Re: RARA-AVIS: Thanks: Amen for Brackett

From: Maura McMillan (
Date: 02 Jan 2000

Brackett does great hardboiled writing, gender having nothing to do with it. She writes in a male voice with a certain degree of feminine insight into human behavior. It's a great touch for a hard-boiled male persona, since compassion is almost always a necessity for the 'mean streets' kind of hardboiled man i find most appealing as a protagonist. Her characters are smart people, well-developed, and she has the ability to write clear visual action - gun fights, fistfights.

There's not much of her hardboiled easily available though - it was all, except for No Good From a Corpse, pulp stories. The only reason I've read it all or know about it is because Dennis knew of them and decided to collect and publish them. The only non-science fiction things I've seen by her at a bookstore, used or new, are No Good From a Corpse and A Tiger Among Us.

She writes much in the style of Chandler, but she is her own voice, definitely. If anyone is interested, I would be glad to scan and post one of the stories from D's book on our site; let me know.

At 01:46 PM 1/2/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>I think Leigh Brackett appeared on one of the top fives. She's a woman
>HB writer well worth checking out. Although she didn't write a whole
>lot in the genre, it was very, very good.
>There have been occasional debates on the list about whether
>contemporary female PI series qualify as hardboiled, whether or not
>their extended families (real or, usually, surrogate) and/or recognition
>of their feelings (things just as evident in many contemporary male PI
>writers from Parker to Vachss) disqualify them. I don't think they do.
>They may be medium boiled, but I like the series by Karen Kijewski,
>Linda Barnes and the first several Sara Paretskys. I never could read
>Grafton. I also particularly like the recent series by SJ Rozan about a
>male white private eye and his female Chinese sometime-partner; one is
>the first person narrator of one book, the other the next. The latest
>paperback in the series is near the top of my to-be-read pile.
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