden Age the unaffiliated spinster—such as Christie’s Miss Marple—prevailed. The three most popular women crime fiction authors of recent decades—Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, and Patricia Cornwell—tell us a great deal about how notions of vehement masculinity have become so deeply embedded in the legacy of crime fiction, especially that branch of the genre which lays a claim towards realism. Each embodies a very pragmatic utilitarian brand of feminism.

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