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Jenny Turner, 24 October 1991

Gaudi Afternoon 
by Barbara Wilson.
Virago, 172 pp., £4.99, August 1991, 1 85381 264 1
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The players come again 
by Amanda Cross.
Virago, 229 pp., £12.99, August 1991, 1 85381 306 0
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Poetic Justice 
by Amanda Cross.
Virago, 176 pp., £4.99, August 1991, 1 85381 025 8
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Birth Marks 
by Sarah Dunant.
Joseph, 230 pp., £13.99, April 1991, 0 7181 3511 3
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Burn Marks 
by Sara Paretsky.
Virago, 340 pp., £4.99, April 1991, 9781853812798
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Deep Sleep 
by Frances Fyfield.
Heinemann, 198 pp., £13.99, September 1991, 0 434 27426 7
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... as a whole), Nigel Fountain’s Days like these (1985, from the now-defunct Pluto crime list) and Sara Schulman’s marvellous The Sophie Horowitz Story (published in 1984 by a small lesbian press in the US, and now published here by Sheba Feminist Publishing) still make interesting reading as socialist-feminist historical novels in the tradition of ...

Timo of Corinth

Julian Symons, 6 August 1992

A Choice of Murder 
by Peter Vansittart.
Peter Owen, 216 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 0 7206 0832 5
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Portrait of the Artist’s Wife 
by Barbara Anderson.
Secker, 309 pp., £13.99, June 1992, 9780436200977
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Turtle Moon 
by Alice Hoffman.
Macmillan, 255 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 0 333 57867 8
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Double Down 
by Tom Kakonis.
Macmillan, 308 pp., £14.99, April 1992, 0 333 57492 3
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... thrillers Kakonis is less sentimental than the later Elmore Leonard, sharper and livelier than Sara Paretsky. In other words, the best ...

Marksmanship

John Sutherland, 14 November 1996

From Potter’s Field 
by Patricia Cornwell.
Warner, 405 pp., £5.99, June 1996, 0 7515 1630 9
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Cause of Death 
by Patricia Cornwell.
Little, Brown, 342 pp., £9.99, October 1996, 0 316 87885 5
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... deep feminine sensuality. She is cut from much the same cloth as Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone, Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski and Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone. It was a woman editor at Mystery Press who, in rejecting the manuscript, advised Cornwell to change the sex of the male hero-narrator (Joe Constable) of the early draft of Postmortem. In ...

Punch-up at the Poetry Reading

Joanna Kavenna: Dorothy Porter’s verse novel, 7 May 1998

The Monkey's Mask 
by Dorothy Porter.
Serpent’s Tail, 264 pp., £9.99, October 1997, 1 85242 549 0
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... between centrality and exclusion has made the genre ripe for feminist and lesbian reworking. Sara Paretsky, Val McDermid, Elizabeth George, Mary Wings and Katherine Forrest have re-created the detective as a single or Sapphic thirty-something woman, brandishing a handgun. The shape-shifting and self-suppression which most women, and especially ...

Diary

Elaine Showalter: Even Lolita must have read Nancy Drew, 7 September 1995

... girl sleuth is that she’s become a woman, the feminist detective of Amanda Cross, Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Joan Smith or Sarah Dunant. The crimes are now drugs, rape and murder, but the fantasies are the same: ‘no thugs and smugglers can dwell in their grungy hideouts for long when a girl sleuth is ...

Women beware men

Margaret Anne Doody, 23 July 1992

Backlash: The Undeclared War against Women 
by Susan Faludi.
Chatto, 592 pp., £9.99, March 1992, 0 7011 4643 5
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The War against Women 
by Marilyn French.
Hamish Hamilton, 229 pp., £9.99, March 1992, 0 241 13271 1
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... and characters) decade after decade. Detective fiction of the Eighties gave us the works of Sara Paretsky and Sue Grafton, who created strong heroines – how much better-off are women who read detective stories than those who attend only to magazines, to serious self-help books, or to Allan Bloom! But Disney studios made a mess out of trying to ...

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