Sara Paretsky is the author of many novels, including her V. I. Warshawski series, which began with Indemnity Only. She lives in Chicago.
YA-- A solid collection of 21 short stories by known and lesser-known female mystery writers. From the sweet revenge of ``Kill the Man for Me'' by Mary Wings, to the terror of ``Getting to Know You'' by Antonia Fraser, and on to the ancient ritual of Nancy Pickard's ``The Scar,'' there's not a weak story in the lot. A great way to introduce the mystery genre and some outstanding contemporary writers.
Anomalous no more, the female sleuth proves once and for all in this fabulous anthology that testosterone is no prerequisite for success in criminology. Despite the abundance of familiar themes--squabbles over inherited wealth, the missing person, good love gone bad--each story here features an independent heroine whose approach to the case is, by virtue of her gender, unique to the genre. In ``Benny's Space'' by Marcia Muller, Sharon McCone finds that her empathy with a mother protecting her son provides the key to solving a murder; PI Kiernan O'Shaughnessy in ``Death and Diamonds'' by Susan Dunlap knows just enough about what makes a man tick to set a clever trap for one; and patrol officer Laura DeLeuse in Mary Wings's ``Kill the Man for Me'' contemplates wife abuse as she grapples with the murky moral issues surrounding an apparent revenge killing. Familiar sleuths in appearance are Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone, Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski and Antonia Fraser's Jemima Shore (in one of the collection's best stories). Headed for equally wide followings are the heroines of Julie Smith, Carolyn G. Hart, Margaret Maron and Carolyn Wheat. Readers of either sex will be enthralled . Mystery Guild selection; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs alternate. (Sept.)
"All new stories...all women writers...all female sleuths" --Booklist.