Monday, February 17, 2014
Here’s a book worth reading for fans of the mystery and suspense genre: Roles of Women in Mystery and Suspense Film and Fiction by Kathryn Ann Ward.
As the author points out, “Raymond Chandler said, ‘Love interest . . . weakens a mystery because it [is] antagonistic to the detective’s struggle.’ Yet love stories are often seen in the mystery/suspense genre, including in The Big Sleep by Chandler himself!”
The author begins with a fascinating overview of the history of the mystery/suspense genre that reaches into the Old Testament to consider whether Cain’s slaying of his brother Abel was the world’s first murder mystery. She moves forward to medieval times to discuss the criminal Robin Hood as a “noble outlaw” character, then crosses the pond to cover Edgar Allan Poe as “the father of the modern detective story.
Having laid this groundwork in an introductory chapter, the narrative moves into the twentieth century to its main subject: an exploration of love stories in mystery/suspense works by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Kenneth Millar (Ross Macdonald), and in films based on these works. The conclusion surveys love stories in three mystery and suspense films that are not book adaptations: Klute, Chinatown, and a lesser-known thriller, The Late Show.
This book is not one of those feminist critiques—I hate them; they’re typically, I find, too glib or too dense for pleasant reading.
Instead, Roles of Women in Mystery and Suspense Film and Fiction applauds the strong, brave, and able women who people the works the authorWard discusses. Each of these characters is not just equal but superior to her male counterpart, especially when it comes to cleverness, courage, and coping skills.
Roles of Women in Mystery and Suspense Film and Fiction by Kathryn Ann Ward is highly recommended.
You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Roles-Women-Mystery-Suspense-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00CNWGDWC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8andqid=1392667725andsr=8-3andkeywords=kathryn+ann+ward
Posted by Tamworth Grice at 12:50 PM