Historical fiction blends into female detective novels

Historical fiction blends into female detective novels with these three series at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Although Women's History Month is in March, you can still vicariously experience that spirit though the work of fictional female detectives. To successfully solve mysteries and crimes is noteworthy for anyone and these women navigate down avenues traditionally held by men. Three current series fit the bill with women fulfilling this mission in New York City and Alabama in novels spanning more than half a decade from the turn of the century, the Great Depression and the early 1960s. 

Photo Caption: From l to r: the Darling Dahlias, Molly Murphy and Ellie Stone mystery series

The Molly Murphy Mysteries:  Writer Rhys Bowen introduced a young red-headed woman to New York City and delivered a series of 17 private detective novels with Molly Murphy.  Novelist Plus, the digital reader’s literacy advisory resource, writes of the series, she’s a “feisty yet resourceful Irish immigrant woman [who] investigates intricately plotted mysteries and deals with an ever-dramatic and complicated personal life in these charming and atmospheric historical mysteries set in early 20th-century New York City. The lushly rendered period settings, well-developed characters, and suspenseful, fast-paced plots will keep historical mystery fans hooked.”  The Library has 14 titles of this series in regular print, large print and e-book formats available.  

The Darling Dahlias Mysteries: Author Susan Wittig Albert has delved into small-town, rural South life during the 1930s with a 12-member women’s gardening club.  The women find their talents though are just as sharp for solving mysteries and Albert’s group jump into mysteries large and small.  Again, in Novelist Plus, the series is named “for the ladies of the garden club of Depression-era Darling, Alabama, this engaging, fast-paced series of cozy mysteries is rich in historical detail (including some of the less pleasant details of the era). Follow the ladies of the club as they investigate suspicious town newcomers, stolen money, and even murder amidst the flurry of small-town gossip surrounding each case.”  Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has seven of the eight books in this series available in regular print, large print and e-book formats.

The Ellie Stone Mysteries:  James Zuskin writes about a central character described as “flawed” by Novelist Plus in his amateur sleuth novels. It also says that the 1960s, New York City stories are "atmospheric mysteries [which] feature the adventures of reporter Ellie Stone, a self-professed ‘modern girl’ who sometimes sleeps with the men she meets and generally plays by her own rules. As a woman in a traditionally male job, Stone must work harder and smarter than her male counterparts if she is to succeed.”  The Library system has the six books in this series as regular print.