Monday, 5 November 2007

Mystery Women

There is an excellent organisation called Mystery Women, and I’ll talk about them another day, but the title of this post relates to the revised first volume of an encyclopaedia compiled by Colleen Barnett. Published by Poisoned Pen Press, it deals with ‘leading women characters in mystery fiction’ and covers the period 1860-1979.

I’m a sucker for reference books and have collected dozens over the years dealing with different aspects of crime fiction. This meaty yet modestly priced volume (it’s £11.95 in the UK) certainly deserves a place on the shelf. It’s one of those books that it’s fun to dip in to, whether you are in search of information about, say, P.D. James’ Cordelia Gray or just on the look-out for entertaining trivia about a large cast of rather unlikely detectives from days gone by. I’m lost in awe at the scale of Ms Barnett’s research.

1 comment:

Joni said...

I'm a sucker for refernce books, too! Colleen's other volumes in this series cover from 1980-89 and 1990-99 (which takes two volumes). Not sure what her plans are for the next decade.