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Women Writers and Detectives in Nineteenth-Century Crime Fiction is a study of the 'mothers' of the mystery genre, showing that early detective writing was as much a feminine as it was a masculine domain. Traditionally the nineteenth-century 'creation' of crime writing has been ascribed to Poe, Wilkie Collins and Conan Doyle, but they had formidable female rivals, competing with them commercially and for critical acclaim. Their work has been until recently largely forgotten, and a study of the precursors to Agatha Christie, Sara Paretsky and P. D. James has never been completed before. The purpose of this book is to 'cherchez les femmes', in a project of rediscovery.

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