Lesbian Detective Fiction: Woman as Author, Subject and Reader

Lesbian Detective Fiction: Woman as Author, Subject and Reader

by Phyllis M. Betz


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This work examines how lesbian detective and mystery fiction represents lesbian characters and experience within the confines of the genre. As this book points out, such fiction reveals the lesbian's increasing visibility in the wider society. Nevertheless, it can still be difficult to find a complete representation of lesbian life in mainstream literature. Often the best place to find the lesbian represented in books is within the pages of genre fiction—especially the detective story.
This book looks at how the lesbian characters’ public and private lives intersect—often at the point of coming out, or of moving from isolation to connection with the community. Also considered is the lesbian detective's typical confrontation with two crucial elements of the investigator’s role: the use of violence and the acquisition and expression of authority within police systems. Other topics of discussion include the cultural environments in which the stories are situated, and the use of humor as a key weapon in the lesbian detective’s investigative arsenal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786425488
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 07/10/2006
Pages: 207
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Phyllis M. Betz is an associate professor of English at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has written three books examining genre fiction written by lesbians. She lives in Burlington, New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Reading Lesbians, Reading Mystery 1

List of Authors and Characters 15

1. Solving Crime, Resolving Passion 17

2. Having Sex, Finding Love 40

3. Playing the Boys’ Game 67

4. Lesbian Tough Guys 92

5. Marginal Values 119

6. Real Time, Gay Time 144

Conclusion: Gathering the Evidence 171

Chapter Notes 177

Works Cited 187

Index 195

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