Women of Mystery: Three Writers Who Forever Changed Detective Fiction

Women of Mystery explores the writing lives of three authors (Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller) who started a literary revolution and, in the process, captured readers’ imaginations around the world. Their novels told a new story about crime and…

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Women of Mystery explores the writing lives of three authors (Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller) who started a literary revolution and, in the process, captured readers’ imaginations around the world. Their novels told a new story about crime and justice—and continue to do so today. In 2020, Paretsky published her 20th V.I. Warshawski novel (see in “Bonus Features” or listed on Vimeo as DEAD LAND/Sara Paretsky: A Reflection) as well as Love & Other Crimes, a collection of short stories that “run deep with aching sketches of love and loss” and “haunting versions of possible futures” (Library Journal). Women of Mystery spends captivating time with each author on her heroine’s home turf and investigates the question: Why is the female private eye a hero? Because she did not believe the old story. The official story. The repeated story. The lie, police cover-up, or millionaire’s power play. Her job is to seek justice when society turns a blind eye. And she will not give up until the whole truth is told.

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