The thrill of it all …

I would love to end this week with a vein of mystery writing that has become iconic in its popularity. 

The thriller, forensic, cop, private detective or FBI suspense novels which are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. And yes, today’s samples are written by women. 

In the hard thrillers there are few who can hold a candle to the forensic, medical and double-edged plots of Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs and, Tess Gerritsen. 

This genre began to sneak up on me about ten years ago. Much to my surprise and delight, I quickly discovered someone was creeping into the back of my mind to scare the mischief out of me. 

The first book to do this to me was Body Farm, by Patricia Cornwell, a complicated forensic thriller, based on the actual “body farm” in Knoxville, Tennessee where FBI agents are paired with forensic anthropologists to learn how to use the evidence they find at a crime scene to solve the crime. 

After reading all of Patricia Cornwell, I moved to Kathy Reichs’ Deja Dead, followed by Death Du Jour. I quickly devoured The Surgeon and The Apprentice, by Tess Gerritsen and have been a loyal fan of her and the others since. So loyal, I might add, I waited with bated breath for the Rizzoli and Isles series on TNT to begin this summer. 

For those of you who care about such nonsense as money, Kathy Reichs, instead of selling the rights to a book or books, instead sold her moniker. The successful television series Bones, depicts the main character of her books in name only

The only resemblance the television series has with her novels is the name of Temperance Brennan.

 “Based on the life and career of forensic anthropologist and author, Kathy Reichs” is what flashes on the screen and gals, she is also listed as a “producer.” 

Back to the book-scene. For the pure joy of watching a female kick-ass, there is the new gal on the block. Sophie Littlefield, whose heroine doles out an unusual type of turn-about-fair-play justice to the wife-beating slugs of her clients. Her first novel, Bad Day for Sorry was nominated for an Edgar in 2010.

 Whatever delight or thrill you are looking to find in the mystery genre, our fellow female writers have your flavor of the week. Walk into any bookstore in the country, turn three hundred and sixty degrees and on each revolution you will find dozens of us out there. 

Take a thrill home
To spend the night, 




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2 responses to “The thrill of it all …

  1. Mary Runser

    I absolutely agree Florence!! I love all of these writers, and the genre is my favorite in fiction. I started off with Cornwell’s Scarpetta series and devoured them as they came out. Also like you, couldn’t wait for Rizzoli and Isles to hit television. I watch and record each episode. I can’t seem to get enough of the murder, mayhem, and forensic know how of these women!! I haven’t read anything by Sophie Littlefield, but I’ll have to add her to my must read list. You might also try out Iris Johansen’s Eve Duncan series for forensics and J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas series for the kick-ass female cop. And for sheer thrill and terror…try Lisa Jackson.


  2. Thanks, Mary. I have read Johansen and all thirty-something of J.D. Robb. I am saving some of the others for another day.

    Today, I more or less covered thrillers with a medical or forensic twist.

    Don’t you love Eve Dallas and Rourke?


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