RE: RARA-AVIS: male fantasy worlds?

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 23 Aug 2001

On Wed, 22 Aug 2001, Todd Mason wrote:

> I must admit I wondered about the characterization of the PI pulp stories
> and such extensions as Gold Medal novels as an essentially male domain,
> although it may well've been, despite the obvious presence of the likes of
> Daisy Bacon, "Craig Rice," Leigh Brackett, Marijane Meaker/Vin Packer, et
> alles...certainly the majority, but the near-totality?

Never heard of Daisy Bacon, who she? And did Vin Packer ever write PI books? In the pulps there were few female PI's (of which Kevin must have something on his site), but I think they were written by men. (With the exception of Leigh Brackett, of course.)

> And I enjoy Paretsky's, and Muller's, and not a few others' work in this
> vein...

I've now read my first Graftons and I must say that I quite liked them
(well, it was only the first novel and one short story, in "The Mammoth Book of Private Detectives, but I intend to read more). Grafton seems to have developed a balance between the supposed harshness of the PI character and her actual softness.

I also finished two other female crime novels, which I would categorize more as noir: Dolores Hitchens's "Footsteps in the Night" (1961) and Ursula Curtiss's "The Deadly Climate" (1950-something). I liked Hitchens's grim portrayal of the suburban milieu very much. I also enjoyed Curtiss's brooding atmosphere. Recommended both.


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