Masters of Mystery: 10 Celebrated Women Authors!
March is Women's History Month, and we lovers of good old-fashioned mystery novels owe a lot to women writers! I've chosen ten books by some of the genre's finest authors who have shaped mystery writing; the list spans nearly a century!
First published in 1926, Agatha Christie's hit murder mystery is recognized as one of the most influential crime novels ever written.
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The Secret of the Old Clock is the first Nancy Drew story. Written under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene, Nancy Drew mysteries have had an immeasurable influence on young girls.
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PD James had a formidable reputation as a prolific and writer. This title, first published in 1972, is our first look at Detective Cordelia Gray, who went on to enjoy adaptations in film and on television.
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Ellen Raskin's Newbury Medal-winning tale of the mysterious Samuel Westing's will has had kids laughing and puzzling for over 40 years. It's the first mystery I remember reading!
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Sue Grafton has given us nearly an entire alphabet of mysteries like this one. Since 1982, readers everywhere have been able to relish her juicy plot twists and the plucky protagonist Kinsey Millhone.
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Carolyn G. Hart
Carolyn Hart has given us dozens of classic mysteries. Death on Demand won her an Agatha Award in 1987.
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Janet Evanovich has been a pillar of the mystery genre since she wrote One for the Money in 1994. Her award-winning series is now up to twenty-one titles (and look out for Tricky Twenty-Two this November!)
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Earlene Fowler has written 15 novels in her Benni Fowler mystery series. Mariner's Compass won an Agatha Award in 1999.
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Gillian Flynn is one of the hottest names in thrillers right now, with her runaway hit Gone Girl recently adapted into a blockbuster movie! Her award-winning second novel, Dark Places (2009), will be adapted into a film later this year.
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The mystery world's worst-kept secret: "Robert Galbraith" is actually worldwide sweetheart JK Rowling! Rowling wanted to venture into detective fiction, so she penned this fantastic debut under a pseudonym. Now, the secret's out, along with a sequel and a full-blown series in the works!
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