In tweeds and sensible shoes, Miss Jane Marple of St. Mary Mead looks like every other elderly British spinster who eats cucumber sandwiches at tea and natters on about roses.

But, as we all know, first impressions do deceive.  Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple is shrewd and methodical, the most famous female sleuth in all literature.

My favorite private detectives, forensic anthropologists, and bounty hunters are females. They solve crimes in the pages of best-selling mysteries written by, you guessed it, women authors.

B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton is her second book. It won the Shamus Award and a huge fan base.  Now the Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mystery Series is nearly over.  Grafton says the last book will be called Z is for Zero. She says she wishes there were more than twenty-six letters.  So do I.

Blacklist : V. I. Warshawski by Sara Paretsky is set in the aftermath of 9/11.  The leggy wisecracking Chicago private investigator looks into a link between a murdered journalist and a suspected Arab terrorist.

Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell features Dr. Kay Scarpetta, chief medical examiner of Virginia, investigating the murder of a local romance novelist.

Eleven On Top by Janet Evanovich concerns a New Jersey lingerie buyer-turned-bounty hunter investigated by Stephanie Plum.

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P. D. James introduces novice sleuth Cordelia Gray who inherited a detective agency and is about to solve her first crime ~ the murder of a wealthy man’s son.


I cut my teeth on mysteries.  Nancy Drew led the way.  But this summer I have read a few that left me with whiplash.

Are you into Miss-Marply characters ~ kindly and unassuming, but with a mind like a steel trap?

Or do you favor the toughest-nut-in-Sweden-Lisbeth-Salander types ~ abandoned, abused, socially-awkward gothic punks?




meet you here next sunday ~  Novels of the American West

Toni 7/14/13


  1. I am a fan of the Stephanie Plum series and the Lisbeth Salander series. I’m not sure what that says about me as they are both no nonsense kind of gals. Nancy Drew was my “best friend” when I was a kid. I loved “helping” her solve the mysteries.


  2. Years ago, when Sara Paretsky was just getting started, Jack took the kids to I think it was U of Hartford for a follow the clues activity. They all met her before, during, and afterwards. I’ll get better details when I can gather them up. I think I was home nursing a baby of some sort.


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