From Nancy Drew to Miss Marple and beyond, women sleuths go against many common stereotypes about women. Bright, tough and fearless, they seldom carry a gun, but nevertheless aren’t intimated by bad guys. Bullets don’t bounce off them, but threats, assaults and insults invariably produce a toxic response. They are said to have an uncommon sensitivity toward victims and an enhanced compassion to see justice done. And they never underestimate a man’s ability to underestimate a woman. Why should men have all the fun?
These women sleuth mystery-romance novels are fast-paced with a splash of romance and a dash of comedy; written in a compelling soft-boiled style that you’ll find enjoyable if you’re tired of the usual formula mysteries. Neither Chick Lit nor Cozy, soft-boiled means it’s gritty, on the edge and at times risqué, and you can count on some murders being in there—but you don’t have to read about the gruesome details. The plots are not purposely made complicated, and if you don’t figure out every detail in advance, at least you understand it in the end. It will get suspenseful along the way, but eventually the female sleuth will get all the puzzle pieces put together, will restore order and we’ll all be safe once again.
Sandy Reid, for example, is a young defense lawyer who has discovered she’s more effective sleuthing for the truth outside in the real world than by arguing theories inside a courtroom. She has a talent for running around stirring up trouble and annoying people, yet could sell sand to an Arab. She’s no nonsense, sassy and clever although a bit reckless. Her friends in law enforcement joke about her: Don’t make eye contact with her, and if she attacks play dead.