Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Heroines for June 3 - Favorite Women Mystery Writers

Last night I finished an excellent book by a woman mystery author I hadn't read before, Rett Macpherson. The book, Died in the Wool, is the tenth of her Torie O'Shea mysteries. MacPherson's books, like many series, are best read in order because the characters change over time. For example, in Died in the Wool, Torie has two teenage daughters and a young son, and her mother is married to Colin, once the town sheriff. Since I liked the book so much, this morning I checked out five more in the series, including the first in the series, Family Skeletons. I'm about halfway through that one. Sure enough, Torie's daughters were three and six years old, and there was no son in sight. Colin was the sheriff and Torie's mother lived with her and her family. I'm looking forward to seeing how much the characters change.

I seem to go in spurts with my reading, focusing entirely on non-fiction for a while, then "important" classics, then my favorite light reading such as mysteries with women heroines or talking cats
(Shirley Rousseau Murphy's Joel Grey series). Since I've discovered new favorite writers mainly by word-of-mouth (my mother, Yarntangler, librarian at the Coquille, Oregon library, etc.), I thought it might be fun to share some of those favorite with you today.

Here they are, in no particular order other than as they came out of my brain. I've included websites with information about each author as well as lists of their books. Yes, I know there are many, many more I haven't listed. But, these are my favorites, at least so far. So many books, so little time! Perhaps this short list will introduce you to a new favorite heroine or two. Note: Click on the author's name for more information.

Earlene Fowler (Benni Harper - Quilts)

Susan Wittig Albert (China Bayles - Herbalist)

Sue Grafton (Kinsey Milhone - private investigator)

Mary Higgins Clark

Rett Macpherson (Torie O'Shea - historian, genealogist)

Joan Hess (Claire Molloy - bookstore owner; Arly Hanks - sheriff)

Elizabeth George

Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum - Bounty hunter)

P.D. James

Dian Mott Davidson (Goldy Bear - Caterer)

Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody - Egyptologist)

Nevada Barr (Anna Pigeon - National Park ranger)

Sue Henry (Jessie Arnold - Dogsled racer)

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