Between the covers of crime novels, fictional detectives are grappling with the very issues society needs to face. Intriguingly, the female detective often sees what the male detective doesn't notice or believe.

"The biggest changes in the detective fiction genre over the past quarter-century occured when American women like Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton and others entered the field and the convention of Heroic Man rescuing Helpless Maiden had to be overhauled." -- Marilyn Stasio, editor and reviewer of the New York Times' Crime column (9/22/13)

This keenly crafted triple portrait is a treat, probing the fertile mind of each author as she conducts her research and discusses her craft. ...from candid discussions of childhood events that influenced the writers' craft, to surprising views on the nature of crime and justice. Highly recommended for women's studies and literature collections in high schools, colleges & universities, and public libraries.

Video Librarian
Synopsis: 

First we read Nancy Drew, girl detective. Then what? Women of Mystery explores the writing lives of three authors (Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton & Marcia Muller) who started a literary revolution and, in the process, captured readers' imaginations around the world. With V.I. Warshawski, Kinsey Millhone and Sharon McCone, the female private eye entered the scene of detective fiction. Diving into the wilderness of the unknown, she saw what no one else had seen and told a new story about crime and justice. Women of Mystery explores familiar characters and themes from the novels, spends intimate time with each author in her heroine's home turf and, in the process, reveals the complex relationship between author/detective and real world/fictional world. The film can be screened on its own, or paired with book discussions of the authors' novels. Ideal for classrooms, public libraries and book groups. 

Reviews

ABSORBING! The authors are candid and revealing on issues of truthfulness -- however murky a road it may put their heroines on -- and use the emotions of their characters to stir readers into reflecting on their own fears and instincts. ...also includes a well-charged history of women and women's roles in the genre, beginning with the passive, victimized heroines of the 18th and 19-century gothic novels... And we mustn't forget preternaturally perfect gumshoe Nancy Drew.

Los Angeles Weekly

Watching Women of Mystery, you'll see that it's no mystery why these three intelligent, talented authors are at the top of their game. This entertaining film would make a perfect program for a group of writers or mystery lovers.

The Writer Magazine