Wome Writers of Hardboiled/Noir

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Wome Writers of Hardboiled/Noir

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apr 16, 2008, 2:04 am

So who are the premier women writers of hardboiled/noir?

apr 16, 2008, 6:55 am

apr 16, 2008, 8:39 am

Christa Faust was the first woman published by Hard Case Crime.

apr 16, 2008, 10:21 am

Sara Paretsky is my favourite. Maybe bot noir, but definitely hardboiled.

apr 16, 2008, 5:59 pm

Patricia Highsmith should also qualify.

apr 17, 2008, 12:38 am

I like Paretsky, too.

apr 20, 2008, 11:25 pm

Sue Grafton?

apr 21, 2008, 12:24 am

Sue Grafton: interesting. Her P.I. and the plots are potentially hard-boiled, but is the prose? Thanks for mentioning her.

apr 21, 2008, 8:16 pm

I'll definitely second Dorothy B. Hughes ... and Jen Banbury's Like a hole in the head was fantastic, albeit perhaps not to all noir fans' tastes.

apr 29, 2008, 10:42 pm


I thought of Sue Grafton off the top of my head. What do you think of Linda Barnes' Carlotta Carlyle books?

maj 17, 2008, 6:13 pm

I was totally unaware that there had been female noir writers decades ago. I'm going to track down In A Lonely Place, as this seems to be Hughes' most popular book. Thanks for the rec!

maj 18, 2008, 8:18 am

Worth noting that In a Lonely Place was made into a film, directed by Nicholas Ray and starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame.

I understand there are notable differences between the two, but I haven't read the book yet (only managed to track down a copy last month).

maj 18, 2008, 4:26 pm

Thanks for the info, HoldenCarver. Once I've read the book I'll definitely order the movie. Bogart was great in noir. I like to read the book first, then see the movie so that I'm not picturing the actor the whole time.
I just finished The Grifters and was wondering if the movie will live up to the book, which is fascinating.
I loved The Killer Inside Me and then had the misfortune of trying to watch the godawful movie.

maj 18, 2008, 10:10 pm

The Grifters turned out to be a good cinematic adaptation--nice performance by Angelica Huston--a nice hard-boiled connection to her father John and The Maltese Falcon.

maj 19, 2008, 4:35 pm

Thanks, ostrom, glad to hear it's more true to the book.

maj 20, 2008, 10:05 pm

As long as we're on a Jim Thompson movie tangent, the film version of After dark, my sweet was quite good.

maj 20, 2008, 10:59 pm

For a modern author, does Megan Abbott count? From the look of her books, and a couple of first chapters, I'd think it does - but most of it seems to be set in the 1940s, like so much of the original work.

Has anyone read her?

maj 20, 2008, 11:09 pm

Of course I agree about Dorothy B. Hughes, Patricia Highsmith - whom I still need to read, but of course know of, from film, and general reading - and Vera Caspary. Laura (another good film adaptation!) was amazingly good. I'd like to read Bedelia. Glad to see Femmes Fatales have that, also, in print.

KromesTomes, good to know about Jen Banbury.

****feels guilty about not reading Highsmith, and goes off to drink tea*****

maj 21, 2008, 6:17 pm

Hard-boiled women don't drink tea--they drink whiskey or Blood Marys or something :)

maj 21, 2008, 6:49 pm

maj 21, 2008, 7:18 pm

Carol O'Connell's Mallory is about as hard-boiled as they come, and the series is tres noir. Actually, O'Connell is my new favorite mystery writer.

maj 22, 2008, 4:58 pm

Thanks Storeetllr, sounds interesting.

maj 24, 2008, 2:42 am

Quartzite, the truth will out, eh? I wish I could even say I was going to be drinking a classic cocktail, and make my way through the pages of a Hollywood noir thriller holding a sidecar, a gin rickey, even a simple Martini. But my real affinity lies elsewhere. :)

maj 24, 2008, 12:43 pm

I suppose, if hungover, they on occasion drink black coffee (with cigarettes.)

maj 24, 2008, 1:22 pm

Yes. Black coffee I can provide. A rare puff at a man's cigar, while drinking coffee with a world-weary air: that I can do for you. And I can do at at three in the morning. But coffee and cigarettes (the essential breakfast of a noir woman, not playing domestic for a man) is beyond me.

I like breathing.

maj 25, 2008, 11:06 am

I like the essential breakfast. Yes, make the coffee strong and hot. Cigs must be unfiltered.

jun 1, 2008, 6:35 pm

Helen Nielsen, Sing Me a Murder, etc.

jun 22, 2008, 7:29 pm

there is a wonderful new anthology of female noir A Hell of a Woman edited by Megan Abbott published by BUSTED FLUSH PRESS out of Houston...some stories work..some don't work as well...but there are bios of each author and titles of their works...Megan Abbott is good..so is Zoe Sharp... LIBRARY OF AMERICA has a 2-volume set of CRIME STORIES: AMERICAN NOIR that was my reintroduction to this wondrous genre

jun 22, 2008, 7:45 pm

Thanks for the review. Quite a heads up.

jun 23, 2008, 8:12 am

Does anyone know where I can find a Table of Contents for A Hell of A Woman? I've been eyeing it, but I want to know what's in it!

And #28, if you're talking about Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950s and Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s and 40s, I agree--I love them! They're so worth the money! (Although I think the only female author in the whole 2 volumes is Patricia Highsmith...which is too bad.)

jul 9, 2008, 1:37 pm

Denise Mina would certainly qualify, although in the Scottish version, Tartan Noir. Her Garnethill trilogy features a hard-drinking woman with a sex addiction. Her Paddy Meehan series has a Glaswegian journalist as its protagonist. All are extremely well-written.

Redigerat: jul 16, 2008, 7:12 pm

#31...you are so right...i forgot about Ms. Mina...there is another Scottish woman who writes "em pretty deep and dark but...i can"t recall her name...right...now...i will post when i find out

it's now July 16....i think the author is Manda Scott and i'm sure her titles will show up here somewhere...i will doublecheck to make sure i'm not talking out my...hat

jul 17, 2008, 1:52 pm

Women Writers: Megan Abbott and Zoe Sharp...check out all of the titles..you won't be disappointed...you better not be :p

aug 6, 2008, 9:17 pm

jeekers, am i the only one alive here??

my little postie might wake y'all up..

i have an extra copy of The song is You..any one in dire need of a Megan Abbott fix..send me a PRIVATE note..thank you veddy much..and i might send it to you..oh lucky you

aug 7, 2008, 2:29 pm

#34-What do you like about Abbott's and Sharp's books?

aug 9, 2008, 6:53 pm

sorry i'm late getting back to you #35...i like their strong female characters...who can be, and are, just as bad as the Bad Guys...just as angst-ridden and impatient...yet they still have that womanly streak...the tough/tender/but mostly tough angle...if you want a taste of their work tryA Hell of a Woman: An Antology of Female Noir edited by Ms. Abbott...but i mentioned this in a past post, didn't i?

sorry to be so repetitive...so repetitive..i am outta here!

aug 10, 2008, 8:49 am

I'd second Megan Abbott and Denise Mina two outstanding hard-boiled, noir authors.

aug 12, 2008, 5:02 am

"In dire need of a Megan Abbott fix" sounds like me, whether you still have that blessedly spare copy, or not... :D

aug 12, 2008, 5:59 am

Very interesting, thanks.

btw, there is a Leigh Brackett story online :-

I Feel Bad Killing You

aug 13, 2008, 12:20 am

that was fun. thanks @39

sep 29, 2008, 11:45 pm

Vicki Hendricks has written some great noir novels, especially Miami Purity, Voluntary Madness and Cruel Poetry.

sep 29, 2008, 11:54 pm

i was going to recommend Ms Hendricks..thank you falls

have you read anything by Megan Abbott??? i would be finishing Die a Little..but i'm typing here..she (Ms Abbott) writes like Raymond Chandler's..what...seriously wayward sister..

check her out..she is..better than Good

sep 29, 2008, 11:58 pm

I love a good femme fatales

dec 5, 2009, 3:35 am

I just read Die a Little by Megan Abbott last week--set in 1950's Los Angeles, it was really well done.

dec 5, 2009, 7:14 am

I'll add it to my list. This was her first novel. I did not know that,

Redigerat: nov 13, 2012, 5:53 am

Redigerat: nov 3, 2012, 7:50 am

Asa Larsson (Sweden) and Tana French (Ireland) can fit in the vein. Although she probably is accurately placed in the noir genre, did not find Christina Faust to be very worthwhile. Val McDermid if not mentioned, deserves to be.

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