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The Big Book of Female Detectives

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler's new anthology brings together the most cunning, resourceful, and brilliant female sleuths in mystery fiction. A Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original.

For the first time ever, Otto Penzler gathers the most iconic women of the detective canon over the past 150 years, captivating and surprising readers in equal measure. The 74 handpicke
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Kindle Edition, 1136 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
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Donna Davis
Well now, that was a meal. Penzler does nothing halfway, and this meaty collection of 74 stories took me awhile to move through. I read most, but not all, and I’ll get to that in a minute. First, though, thanks go to Net Galley and Doubleday for the review copy. This book is for sale now.

The collection begins with Mrs. Paschal, published in 1864, who must find “the cleverest thieves in Christendom,” and it concludes with a piece by Joyce Carol Oates. The stories are broken down into sections, b
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Judy Lesley
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday, Vintage Crime/Black Lizard for a digital copy of this anthology.

This is an absolutely must-have collection for any reader who wants someone else to do all the hard research work for them. Otto Penzler has collected 74 short stories featuring a woman as the chief detective in a mystery from Victorian to modern times. Not every story will appeal to each reader, but there are so, so many fabulous stories included in this collection that it couldn't help b
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Julie Davis
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read the print version, just because I like big books "in person."

This is a first class collection of short stories (mostly) ranging from Victorian times to the present. I liked all the time periods pretty well except, to my surprise, the pulp era stories. However, that is clearly a matter of personal taste. Otto Penzler serves up a wonderful selection and I discovered several new authors to investigate further. There are all sorts of detectives from the young and beautiful to the old and canny.
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Christine
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading short mystery stories, so I couldn’t resist this collection of 74 stories featuring female detectives. This is a robust collection of short stories ranging from cozy to hard-boiled from the last 150 years, written by both men and women. The stories are mainly grouped by era, with the exception of the last chapter called, “Bad Girls.” Each story includes an introduction with information about the author and the detective.

The collection includes many authors, mostly from the modern
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Literary Soirée
The Afternoon I Met V.I. Warshawski

The air was humid, the cobblestones glistening during my lunch break as a psychotherapist the day I discovered a little bookstore I’d not seen before on the South Side of Pittsburgh, where my ex and I had just moved for his job with Capitol Records.

Libraries and bookstores gave me solace those early days in the Iron City, where I knew no one but a little-seen cousin. But I remember that day as if it were yesterday, because that’s when I first met V.I.

As I picke
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Jenn
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From my blog and instagram account - @livereadandprosper

Thank you Netgalley and Knopf Publishing for this read for my honest review.

Ponder has put together short stories (including a few chapters each) of multiple generations of famous women detectives. The stories start from the Victorian Era and travel all the way up to modern day “Bad Girls”. Ponder starts each story with a small history of what’s taking place in the story to help paint a picture in your mind of what is to come. It also descr
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Debbie
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
This is a collection of 74 short mystery stories featuring a female detective. These stories were grouped by when they were written and featured stories from the first fictional female detectives in the mid-1800s up to the modern day. Some of the stories were very short while a few seemed novella length, but most could be read in an hour or two.

Some were essentially the detective telling how she solved the crime. Many told events as they happened and provided clues for the reader to puzzle out.
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Annette
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK – I am going to say something which is no surprise to most of us – Agatha Christie was truly the most amazing mystery author.

This book is wonderful.

We start out with female detectives from about one hundred years in the past. The writers are mostly men. But, there are also women authors who show how talented they were. The writing is not what one would expect from an author today. Situations and attitudes are somewhat dated. But, each story is well written and the mysteries hold the reader'
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Jessi
Wow. This is a LOT of female detective stories all in one place. Divided mainly by date published, this book includes not only selected short stories but brief biographies of the authors as well. Not all of the authors are women but all of the main characters are. I say main characters advisedly because the last section is labeled "Bad Girls" (which, "girls", really? You couldn't call it Femme Fatales? or Wicked Women?) and includes characters who may not exactly be on the side of angels.
I rarel
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Pamela
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book contains 74 short stories featuring women detectives. It covers 150 years of writings by some famous and some-not-so famous authors. If you’re a mystery reader, you’ll recognize many if not all the modern authors. What is particularly fascinating is reading the stories from the early days to present day to see how the idea of the woman detective has evolved over the years. You also get to read how the writing evolved over that same period. At 1136 pages, it is not a book you can or sho ...more
Linda
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a fascinating history of the development of stories featuring female detectives, going back to the Victorian period, and continuing through the 20th century and beyond. There are both familiar authors like Mary Roberts Rinehart and Agatha Christie, and lesser known ones. The introductory material on the authors is well researched and helps place each author in his/her historical context.
Brenda Freeman
It was like following the history of women detectives in books. Some short stories were entertaining, some a little slow, but a nice variety. Found a few stories from favorite authors I hadn’t read before.
Jen
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not read every story but I really enjoyed the ones I did. This is a great collection!
Nicole
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
The Big Book of Female Detectives is an absolute must for mystery lovers everywhere. An excellent compilation of 74 stories that will keep the reader enthralled for quite some time, with detectives and stories ranging over 150 years. Essential reading for fans of the genre! A+
Kate
rated it did not like it
Dec 02, 2018
Andrew
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tremendous anthology in the BIg Book series, edited by the inimitable Otto Penzler. This one gives us great stories about female gum shoes(primarily but not exclusively written by women) from the invention of the detective story to date. I primarily read male authors and books starring male heroes but this compilation opened my eyes to the vast amount of stories involving women. Appropriate, edifying and entertaining!
Elizabeth
rated it it was amazing
Jun 04, 2018
Traci
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very thorough introduction to female detectives throughout literary history (starting with the Victorian era). Each entry gives a brief glimpse at the significance of that detective and her author and is followed with an excerpt of her story. This book would be a terrific reference for anyone wishing to read more from this particular subset genre. I'd heard of many of the detectives showcased, but most of them I had not. I'm sure this book is one I will continue to return to again and ...more
Siobhan Cortes
rated it liked it
Dec 05, 2018
Meowingme
rated it really liked it
Nov 26, 2018
Anna
Nov 23, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, I found this book too hard to read because the type was so small. Even with my reading glasses, it was near impossible for me to read.
Cyber
rated it it was amazing
Oct 18, 2018
joyce w. laudon
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you enjoy mysteries? Short stories? Female detectives? If yes, this book deserves a place on your bookshelf. It is filled with stories from different eras and covers 150 years of writing, beginning with the Victorians. My favorites sections are the Golden Age, Mid Century, the Modern Era and Bad Girls. Many, many of my favorite authors are to be found in this collection. At over 1000 pages, this will be a book to dip in and out of over time. Highly recommended!
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Otto Penzler is an editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, where he lives.

Otto Penzler founded The Mysteriour Press in 1975 and was the publisher of The Armchair Detective, the Edgar-winning quarterly journal devoted to the study of mystery and suspense fiction, for seventeen years.

Penzler has won two Edgar Awards, for The Encycl
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“SOME WOMEN HAVE SAID that Mrs. Pym was never young, that even in her initial stages she was probably an elderly baby. Obviously, such women should drink milk out of saucers; still, it is a fact that Mrs. Pym was somehow stolid, enormously capable, and frequently harsh, even in the early 1920’s when she must have been around thirty. She affected the same ugly tweeds, the same enchantingly insane hats, and the same air of magnificent omnipotence as she does today. But her hair was brown then, with only the faintest touch of her current greyness. Her speech was as biting, and her contempt for authority and inefficiency as ready as on that notable day when she crashed the shocked portals of New Scotland Yard, the first woman ever to hold rank in Central C.I.D., where, in these present jittery times of nuclear fission and H-bombs, she is Mrs. Assistant-Commissioner Pym.” 0 likes
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