Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mystery novels about strong women

I have began to realize lately that I have an affinity for books about strong, single, female detectives living in big cities. Examples....
1. Lisa Miscione Unger's Lydia Strong series. Lydia lives in New York City. She is a very strong character, though she has her flaws and demons, but she works on overcoming them. She lives with her boyfriend, Jeffrey, whom she has loved since she was a teenager and her mother was killed (Jeffrey was the detective assigned to the case). Lydia writes true crime books(including one about the man who killed her mother) and works with Jeffrey's PI firm. I was first introduced to Lydia Strong and the author Lisa Miscione from the first novel, Angel Fire(which actually takes place in New Mexico, but Lydia moves back to New York at the end and the rest of the novels mostly take place there). It was our book group selection at Barnes and Noble in Brandon, Florida and we had the author herself come to sign our books and participate in our discussion. She resides in nearby Clearwater Beach. She also has featured Florida in two of her Lydia Strong novels which also made me like them all the more. Her books are page-turners and I usually read them within 2 or 3 days.
2. Kate White's Bailey Weggins series. Bailey also lives in New York City. She is a strong character as well and she is also humorous and loves food. Sometimes her mysteries take her outside of the city to other New York locales or nearby states. Bailey is divorced, had a significant relationship in the first couple of novels, but has now met someone new and exciting. She started out as a freelance true crime writer for Gloss magazine, but when it changed it's focus from a Cosmo like magazine to an Oprah type magazine(though more mellow and fluffy), Bailey started working for an entertainment magazine. I was introduced to this series by Kelly Ripa and her book club series on Live. These novels are also page-turners and I read them in a matter of days.
3. Robert Parker's Sunny Randall novels. Sunny lives in Boston, is divorced (but was still sleeping with her ex until he remarried and his wife is expecting a baby), and has an awesome, but weird little dog called Rosie. She is self-employed as a freelance PI and usually gets too involved with her clients and their cases, usually getting off track from the original purpose of her hire. Sunny is very flawed, but has inner strength. She is starting to date Jessie Stone, a detective/police chief who is featured in other novels by Robert Parker. Parker's chapters are short, but numerous, which makes for easy reading that I usually get done within a week. Sometimes these novels start slow. I'm not sure how I started reading these.
4. Susan Kandel's Cece Caruso novels. Cece lives in Los Angeles and she writes books about dead mystery writers and their series'(like Perry Mason and Nancy Drew). She loves vintage clothing and sleuthing. Her research usually leads her into mysteries. She also has a boyfriend who is a cop. I love reading about the Los Angeles locales and her clothes. The books are very engaging and I finish within a week. I think I started reading these when I read the description for the first novel(I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason) in the Doubleday book club newsletter/catalog.

So why do I love these big city single female detective stories so much? I have no idea, other than the fact that they are interesting. Maybe I have a deep desire to be single and living in the city(I doubt it). Maybe I wish I were as strong and independent as these women(maybe I already am!!). Whatever it is I continue to look forward to the next books in the series' and love love love them!!!!!


Kim said...

That's all well and good, but where's my daily summary?! (:

Robyn :) said...

I just wrote the Daily Summary, Kim!!!! LOL
My day wasn't over yet....