Sunday, October 01, 2006

Well, that sucks.

Came across the Thrilling Detective website after overall liking the sixth John Taylor book but still wanting to talk to people who hated Shotgun Suzie as much as I did.

They have a list of Horror/Fantasy Detective characters. Since that combination is why I like Taylor, I bookmark it for a reading list.

And I see that there's only two women on it.

Anita "Hardboiled Porn" Blake is one of them.

And I can't think of any other woman to add.


Somebody help me out here.


  1. Kim Harrison's books ( starring the witch Rachel. Very much in the Anita Blae/Dresden model.

    Than there is Mercedes Lackey's Diana Tregarde stuff.

    Then there is the Weather Warden books by Rachel Caine starring Joanne Baldwin.

    And the list goes on, I think that a lot of the modern "supernatural investigators" often have female characters,a trait that sets them apart from earlier examples (that and the occult isn't EVIL but a tool). I'm sure there are more that I'll rememebr as soon as I post this.

  2. Well, jeremiah beat me to it with Diana Tregarde, but I know another: Dianne Day's Fremont Jones. She's more of a period detective than a supernatural detective, but the first book had some creepy Poe-like stuff going on in it. Don't remember if the later installments had anything comparable.

  3. For that matter, the main character in Diane Duane's Book of Night With Moon might qualify, even if she's a cat.

    Oh, and: Rosemary Edghill has a trilogy of Wiccan-centred mysteries with a female protagonist, Bast. There's nothing supernatural in the mysteries themselves, but they're certainly supernaturally themed.

  4. My gut thought was Tanya Huff's character, but she's already on the list...

    Will try to think of more later.

  5. Does anyone else remember when Anita Blake wasn't porn?

    Anita's sister in hardboiled born, Merry Gentry, is also a detective, although you might not want her on the list.

  6. Phil Rickman's Rev. Merrily Watkins series keeps the supernatural elements understated, mostly, but he also draws heavily on English folk-lore and Celtic legend for the horror elements. Merrily is a vicar, an exorcist and a single mother, and she keeps stumbling across mysteries that intersect with those three aspects of her life. I thought the books were very good, if with a tendency to be overlong.
    Most of Rickman's stuff is a blend of horror/mystery based on English and Celtic myth. Not all of them have female leads, but they all have prominent and non-stereotypical roles for women. You might particularly like "The Chalice" as it borrows elements from Arthurian legends.

  7. Gena Showalter writes an Alien Huntress series starting with "Awaken Me Darkly" which has found quite a following in romance fandom.

    In romance-land, there are a number of detective heroines hunting down the paranormal; so many that it's become almost it's own sub-genre. The only difference, I think, between those books and the onces listed in Thrilling Detective is that they're marketed to different readers.

    Of course, I have a giant hole in my above statement because I can't think of any other good examples right now. I'll get back to you.

  8. Wandering over from Racy's blog:

    Laura Anne Gilman has a series (Retrievers) published with Luna, her lead female is Wren Valere. Basically a paranormal detective.

    Also from Luna, C.E. Murphy writes of a female Shaman, Joanne Walker, who is a former cop.

    I think Dante Valentine from Lilith Saintcrow's books probably fits in this category, as a necromancer called in to help out the police (and Lucifer) solve crimes?

    I'm going to assume that "amateur" detectives don't count? For instance, Charleine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse, Any of Kelley Armstrong's female leads, Mercy Thompson from Patricia Brigg's Moon Called.

    It might be, Racy, that the parametors of how we choose might make this more difficult. Because there are a lot of paranormal, kick-ass heroines who solve mysteries but aren't "labeled" as a detective, cop, etc. They fall in the "amateur detective" category and that might not fit what the list is defining? Perhaps someone could clarify for me. I can come up with quite a few more examples if I understand the guidelines better ;)

  9. Hi Ragnell,
    Angiew has already mentioned some amateur detectives that I was thinking of: Kelley Armstrong's heroines, Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire series) and Harper Connelly (Grave Sight), who is a psychic working for the police, among other things. But there is also Karen Murphy from Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series; she's an actual detective in charge of the Supernatural Crimes division of the Chicago PD. Barbara Michaels (also writing as Elizabeth Peters) has a long history of strong female heroines put up against supernatural forces, as well as Susannah Kearsley. Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, of course, and Dorothy Sayers' Harriet Vane, are detectives who often encounter some form of supernatural (although often disproven). Always Nancy Drew, of course, and the girls in Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty (YA).

    But I'm really appalled they missed the biggest one of all:
    Dana Scully, FBI, X-Files Division.


  10. AngieW said...

    Also from Luna, C.E. Murphy writes of a female Shaman, Joanne Walker, who is a former cop.

    Joanne is still a police officer. She's no longer the station mechanic. Currently she walks a beat and everything.


    And in the Crimson City series, under Dorchester Publishing, All the pov protagonists are females. The books are supernatural adventure romance novels and at least one of protagonists is a cop. I think one other is an enforcer of some kind for vampire families. So that's at least two 'detectives'. But there are five books in the shared world series so that means five different heroines.

  11. And how come the list has Angel but not Buffy?

  12. And how come the list has Angel but not Buffy?

    My assumption, though I'm still not totally clear on the paramaters of the list, would be because Angel runs a detective agency, thus is a paranormal detective type character.

    Buffy, while a Slayer, doesn't seem to fit the "detective" bit. I'm just guessing.

    Joanne is still a police officer. She's no longer the station mechanic. Currently she walks a beat and everything.

    I'll admit to having only read the first one, as it was just so-so for me, so I didn't know this. Thanks for the clarification!

  13. So, amateur detectives don't count as much as "real" detectives. Hmmm...which puts alot of women at a real disadvantage doesn't it, since traditionally women weren't really welcomed in the legalized law enforcement arena. I guess this bias is still reflected over in the paranormal world.

    Yea, how could we forget Scully? Yea, that's the sound of me smacking my head for being stupid.