Re: RARA-AVIS: O is for . . . Osprey?

Mark Sullivan (
Mon, 14 Jun 1999 12:38:10 -0400 (EDT)

O is for Offal.

Years ago I read A Grafton, found it utterly forgettable. When I told fans this, they told me I should try B. I started to, but, like I said, I had forgotten the first, and I'm usually pretty good at remembering plots, so I read A again, was disappointed again, but went on to B. I found B equally predictable and never read another. And I found Milhoune a cipher, no personality at all.

It seemed like Grafton was defensive about being a woman in a male-dominated genre and therefore adhered too tightly to the conventions, afraid to color outside the lines, even after so many male writers had made coloring outside the lines a virtue in recent PI fiction. I think the same applies to Paretsky's first, very conventional. I am a fan of Paretsky, though, as she did develop a character and cast that was pretty interesting, at least for a while. And far from bothered by her distinct point of view, I like it. I also never saw McGee's asides as intrusive, that's part of what I read those books for. Similarly, that's one of the attractions of Michael Collins' Dan Fortune books (as well as the series Collins/Lynd wrote as Mark Sadler).


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