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The Collected Stories of Amanda Cross

av Amanda Cross

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1193175,828 (3.77)3
Ten literary mystery stories starring Kate Fansler, academic sleuth. One is on the disappearance of a university colleague, another on the enigma of a nameless toddler who emerges from the bushes one summer afternoon, while a third is on the theft of a 17th Century painting from a Texas convent.
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Here are 10 stories by the mystery writer Amanda Cross, aka Carolyn Heilbrun. Although not all the stories center on her amateur detective Kate Fansler, they all have protagonists from university life, and they are pleasant, quick reads.

But I couldn't help wondering if feminists of her era (and almost mine) always sounded so smug and disparaging of men. Together with a very cultured-pearls kind of diction and economically comfortable settings, the snottiness with which so many of the male antagonists were portrayed grated on my nerves. I don't recall this blatant a sneer in her full-length mysteries. Maybe I wasn't paying attention. ( )
  ffortsa | Jan 27, 2016 |
These cozy mystery stories are a must read for lovers of literature, those familiar with academia, and those disillusioned with most media portrayals of women. Amanda Cross (aka the accomplished Carolyn Heilbrun) peppers her stories with humor and literary allusions, good-naturedly exposes tensions between successful women and men (as well as successful old women and young women), and subtly undercuts misogynistic, ageist stereotypes throughout her pleasant stories. Her stories are a fresh change from violent or aggressive murder mysteries. Instead they focus on the enigmatic quirks of life that an amateur detective might actually be called upon to (informally and without payment) investigate.

Many of the stories seek to resolve familial disruptions via fair-minded and calming methods, and for that reason seem the ultimate cozies. Nevertheless, at times the ideas are cold or provocative. For example, my favorite line is this one, describing why a clearly unlikeable misogynist might shoot the wrong old woman: "If women are all the same in the dark, older women are all the same in the light." ( )
  ammie | Nov 10, 2010 |
Years ago I thought Amanda Cross was the most fascinating of mystery writers. Now I find her work more than a bit heavy-handed, with the political viewpoint overtaking the storyline, which is not a good thing for a mystery. That said, there are a couple of stories in this collection that are worthwhile, but not many. ( )
  bohemima | Dec 9, 2009 |
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Ten literary mystery stories starring Kate Fansler, academic sleuth. One is on the disappearance of a university colleague, another on the enigma of a nameless toddler who emerges from the bushes one summer afternoon, while a third is on the theft of a 17th Century painting from a Texas convent.

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