Investigating Women Crime Writers: Four Audio-interviews
I couldn’t help noticing the sudden deathly spike in women crime writers. It’s as if one of them bumped off Bridget Jones with a poison pen and a series of copycat crimes on the Bergdorf Blondes followed. What exactly moves women to write crime, and why do they excel at it? The answer primarily lies in how women are socialized, as early as girlhood. The parent-free walk home from school opens the floodgates to horror stories: what lies waiting round specific corners and the alleyways to avoid after dark. With the constant assumption of threat hardwired into it, the female psyche is the perfect tool for writing fear and suspense.
The intimidation of the fair sex is so normalized, it enters the local folklore that perpetuates it; the tales of what happened to those who ignored the warnings and who has seen the ghosts. Women crime writers use this everyday torment to their advantage and in such a way that subverts it. From such a vast accumulation of intimidating anecdotes and playground whispers, they are able to create a more frightening alloy that both avenges and emerges from the forces that seek to control them.
You can listen to the tapes of me interrogating four women crime writers—Sharon Bolton, Mel McGrath, Sabine Durrant, and Caroline Green—to find out more.
July 3, 2019