Investigating Women Crime Writers: Four Audio-interviews

July 29, 2019
Photographs of the four interview subjects overlaid on a blue background
Photo (from left to right): Caroline Green, Mel McGrath, Sabine Durrant (© Mark Mawson), and Sharon Bolton

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

Sharon (formerly S J) Bolton grew up in Lancashire. Her first novel, Sacrifice, was voted Best New Read by Amazon UK, while her second, Awakening, won the 2010 Mary Higgins Clark Award in the US. She has been shortlisted for several awards, including Theakston’s Prize for Best Thriller.

Mel McGrath is an Essex girl who cofounded the all-women crime writers group Killer Women. She is the author of the psychological thriller Give Me the Child and has written for the Wall Street Journal and a number of UK publications. The New York Times called her “wickedly talented.”

Sabine Durrant is the author of three psychological thrillers: Under Your Skin, Remember Me This Way, and Lie With Me. Her previous novels are Having It and Eating It and The Great Indoors and two books for teenage girls, Cross Your Heart, Connie Pickles and Ooh La La! Connie Pickles.

Caroline “Cass” Green’s debut adult novel, The Woman Next Door, was a number 1 e-book best-seller, and her second, In a Cottage, In a Wood, was a USA Today best-seller. Don’t You Cry was her third stand-alone thriller. She is also an award-winning author of fiction for young people. 

Rosie MacLeod is a London-based translator, interpreter and—increasingly—writer and radio host. She has written for Drunk Monkeys and the Journal of Austrian Studies. She is the host of What They Don’t Tell You About the EU on East London Radio.