Saturday, October 3, 2015

Murder, She Wrote: Queens of the Mystery Bookshelf

Quiet as it’s kept, women writing mysteries rock.  While 35 percent of killings in real-life America go unsolved, writing fiction, let’s you get a rate of 100 percent serving the cause of justice. Today, a handful of females rival the success of their predecessors Agatha Christie and P. D. James.  They consistently make the best seller lists and garner accolades from their loyal readers.
Mary Higgins Clark
One of the reigning queens of suspense has sold more than 100 million books in the United States alone. That’s a number just a bit smaller than the population of Mexico. Meet Mary Higgins Clark, who at 87 remains the monarch of mystery. A widow with five children, she was first published in 1975. Her blockbuster “Where Are the Children” launched a career that has lasted 40 years and produced 49 award winning books. A new novel, The Melody Lingers On, was scheduled for publication in 2015.
Janet Evanovich
Nobody mixes death and humor better than Janet Evanovich, combining comedy and the occasional killing. She began writing romance novels, but after book 12, she turned to another path. In 1995, big- haired bounty hunter Stephanie Plum propelled Evanovich to the best-seller list. Twenty-five books later, Plum continues to keep the 72 year old author fresh and relevant, still at the top of her game. Even after 21 years, “One for the Money” is still hilarious. Wicked Charms: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel by Evanovich and Phoef Sutton went on sale June 23, 2015.

Tess Gerritsen
Alias the Doctor, Tess Gerritsen hitched her star to medical suspense and made it scary enough to garner legions of fans. A graduate of Stanford University and UCSF School of Medicine, she started writing mysteries while on maternity leave. Gerritsen terrifies readers with tales of grisly death and medical malfeasance. Her dynamic duo of Detective Jane Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Dr. Maura are her principal tools in catching killers and serving the cause of justice. The famous pair is played by Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander on TNT’s Rizzoli and Isles. Die Again: A Rizzoli and Isles Novel by Gerristen was launched by Ballantine Books in 2014.

Sue Grafton
Some call her the Alphabet P. I.  Former screenwriter turned mystery author Sue Grafton dishes readers a female twist in a hard-boiled fictional private investigator.  A new kind of gumshoe, Kinsey Millhone hit the street running in 1982 in Grafton’s first book A is For Alibi. This P. I. is “smarter, younger, and thinner” than her creator now 75 years old and contrary to Grafton’s real -life marriage of 20 years, Millhone is a twice- divorced loner.  Through the years, the author blasted through the alphabet and X is for... published in August 2015.

Sara Paretsky
Kansas- raised Sara Paretsky, 68, alias “The Crusader” made her bones with V. I. Warshawski, ex-defender turned P.I.  “Vic” for Victoria is smart, tough, and though often outraged, always in control. Published in 1982, Indemnity Only showcases a fearless female pathfinder in a rough job.  Paretsky, who holds a MBA and a history PH.D., founded Sisters in Crime to support women mystery writers and readers.  Her new novel, Brush Back, was scheduled for publication July 28, 2015 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons.