Can a gumshoe wear high heels? In a genre long dominated by men, women are now taking their place-as authors and as characters-alongside hard-boiled legends like Sam Spade and Mike Hammer. Hardboiled and High Heeled examines the meteoric rise of the female detective in contemporary film, television, and literature. Epitomized by such icons as Clarice Starling of Silence of the Lambs , Agent Scully of The X-Files , and Cagney and Lacey, and the heroines in best-selling novels by Sue Grafton and Patricia Cornwell, the woman detective has become a top-selling commodity with a hungry fan base. The number of female investigator novels has tripled every five years since 1985. Today, there are nearly 700 women writers of detective fiction, and more than 800 book series devoted to female detectives. In this book, Linda Mizejewski - author of Ziegfeld Girl - examines the far-reaching appeal of the woman detective. She argues that the female detective attracts a wide range of fans - straight and gay, male and female - by rebuking tradition and overturning gender stereotypes.
Richly illustrated and written with a fan's love of the genre, Hardboiled and High Heeled is an essential introduction to women in detective fiction, from past to present, from pulp fiction to blockbuster films.
Linda Mizejewski is Professor of English and Chair of the Women's Studies Department at Ohio State University. She is author of Ziegfeld Girl: Image and Icon in Culture and Cinema and Divine Decadence: Fascism, Female Spectacle, and the Makings of Sally Bowles. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.