The University of Wisconsin Press

Popular Culture


Ten Women of Mystery
Edited by Earl F. Bargainnier

Popular Culture

Ten Women of Mystery covers the writings of five Americans, four British and one New Zealander, in detective fiction, a genre read equally, heavily, and regularly by both men and women.

This volume which examines the special contributions of a number of women mystery writers sheds light on this significant example of common interests in recreational reading among women and men and the reasons behind the early and continuing uncharacteristic near-equality of both sexes in this field of endeavor.

All the writers examined here exhibit great skill of characterization, adroitness in creating various kinds of tension, and preference for complexity of plot and character relationships over wild action; at the same time, however, as a group they demonstrate a range and variety suggesting the scope of women writers of mystery fiction. This is a book to place beside the contemporary classic studies in detective fiction.

Earl F. Bargainnier was Fuller E. Callaway Professor of English Language and Literature at Wesleyan College. A former president of the Popular Culture Association, he was the author of more than sixty articles and The Gentle Art of Murder: The Detective Fiction of Agatha Christie. He also edited Twelve Englishmen of Mystery and co-edited Cops and Constables. Professor Bargainnier died January 3, 1987.

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Cover of book has a gray background and there are red droplets falling from the "0" in ten.

LC: 80-085393 PS
310 pp. 6 x 9
6 b/w photos, 2 b/w figs.
ISBN 978-0-87972-172-5
Cloth $22.95 t
ISBN 978-0-87972-173-2
Paper $11.95 t

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Updated February 8, 2010

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