Give a Lady a Pen and Novel Things Happen!

Udolpho illustrationCara/Andrea here, musing today about historical heroines, and how it’s a challenge to give them ways to flex their intellectual muscle while still staying true to the temper of their times. The Regency era is easier, as it was a time of great change in all aspects of society. Still, giving a highborn lady a “job” tests an author’s imagination. 



But that’s part of the fun of crafting the concept for a book! And actually, in my latest series I had one of those “ah-ha!” moments that had me off and running. In my “Hellions of High Street” trilogy, the three sisters all have a secret passion for writing. Sinfully Yours, which releases tomorrow, features Sinfully Yours-smallAnna’s story. She’s the one who writes wildly adventurous—and racy—romance novels under a nom de plume, and as you can imagine, I had great fun with that!  And that there was a real life role model for her added extra enjoyment to shaping her character.

There were, of course, very few professions in 18th and early 19th century Britain in which women could compete on an equal footing with men. The creative arts offered the best opportunities—including writing. In fact, women authors were hugely influential in shaping the course of the novel, especially Ann Radcliffe.





Radcliffe,AnnRadcliffe is acknowledged to have transformed the genre of romantic fiction. Taking the Gothic novel, with its traditional elements mystery, suspense and the supernatural, she added the sensibility of the new Romanticism of her era, creating a whole new—and wildly popular—form.  As Sir Walter Scott wrote in 1826, “Mrs. Radcliffe has a title to be considered as the first poetess of romantic fiction” and added that she had “ . . . the most decided claim to take her place among the favoured few, who have been distinguished as the founders of a class, or school.”



 UdolphoOne of her key innovations was to take the old trope of creating a sense of terror and suspense through the use of the supernatural happenings to, then to explain reveal those supernatural happenings to have rational explanations. It was a very clever melding of emotion and reason that proved immensely appealing. Readers had the double satisfaction of an HEA as well as the cerebral treat of having the mysterious happenings explained.

 Strangely enough for a person who was a celebrity in her day, little is know of Radcliffe’s life other than a few basic facts. She was very private and shunned the public eye, preferring to keep to herself. In fact, the poet Christina Rosetti, who wanted to write a biography about her, finally gave up for lack of material.



Lorrain 1What we do know is that Ann was born in 1764 in Holborn, England to William Ward and his wife. Ward, a haberdasher, later moved to Bath to run a shop selling china. In 1787, she married William ItaliancoverRadcliffe, an Oxford graduate and journalist who served as editor of a literary magazine. It’s said Anne started writing to amuse herself during the long hours her husband was at his office, and when he came home late, she would read her stories to him. Apparently, he encouraged her to develop her talents and the rest, as they say, is history. They had no children, so she devoted her time to her novels. 



Lorrain 2One of the facts I found fascinating was that she loved the paintings of Claude Lorrain, the French landscape painter. She wrote of him “ . .  .You saw the real light of the sun, you breathed the air of the country, you felt all the circumstances of a luxurious climate on the most serene and beautiful landscape; and the mind thus softened, you almost fancied you hear Italian music in the air.” Though she didn’t travel until later in her life, her writing is richly descriptive, and full of exotic imagery. And when you look at Lorrain’s painting, you can see the Romantic influence he had on her writing. 



Lorrain 3Radcliffe was not only the most popular author of her era, but was also the highest paid! The average payment to a novelist for a manuscript in the 1790s was around 10 pounds. For The Mysteries of Udolpho, Radcliffe received 500 pounds—and for The Italian, she was paid the princely sum of 800 pounds!



Lorrain 4Because of her reclusive lifestyle, her death in 1823 sparked all sorts of rumors that would have been right at home in her novels. Some said she had become insane and her husband had kept her imprisoned to hide the fact. But no grain of evidence supports any of the wild conjectures. She did give up writing some years before her death, but she said it was because she didn’t like the direction in which Gothic novels were headed. (She particularly disliked Matthew Gregory Lewis’s The Monk, which she felt veered to “horror” rather than terror, a distinction that was very important to her.)

DevilSo, my heroine Anna is, in part, an homage to Ann Radcliffe. Here’s a short excerpt from the scene where the hero, Lord Davenport, discovers her secret:
 
    “Why not simply add a pack of wolves?” said
Devlin. “After all, you are writing fiction, not fact.” He gave a little wave of the manuscript. “Readers will allow you a little leeway with the truth if it adds to the story.”

    Anna’s mouth went through a series of tiny contortions, ending in a perfect “O” of outrage.
    Seeing as she had not yet mustered the powers of speech, Devlin pressed on with his advantage. “Speaking of stories, what an interesting plot twist we have here. Who would have guessed that the angelically prim and proper Miss Anna Sloane is really the wildly adventurous—and aggressively erotic—Sir Sharpe Quill?”
    She had the grace to blush. Or perhaps it was fury that was bringing the beguiling shade of pink to her cheeks.
    “Not me, I confess,” he went on. “Even though I am considered to have a very evil mind.”
    A shiver of silence hung between them as Anna slowly drew in a measured breath.
   “You are not only evil,” she rasped. “You are wicked.”
    “Talk about wicked.” He waved the pages again, setting off a crackling of paper. “Tsk, tsk.”
    Teasing her was irresistible. It was delightfully delicious to watch the play of emotions animate her lovely face. Normally, she kept her feelings hidden beneath a mask of polite good cheer, but at the moment, her features were far more expressive.
    If those alluring green eyes were daggers, he would be flayed alive.
    “You have had your fun, sir. Now hand back my pages,” snapped Anna. “At once.”
    He pulled them back out of her reach.
    “Do not trifle with me, Lord Davenport,” she warned.
    “Or what, Miss Sloane? You’ll shoot me with one of Manton’s pretty little pocket pistols?”
    Sparks flashed on the tips of her golden lashes. “I have a deadline to meet. So yes, I’m prepared to cut out your liver with my book knife if need be.”
   
AustenI love the fact that women throughout history have been important in shaping the course of the novel—even when they had to do it under pen names. How about you? To celebrate this tradition, let’s share some of our favorite women novelists. Austen, Bronte, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, J.K. Rowling—who else is on your list? I’ll be giving away a copy of Sinfully Yours (your choice of e-book or paper) to one lucky winner chosen at random from those leaving a comment here.

255 thoughts on “Give a Lady a Pen and Novel Things Happen!”

  1. My candidate authors are out of the usual purview of the Wenches.Two women writers of the 20th Century who have not been treasured as they deserve IMO are Pearl Buck and Zora Neale Hurston. I have read everything of Buck’s that I can lay my hands on and never am less than awed, and I just reread Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, which I can’t praise highly enough. Both women were given less literary credit than they deserved—somewhat like Heyer, come to think of it. Another who comes to mind is Jennifer Worth, whose Call the Midwife trilogy is as gripping reading as I’ve ever encountered. In one of my book clubs, even the men gave Call the Midwife a 10 out of 10 rating!

    Reply
  2. My candidate authors are out of the usual purview of the Wenches.Two women writers of the 20th Century who have not been treasured as they deserve IMO are Pearl Buck and Zora Neale Hurston. I have read everything of Buck’s that I can lay my hands on and never am less than awed, and I just reread Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, which I can’t praise highly enough. Both women were given less literary credit than they deserved—somewhat like Heyer, come to think of it. Another who comes to mind is Jennifer Worth, whose Call the Midwife trilogy is as gripping reading as I’ve ever encountered. In one of my book clubs, even the men gave Call the Midwife a 10 out of 10 rating!

    Reply
  3. My candidate authors are out of the usual purview of the Wenches.Two women writers of the 20th Century who have not been treasured as they deserve IMO are Pearl Buck and Zora Neale Hurston. I have read everything of Buck’s that I can lay my hands on and never am less than awed, and I just reread Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, which I can’t praise highly enough. Both women were given less literary credit than they deserved—somewhat like Heyer, come to think of it. Another who comes to mind is Jennifer Worth, whose Call the Midwife trilogy is as gripping reading as I’ve ever encountered. In one of my book clubs, even the men gave Call the Midwife a 10 out of 10 rating!

    Reply
  4. My candidate authors are out of the usual purview of the Wenches.Two women writers of the 20th Century who have not been treasured as they deserve IMO are Pearl Buck and Zora Neale Hurston. I have read everything of Buck’s that I can lay my hands on and never am less than awed, and I just reread Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, which I can’t praise highly enough. Both women were given less literary credit than they deserved—somewhat like Heyer, come to think of it. Another who comes to mind is Jennifer Worth, whose Call the Midwife trilogy is as gripping reading as I’ve ever encountered. In one of my book clubs, even the men gave Call the Midwife a 10 out of 10 rating!

    Reply
  5. My candidate authors are out of the usual purview of the Wenches.Two women writers of the 20th Century who have not been treasured as they deserve IMO are Pearl Buck and Zora Neale Hurston. I have read everything of Buck’s that I can lay my hands on and never am less than awed, and I just reread Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, which I can’t praise highly enough. Both women were given less literary credit than they deserved—somewhat like Heyer, come to think of it. Another who comes to mind is Jennifer Worth, whose Call the Midwife trilogy is as gripping reading as I’ve ever encountered. In one of my book clubs, even the men gave Call the Midwife a 10 out of 10 rating!

    Reply
  6. Thinking about your question, I realized that even leaving out Romance novelists—and even leaving out mystery writers, my favorite authors in general tend to be overwhelmingly female. The first ones to pop into my head were Barbara Pym, Ann Tyler, H.F.M. Prescott and Cecelia Holland.
    If I keep thinking my answer won’t fit on the page. 😉

    Reply
  7. Thinking about your question, I realized that even leaving out Romance novelists—and even leaving out mystery writers, my favorite authors in general tend to be overwhelmingly female. The first ones to pop into my head were Barbara Pym, Ann Tyler, H.F.M. Prescott and Cecelia Holland.
    If I keep thinking my answer won’t fit on the page. 😉

    Reply
  8. Thinking about your question, I realized that even leaving out Romance novelists—and even leaving out mystery writers, my favorite authors in general tend to be overwhelmingly female. The first ones to pop into my head were Barbara Pym, Ann Tyler, H.F.M. Prescott and Cecelia Holland.
    If I keep thinking my answer won’t fit on the page. 😉

    Reply
  9. Thinking about your question, I realized that even leaving out Romance novelists—and even leaving out mystery writers, my favorite authors in general tend to be overwhelmingly female. The first ones to pop into my head were Barbara Pym, Ann Tyler, H.F.M. Prescott and Cecelia Holland.
    If I keep thinking my answer won’t fit on the page. 😉

    Reply
  10. Thinking about your question, I realized that even leaving out Romance novelists—and even leaving out mystery writers, my favorite authors in general tend to be overwhelmingly female. The first ones to pop into my head were Barbara Pym, Ann Tyler, H.F.M. Prescott and Cecelia Holland.
    If I keep thinking my answer won’t fit on the page. 😉

    Reply
  11. Thanks so much for sharing, Mary. I ALWAYS love hearing of new-to-me authors and Jennifer Worth is someone with whom I’m not familiar. But will go check her books out! Pearl Buck is treasure . . .and now I must put ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God” on my TBR list.

    Reply
  12. Thanks so much for sharing, Mary. I ALWAYS love hearing of new-to-me authors and Jennifer Worth is someone with whom I’m not familiar. But will go check her books out! Pearl Buck is treasure . . .and now I must put ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God” on my TBR list.

    Reply
  13. Thanks so much for sharing, Mary. I ALWAYS love hearing of new-to-me authors and Jennifer Worth is someone with whom I’m not familiar. But will go check her books out! Pearl Buck is treasure . . .and now I must put ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God” on my TBR list.

    Reply
  14. Thanks so much for sharing, Mary. I ALWAYS love hearing of new-to-me authors and Jennifer Worth is someone with whom I’m not familiar. But will go check her books out! Pearl Buck is treasure . . .and now I must put ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God” on my TBR list.

    Reply
  15. Thanks so much for sharing, Mary. I ALWAYS love hearing of new-to-me authors and Jennifer Worth is someone with whom I’m not familiar. But will go check her books out! Pearl Buck is treasure . . .and now I must put ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God” on my TBR list.

    Reply
  16. Agatha Christie is often pigeon-holed as writing puzzle pieces, but her characters are finely drawn and show a profound understanding of human nature. The books she wrote as Mary Westmacott show her range, but I think my favourite of all is Endless Night. It is not a Marple or a Poirot, but is told throughout from the perspective of a working-class boy who marries a wealthy woman who dies in suspicious circumstances.
    And Ursula Le Guin. I’ve read everything she has ever written, and I’ve read The Word for World is Forest many times.

    Reply
  17. Agatha Christie is often pigeon-holed as writing puzzle pieces, but her characters are finely drawn and show a profound understanding of human nature. The books she wrote as Mary Westmacott show her range, but I think my favourite of all is Endless Night. It is not a Marple or a Poirot, but is told throughout from the perspective of a working-class boy who marries a wealthy woman who dies in suspicious circumstances.
    And Ursula Le Guin. I’ve read everything she has ever written, and I’ve read The Word for World is Forest many times.

    Reply
  18. Agatha Christie is often pigeon-holed as writing puzzle pieces, but her characters are finely drawn and show a profound understanding of human nature. The books she wrote as Mary Westmacott show her range, but I think my favourite of all is Endless Night. It is not a Marple or a Poirot, but is told throughout from the perspective of a working-class boy who marries a wealthy woman who dies in suspicious circumstances.
    And Ursula Le Guin. I’ve read everything she has ever written, and I’ve read The Word for World is Forest many times.

    Reply
  19. Agatha Christie is often pigeon-holed as writing puzzle pieces, but her characters are finely drawn and show a profound understanding of human nature. The books she wrote as Mary Westmacott show her range, but I think my favourite of all is Endless Night. It is not a Marple or a Poirot, but is told throughout from the perspective of a working-class boy who marries a wealthy woman who dies in suspicious circumstances.
    And Ursula Le Guin. I’ve read everything she has ever written, and I’ve read The Word for World is Forest many times.

    Reply
  20. Agatha Christie is often pigeon-holed as writing puzzle pieces, but her characters are finely drawn and show a profound understanding of human nature. The books she wrote as Mary Westmacott show her range, but I think my favourite of all is Endless Night. It is not a Marple or a Poirot, but is told throughout from the perspective of a working-class boy who marries a wealthy woman who dies in suspicious circumstances.
    And Ursula Le Guin. I’ve read everything she has ever written, and I’ve read The Word for World is Forest many times.

    Reply
  21. I’m back on a Jane Austen (mostly Pride and Prejudice) binge, and rereading the fascinating “Making Of” book from the 1995 BBC series.
    I think every time I read that book I find a different perspective.
    I have a harder time with Charlotte Brontë, who had some very racist and anti-Catholic views about mainland Europeans (which as a Catholic with a family from mainland Europe I have an issue with!).
    Holborn is such an interesting (if largely unattractive!) part of London. In the middle of respectable London and the East End, with the Inns of Court all around… I lived there for a year and worked there for two years. Such a messy history…

    Reply
  22. I’m back on a Jane Austen (mostly Pride and Prejudice) binge, and rereading the fascinating “Making Of” book from the 1995 BBC series.
    I think every time I read that book I find a different perspective.
    I have a harder time with Charlotte Brontë, who had some very racist and anti-Catholic views about mainland Europeans (which as a Catholic with a family from mainland Europe I have an issue with!).
    Holborn is such an interesting (if largely unattractive!) part of London. In the middle of respectable London and the East End, with the Inns of Court all around… I lived there for a year and worked there for two years. Such a messy history…

    Reply
  23. I’m back on a Jane Austen (mostly Pride and Prejudice) binge, and rereading the fascinating “Making Of” book from the 1995 BBC series.
    I think every time I read that book I find a different perspective.
    I have a harder time with Charlotte Brontë, who had some very racist and anti-Catholic views about mainland Europeans (which as a Catholic with a family from mainland Europe I have an issue with!).
    Holborn is such an interesting (if largely unattractive!) part of London. In the middle of respectable London and the East End, with the Inns of Court all around… I lived there for a year and worked there for two years. Such a messy history…

    Reply
  24. I’m back on a Jane Austen (mostly Pride and Prejudice) binge, and rereading the fascinating “Making Of” book from the 1995 BBC series.
    I think every time I read that book I find a different perspective.
    I have a harder time with Charlotte Brontë, who had some very racist and anti-Catholic views about mainland Europeans (which as a Catholic with a family from mainland Europe I have an issue with!).
    Holborn is such an interesting (if largely unattractive!) part of London. In the middle of respectable London and the East End, with the Inns of Court all around… I lived there for a year and worked there for two years. Such a messy history…

    Reply
  25. I’m back on a Jane Austen (mostly Pride and Prejudice) binge, and rereading the fascinating “Making Of” book from the 1995 BBC series.
    I think every time I read that book I find a different perspective.
    I have a harder time with Charlotte Brontë, who had some very racist and anti-Catholic views about mainland Europeans (which as a Catholic with a family from mainland Europe I have an issue with!).
    Holborn is such an interesting (if largely unattractive!) part of London. In the middle of respectable London and the East End, with the Inns of Court all around… I lived there for a year and worked there for two years. Such a messy history…

    Reply
  26. I’m on board the Agatha Christie train. (I think it was a natural progression from my Nancy Drews.) I also adore Mary Stewart.
    One of my favorites: Madeleine L’Engle. Love her YA, love her adult novels, love her non-fiction, love her poetry. I’ve used her books in my non-fiction classes and students really connect with her work. I love the way she pushes my imagination, and the way reading her books feels like she’s in the room talking to you.

    Reply
  27. I’m on board the Agatha Christie train. (I think it was a natural progression from my Nancy Drews.) I also adore Mary Stewart.
    One of my favorites: Madeleine L’Engle. Love her YA, love her adult novels, love her non-fiction, love her poetry. I’ve used her books in my non-fiction classes and students really connect with her work. I love the way she pushes my imagination, and the way reading her books feels like she’s in the room talking to you.

    Reply
  28. I’m on board the Agatha Christie train. (I think it was a natural progression from my Nancy Drews.) I also adore Mary Stewart.
    One of my favorites: Madeleine L’Engle. Love her YA, love her adult novels, love her non-fiction, love her poetry. I’ve used her books in my non-fiction classes and students really connect with her work. I love the way she pushes my imagination, and the way reading her books feels like she’s in the room talking to you.

    Reply
  29. I’m on board the Agatha Christie train. (I think it was a natural progression from my Nancy Drews.) I also adore Mary Stewart.
    One of my favorites: Madeleine L’Engle. Love her YA, love her adult novels, love her non-fiction, love her poetry. I’ve used her books in my non-fiction classes and students really connect with her work. I love the way she pushes my imagination, and the way reading her books feels like she’s in the room talking to you.

    Reply
  30. I’m on board the Agatha Christie train. (I think it was a natural progression from my Nancy Drews.) I also adore Mary Stewart.
    One of my favorites: Madeleine L’Engle. Love her YA, love her adult novels, love her non-fiction, love her poetry. I’ve used her books in my non-fiction classes and students really connect with her work. I love the way she pushes my imagination, and the way reading her books feels like she’s in the room talking to you.

    Reply
  31. Sonya, I understand the dislike of the prejudices shown by historical writers, but I try to put them aside. We’re all shaped by the zeitgeist of our times, and I think have to be aware of that in looking at the past. Attitudes change throughout history, and I try hard not to judge one age from the perspective of another. That said, if something bothers you, then by all means, it’s your choice not to read it.

    Reply
  32. Sonya, I understand the dislike of the prejudices shown by historical writers, but I try to put them aside. We’re all shaped by the zeitgeist of our times, and I think have to be aware of that in looking at the past. Attitudes change throughout history, and I try hard not to judge one age from the perspective of another. That said, if something bothers you, then by all means, it’s your choice not to read it.

    Reply
  33. Sonya, I understand the dislike of the prejudices shown by historical writers, but I try to put them aside. We’re all shaped by the zeitgeist of our times, and I think have to be aware of that in looking at the past. Attitudes change throughout history, and I try hard not to judge one age from the perspective of another. That said, if something bothers you, then by all means, it’s your choice not to read it.

    Reply
  34. Sonya, I understand the dislike of the prejudices shown by historical writers, but I try to put them aside. We’re all shaped by the zeitgeist of our times, and I think have to be aware of that in looking at the past. Attitudes change throughout history, and I try hard not to judge one age from the perspective of another. That said, if something bothers you, then by all means, it’s your choice not to read it.

    Reply
  35. Sonya, I understand the dislike of the prejudices shown by historical writers, but I try to put them aside. We’re all shaped by the zeitgeist of our times, and I think have to be aware of that in looking at the past. Attitudes change throughout history, and I try hard not to judge one age from the perspective of another. That said, if something bothers you, then by all means, it’s your choice not to read it.

    Reply
  36. Oh. adore Mary Stewart too, as do all the Wenches. (We did a whole blog on her influence when she passed away.) And yes, L’Engle’s YA are particularly wonderful because they encourage imagination in younger readers. So glad to hear your students connect with her.

    Reply
  37. Oh. adore Mary Stewart too, as do all the Wenches. (We did a whole blog on her influence when she passed away.) And yes, L’Engle’s YA are particularly wonderful because they encourage imagination in younger readers. So glad to hear your students connect with her.

    Reply
  38. Oh. adore Mary Stewart too, as do all the Wenches. (We did a whole blog on her influence when she passed away.) And yes, L’Engle’s YA are particularly wonderful because they encourage imagination in younger readers. So glad to hear your students connect with her.

    Reply
  39. Oh. adore Mary Stewart too, as do all the Wenches. (We did a whole blog on her influence when she passed away.) And yes, L’Engle’s YA are particularly wonderful because they encourage imagination in younger readers. So glad to hear your students connect with her.

    Reply
  40. Oh. adore Mary Stewart too, as do all the Wenches. (We did a whole blog on her influence when she passed away.) And yes, L’Engle’s YA are particularly wonderful because they encourage imagination in younger readers. So glad to hear your students connect with her.

    Reply
  41. I am a fan of Agatha Christie. She was the ultimate and drew me into mystery reading starting when I was very young. From her – I would go to Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels/ Barbara Mertz – she made mystery funny and fun. As Mary M said – Pearl Buck. I read nearly every one of her books because she gave such a different perspective on a story.
    I enjoy well written books no matter who wrote them. But, I truly believe that some stories as written by women become something new and different. Maybe we are more likely to want a neat and tidy ending to a mystery (the bad guy gets his) and I am pretty certain that women want to see everyone live happily ever after. Maybe that is because we are well aware HEA is not as much a part of fact as it is of fiction.

    Reply
  42. I am a fan of Agatha Christie. She was the ultimate and drew me into mystery reading starting when I was very young. From her – I would go to Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels/ Barbara Mertz – she made mystery funny and fun. As Mary M said – Pearl Buck. I read nearly every one of her books because she gave such a different perspective on a story.
    I enjoy well written books no matter who wrote them. But, I truly believe that some stories as written by women become something new and different. Maybe we are more likely to want a neat and tidy ending to a mystery (the bad guy gets his) and I am pretty certain that women want to see everyone live happily ever after. Maybe that is because we are well aware HEA is not as much a part of fact as it is of fiction.

    Reply
  43. I am a fan of Agatha Christie. She was the ultimate and drew me into mystery reading starting when I was very young. From her – I would go to Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels/ Barbara Mertz – she made mystery funny and fun. As Mary M said – Pearl Buck. I read nearly every one of her books because she gave such a different perspective on a story.
    I enjoy well written books no matter who wrote them. But, I truly believe that some stories as written by women become something new and different. Maybe we are more likely to want a neat and tidy ending to a mystery (the bad guy gets his) and I am pretty certain that women want to see everyone live happily ever after. Maybe that is because we are well aware HEA is not as much a part of fact as it is of fiction.

    Reply
  44. I am a fan of Agatha Christie. She was the ultimate and drew me into mystery reading starting when I was very young. From her – I would go to Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels/ Barbara Mertz – she made mystery funny and fun. As Mary M said – Pearl Buck. I read nearly every one of her books because she gave such a different perspective on a story.
    I enjoy well written books no matter who wrote them. But, I truly believe that some stories as written by women become something new and different. Maybe we are more likely to want a neat and tidy ending to a mystery (the bad guy gets his) and I am pretty certain that women want to see everyone live happily ever after. Maybe that is because we are well aware HEA is not as much a part of fact as it is of fiction.

    Reply
  45. I am a fan of Agatha Christie. She was the ultimate and drew me into mystery reading starting when I was very young. From her – I would go to Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels/ Barbara Mertz – she made mystery funny and fun. As Mary M said – Pearl Buck. I read nearly every one of her books because she gave such a different perspective on a story.
    I enjoy well written books no matter who wrote them. But, I truly believe that some stories as written by women become something new and different. Maybe we are more likely to want a neat and tidy ending to a mystery (the bad guy gets his) and I am pretty certain that women want to see everyone live happily ever after. Maybe that is because we are well aware HEA is not as much a part of fact as it is of fiction.

    Reply
  46. Two that come to mind for me are Victoria Holt and CS Harris. Holt was instrumental in my developing my love of the Gothic and from that the romance novel. And Harris is simply a marvelous mystery writer. I read her latest Sebastian St Cyr books as soon as they come out, then wait anxiously for the next book the following year.

    Reply
  47. Two that come to mind for me are Victoria Holt and CS Harris. Holt was instrumental in my developing my love of the Gothic and from that the romance novel. And Harris is simply a marvelous mystery writer. I read her latest Sebastian St Cyr books as soon as they come out, then wait anxiously for the next book the following year.

    Reply
  48. Two that come to mind for me are Victoria Holt and CS Harris. Holt was instrumental in my developing my love of the Gothic and from that the romance novel. And Harris is simply a marvelous mystery writer. I read her latest Sebastian St Cyr books as soon as they come out, then wait anxiously for the next book the following year.

    Reply
  49. Two that come to mind for me are Victoria Holt and CS Harris. Holt was instrumental in my developing my love of the Gothic and from that the romance novel. And Harris is simply a marvelous mystery writer. I read her latest Sebastian St Cyr books as soon as they come out, then wait anxiously for the next book the following year.

    Reply
  50. Two that come to mind for me are Victoria Holt and CS Harris. Holt was instrumental in my developing my love of the Gothic and from that the romance novel. And Harris is simply a marvelous mystery writer. I read her latest Sebastian St Cyr books as soon as they come out, then wait anxiously for the next book the following year.

    Reply
  51. Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, of course; Edith Wharton; Georgette Heyer; Dorothy Sayers; Sharon Kay Penman; Edith Pargeter; Willa Cather…so many to love! And, of course, the Wenches (although Jo was my first and always my favorite!:)).

    Reply
  52. Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, of course; Edith Wharton; Georgette Heyer; Dorothy Sayers; Sharon Kay Penman; Edith Pargeter; Willa Cather…so many to love! And, of course, the Wenches (although Jo was my first and always my favorite!:)).

    Reply
  53. Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, of course; Edith Wharton; Georgette Heyer; Dorothy Sayers; Sharon Kay Penman; Edith Pargeter; Willa Cather…so many to love! And, of course, the Wenches (although Jo was my first and always my favorite!:)).

    Reply
  54. Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, of course; Edith Wharton; Georgette Heyer; Dorothy Sayers; Sharon Kay Penman; Edith Pargeter; Willa Cather…so many to love! And, of course, the Wenches (although Jo was my first and always my favorite!:)).

    Reply
  55. Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, of course; Edith Wharton; Georgette Heyer; Dorothy Sayers; Sharon Kay Penman; Edith Pargeter; Willa Cather…so many to love! And, of course, the Wenches (although Jo was my first and always my favorite!:)).

    Reply
  56. I had started reading a few years ago 2 sisters who wrote together under the name of Dixie Cash. I started with “Since You’re Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash”. It’s about small town hairdressers turned sleuth with a little bit of romance thrown in as well. Hilarious writings that I enjoyed immensely. Of course I also have my first love of historical romance writers, too many to list here. Then there was my romantic assassin family of “Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy” by Leslie Langtry books. Sadly, I have too many authors I’d love to list!

    Reply
  57. I had started reading a few years ago 2 sisters who wrote together under the name of Dixie Cash. I started with “Since You’re Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash”. It’s about small town hairdressers turned sleuth with a little bit of romance thrown in as well. Hilarious writings that I enjoyed immensely. Of course I also have my first love of historical romance writers, too many to list here. Then there was my romantic assassin family of “Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy” by Leslie Langtry books. Sadly, I have too many authors I’d love to list!

    Reply
  58. I had started reading a few years ago 2 sisters who wrote together under the name of Dixie Cash. I started with “Since You’re Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash”. It’s about small town hairdressers turned sleuth with a little bit of romance thrown in as well. Hilarious writings that I enjoyed immensely. Of course I also have my first love of historical romance writers, too many to list here. Then there was my romantic assassin family of “Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy” by Leslie Langtry books. Sadly, I have too many authors I’d love to list!

    Reply
  59. I had started reading a few years ago 2 sisters who wrote together under the name of Dixie Cash. I started with “Since You’re Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash”. It’s about small town hairdressers turned sleuth with a little bit of romance thrown in as well. Hilarious writings that I enjoyed immensely. Of course I also have my first love of historical romance writers, too many to list here. Then there was my romantic assassin family of “Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy” by Leslie Langtry books. Sadly, I have too many authors I’d love to list!

    Reply
  60. I had started reading a few years ago 2 sisters who wrote together under the name of Dixie Cash. I started with “Since You’re Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash”. It’s about small town hairdressers turned sleuth with a little bit of romance thrown in as well. Hilarious writings that I enjoyed immensely. Of course I also have my first love of historical romance writers, too many to list here. Then there was my romantic assassin family of “Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy” by Leslie Langtry books. Sadly, I have too many authors I’d love to list!

    Reply
  61. without thinking very hard have come up with 17 women authors whom I love, just recently discovered Cara Elliot so I now have the collections of all of the Word Wenches, in addition, Jane Austin, Catherine Anderson, Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Boyle, celeste Bradley, Agatha Christie and her Westmacott books, Charlotte Bronte, Daphne Du Maurier, Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries, Jayne Ann Krentz, Betty Neels, Maggie Osborne, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Mary Stewart and Jodi Thomas, When I was a young girl read all of the books by Gene Stratton Porter (was published under Gene instead of Jean) and probably the first woman author I read wrote Sign Of the Ram and I cannot think of her name, although I still have the book, tattered and well loved. I am struggling with what to do with my books, I am 78 yrs old, still read a book a day, in various genres, but if the time comes when I have to go into assisted living will not be able to take 3000 plus books. Will have to limit a book per author? Janice L Dunlap

    Reply
  62. without thinking very hard have come up with 17 women authors whom I love, just recently discovered Cara Elliot so I now have the collections of all of the Word Wenches, in addition, Jane Austin, Catherine Anderson, Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Boyle, celeste Bradley, Agatha Christie and her Westmacott books, Charlotte Bronte, Daphne Du Maurier, Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries, Jayne Ann Krentz, Betty Neels, Maggie Osborne, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Mary Stewart and Jodi Thomas, When I was a young girl read all of the books by Gene Stratton Porter (was published under Gene instead of Jean) and probably the first woman author I read wrote Sign Of the Ram and I cannot think of her name, although I still have the book, tattered and well loved. I am struggling with what to do with my books, I am 78 yrs old, still read a book a day, in various genres, but if the time comes when I have to go into assisted living will not be able to take 3000 plus books. Will have to limit a book per author? Janice L Dunlap

    Reply
  63. without thinking very hard have come up with 17 women authors whom I love, just recently discovered Cara Elliot so I now have the collections of all of the Word Wenches, in addition, Jane Austin, Catherine Anderson, Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Boyle, celeste Bradley, Agatha Christie and her Westmacott books, Charlotte Bronte, Daphne Du Maurier, Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries, Jayne Ann Krentz, Betty Neels, Maggie Osborne, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Mary Stewart and Jodi Thomas, When I was a young girl read all of the books by Gene Stratton Porter (was published under Gene instead of Jean) and probably the first woman author I read wrote Sign Of the Ram and I cannot think of her name, although I still have the book, tattered and well loved. I am struggling with what to do with my books, I am 78 yrs old, still read a book a day, in various genres, but if the time comes when I have to go into assisted living will not be able to take 3000 plus books. Will have to limit a book per author? Janice L Dunlap

    Reply
  64. without thinking very hard have come up with 17 women authors whom I love, just recently discovered Cara Elliot so I now have the collections of all of the Word Wenches, in addition, Jane Austin, Catherine Anderson, Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Boyle, celeste Bradley, Agatha Christie and her Westmacott books, Charlotte Bronte, Daphne Du Maurier, Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries, Jayne Ann Krentz, Betty Neels, Maggie Osborne, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Mary Stewart and Jodi Thomas, When I was a young girl read all of the books by Gene Stratton Porter (was published under Gene instead of Jean) and probably the first woman author I read wrote Sign Of the Ram and I cannot think of her name, although I still have the book, tattered and well loved. I am struggling with what to do with my books, I am 78 yrs old, still read a book a day, in various genres, but if the time comes when I have to go into assisted living will not be able to take 3000 plus books. Will have to limit a book per author? Janice L Dunlap

    Reply
  65. without thinking very hard have come up with 17 women authors whom I love, just recently discovered Cara Elliot so I now have the collections of all of the Word Wenches, in addition, Jane Austin, Catherine Anderson, Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Boyle, celeste Bradley, Agatha Christie and her Westmacott books, Charlotte Bronte, Daphne Du Maurier, Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries, Jayne Ann Krentz, Betty Neels, Maggie Osborne, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Mary Stewart and Jodi Thomas, When I was a young girl read all of the books by Gene Stratton Porter (was published under Gene instead of Jean) and probably the first woman author I read wrote Sign Of the Ram and I cannot think of her name, although I still have the book, tattered and well loved. I am struggling with what to do with my books, I am 78 yrs old, still read a book a day, in various genres, but if the time comes when I have to go into assisted living will not be able to take 3000 plus books. Will have to limit a book per author? Janice L Dunlap

    Reply
  66. First of all, I’m incredibly honored to be on your list, Janice. And what a list it is! I looked up Sign of the Ram on Amazon, and it’s by Margaret Ferguson. I’m not familiar with her work, but it sounds interesting!
    A book a day—that’s wonderful. I know the dilemma about the growing piles of books. But how about the Wenches all come over and build you bookshelves if you move into assisted living! There has to be way to take them with you—books are important in our lives, so I hope you keep them with you.

    Reply
  67. First of all, I’m incredibly honored to be on your list, Janice. And what a list it is! I looked up Sign of the Ram on Amazon, and it’s by Margaret Ferguson. I’m not familiar with her work, but it sounds interesting!
    A book a day—that’s wonderful. I know the dilemma about the growing piles of books. But how about the Wenches all come over and build you bookshelves if you move into assisted living! There has to be way to take them with you—books are important in our lives, so I hope you keep them with you.

    Reply
  68. First of all, I’m incredibly honored to be on your list, Janice. And what a list it is! I looked up Sign of the Ram on Amazon, and it’s by Margaret Ferguson. I’m not familiar with her work, but it sounds interesting!
    A book a day—that’s wonderful. I know the dilemma about the growing piles of books. But how about the Wenches all come over and build you bookshelves if you move into assisted living! There has to be way to take them with you—books are important in our lives, so I hope you keep them with you.

    Reply
  69. First of all, I’m incredibly honored to be on your list, Janice. And what a list it is! I looked up Sign of the Ram on Amazon, and it’s by Margaret Ferguson. I’m not familiar with her work, but it sounds interesting!
    A book a day—that’s wonderful. I know the dilemma about the growing piles of books. But how about the Wenches all come over and build you bookshelves if you move into assisted living! There has to be way to take them with you—books are important in our lives, so I hope you keep them with you.

    Reply
  70. First of all, I’m incredibly honored to be on your list, Janice. And what a list it is! I looked up Sign of the Ram on Amazon, and it’s by Margaret Ferguson. I’m not familiar with her work, but it sounds interesting!
    A book a day—that’s wonderful. I know the dilemma about the growing piles of books. But how about the Wenches all come over and build you bookshelves if you move into assisted living! There has to be way to take them with you—books are important in our lives, so I hope you keep them with you.

    Reply
  71. What a great post that was very interesting well for me I read from an early age and even though she wrote çhildren’s stories Enid Blyton will always be one of my favourites and I too loved Agatha Christie and there are so many wonderful authors from the present ties J K Rowling I love The Harry potter series and so many I could list but I am sure to forget someone 🙂
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  72. What a great post that was very interesting well for me I read from an early age and even though she wrote çhildren’s stories Enid Blyton will always be one of my favourites and I too loved Agatha Christie and there are so many wonderful authors from the present ties J K Rowling I love The Harry potter series and so many I could list but I am sure to forget someone 🙂
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  73. What a great post that was very interesting well for me I read from an early age and even though she wrote çhildren’s stories Enid Blyton will always be one of my favourites and I too loved Agatha Christie and there are so many wonderful authors from the present ties J K Rowling I love The Harry potter series and so many I could list but I am sure to forget someone 🙂
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  74. What a great post that was very interesting well for me I read from an early age and even though she wrote çhildren’s stories Enid Blyton will always be one of my favourites and I too loved Agatha Christie and there are so many wonderful authors from the present ties J K Rowling I love The Harry potter series and so many I could list but I am sure to forget someone 🙂
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  75. What a great post that was very interesting well for me I read from an early age and even though she wrote çhildren’s stories Enid Blyton will always be one of my favourites and I too loved Agatha Christie and there are so many wonderful authors from the present ties J K Rowling I love The Harry potter series and so many I could list but I am sure to forget someone 🙂
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  76. Dorothy Sayers, absolutely. Barbara Kingsolver, Ellis Peters, PD James. Not even counting all the romance novelists – I’m working my way through all the Wenches’ books! I’ve been eagerly awaiting _Sinfully Yours_ and am currently halfway through Nicola Cornick’s Scandalous Women of the Ton. Cheers!

    Reply
  77. Dorothy Sayers, absolutely. Barbara Kingsolver, Ellis Peters, PD James. Not even counting all the romance novelists – I’m working my way through all the Wenches’ books! I’ve been eagerly awaiting _Sinfully Yours_ and am currently halfway through Nicola Cornick’s Scandalous Women of the Ton. Cheers!

    Reply
  78. Dorothy Sayers, absolutely. Barbara Kingsolver, Ellis Peters, PD James. Not even counting all the romance novelists – I’m working my way through all the Wenches’ books! I’ve been eagerly awaiting _Sinfully Yours_ and am currently halfway through Nicola Cornick’s Scandalous Women of the Ton. Cheers!

    Reply
  79. Dorothy Sayers, absolutely. Barbara Kingsolver, Ellis Peters, PD James. Not even counting all the romance novelists – I’m working my way through all the Wenches’ books! I’ve been eagerly awaiting _Sinfully Yours_ and am currently halfway through Nicola Cornick’s Scandalous Women of the Ton. Cheers!

    Reply
  80. Dorothy Sayers, absolutely. Barbara Kingsolver, Ellis Peters, PD James. Not even counting all the romance novelists – I’m working my way through all the Wenches’ books! I’ve been eagerly awaiting _Sinfully Yours_ and am currently halfway through Nicola Cornick’s Scandalous Women of the Ton. Cheers!

    Reply
  81. I love the books of the late Elizabeth Peters. She wrote mysteries, romances, alternate reality, and crossovers. What a talented, creative writer! I think I’ve read all her books and own most of them. She is missed.
    I’m looking forward to your new series. 🙂

    Reply
  82. I love the books of the late Elizabeth Peters. She wrote mysteries, romances, alternate reality, and crossovers. What a talented, creative writer! I think I’ve read all her books and own most of them. She is missed.
    I’m looking forward to your new series. 🙂

    Reply
  83. I love the books of the late Elizabeth Peters. She wrote mysteries, romances, alternate reality, and crossovers. What a talented, creative writer! I think I’ve read all her books and own most of them. She is missed.
    I’m looking forward to your new series. 🙂

    Reply
  84. I love the books of the late Elizabeth Peters. She wrote mysteries, romances, alternate reality, and crossovers. What a talented, creative writer! I think I’ve read all her books and own most of them. She is missed.
    I’m looking forward to your new series. 🙂

    Reply
  85. I love the books of the late Elizabeth Peters. She wrote mysteries, romances, alternate reality, and crossovers. What a talented, creative writer! I think I’ve read all her books and own most of them. She is missed.
    I’m looking forward to your new series. 🙂

    Reply
  86. I have so many beloved female authors its hard to know where to start. Virginia Woolfe, Anne Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, margret Atwood… the list goes on.
    My current obsession,the awesome and fantastic Fanny Burney, i’m ashamed to admit Ive only just discovered. Her letters and journals are to die for and while epistolic novels are not a fav, Eveline is a rollicking good read. I’m now on a glom to read everything. Good writers do that!

    Reply
  87. I have so many beloved female authors its hard to know where to start. Virginia Woolfe, Anne Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, margret Atwood… the list goes on.
    My current obsession,the awesome and fantastic Fanny Burney, i’m ashamed to admit Ive only just discovered. Her letters and journals are to die for and while epistolic novels are not a fav, Eveline is a rollicking good read. I’m now on a glom to read everything. Good writers do that!

    Reply
  88. I have so many beloved female authors its hard to know where to start. Virginia Woolfe, Anne Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, margret Atwood… the list goes on.
    My current obsession,the awesome and fantastic Fanny Burney, i’m ashamed to admit Ive only just discovered. Her letters and journals are to die for and while epistolic novels are not a fav, Eveline is a rollicking good read. I’m now on a glom to read everything. Good writers do that!

    Reply
  89. I have so many beloved female authors its hard to know where to start. Virginia Woolfe, Anne Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, margret Atwood… the list goes on.
    My current obsession,the awesome and fantastic Fanny Burney, i’m ashamed to admit Ive only just discovered. Her letters and journals are to die for and while epistolic novels are not a fav, Eveline is a rollicking good read. I’m now on a glom to read everything. Good writers do that!

    Reply
  90. I have so many beloved female authors its hard to know where to start. Virginia Woolfe, Anne Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, margret Atwood… the list goes on.
    My current obsession,the awesome and fantastic Fanny Burney, i’m ashamed to admit Ive only just discovered. Her letters and journals are to die for and while epistolic novels are not a fav, Eveline is a rollicking good read. I’m now on a glom to read everything. Good writers do that!

    Reply
  91. Adore Elizabeth peters too. I was lucky enought to see her at a mystery conference a few years ago. A delightful person, as funny and engaging as Amelia! I treasure my autographed “CHildren of the Storm” one of my favorite of the AP series.

    Reply
  92. Adore Elizabeth peters too. I was lucky enought to see her at a mystery conference a few years ago. A delightful person, as funny and engaging as Amelia! I treasure my autographed “CHildren of the Storm” one of my favorite of the AP series.

    Reply
  93. Adore Elizabeth peters too. I was lucky enought to see her at a mystery conference a few years ago. A delightful person, as funny and engaging as Amelia! I treasure my autographed “CHildren of the Storm” one of my favorite of the AP series.

    Reply
  94. Adore Elizabeth peters too. I was lucky enought to see her at a mystery conference a few years ago. A delightful person, as funny and engaging as Amelia! I treasure my autographed “CHildren of the Storm” one of my favorite of the AP series.

    Reply
  95. Adore Elizabeth peters too. I was lucky enought to see her at a mystery conference a few years ago. A delightful person, as funny and engaging as Amelia! I treasure my autographed “CHildren of the Storm” one of my favorite of the AP series.

    Reply
  96. I can’t list all my favorites; also many of them have already appeared. I will add Laura Ingalls Wilder (I will never outgrow them), Louisa May Alcott, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell (who I first met under her real name, Ann Maxwell) and has Rosemary Sutcliffe been mentioned?
    I don’t particularly choose women as author; and I could list equivalent male authors; but when it comes to my early reading only Mark Twain and Henry? Altscheler stand out as males and the female list continues long past those mentioned in the first paragraph and by other readers.

    Reply
  97. I can’t list all my favorites; also many of them have already appeared. I will add Laura Ingalls Wilder (I will never outgrow them), Louisa May Alcott, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell (who I first met under her real name, Ann Maxwell) and has Rosemary Sutcliffe been mentioned?
    I don’t particularly choose women as author; and I could list equivalent male authors; but when it comes to my early reading only Mark Twain and Henry? Altscheler stand out as males and the female list continues long past those mentioned in the first paragraph and by other readers.

    Reply
  98. I can’t list all my favorites; also many of them have already appeared. I will add Laura Ingalls Wilder (I will never outgrow them), Louisa May Alcott, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell (who I first met under her real name, Ann Maxwell) and has Rosemary Sutcliffe been mentioned?
    I don’t particularly choose women as author; and I could list equivalent male authors; but when it comes to my early reading only Mark Twain and Henry? Altscheler stand out as males and the female list continues long past those mentioned in the first paragraph and by other readers.

    Reply
  99. I can’t list all my favorites; also many of them have already appeared. I will add Laura Ingalls Wilder (I will never outgrow them), Louisa May Alcott, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell (who I first met under her real name, Ann Maxwell) and has Rosemary Sutcliffe been mentioned?
    I don’t particularly choose women as author; and I could list equivalent male authors; but when it comes to my early reading only Mark Twain and Henry? Altscheler stand out as males and the female list continues long past those mentioned in the first paragraph and by other readers.

    Reply
  100. I can’t list all my favorites; also many of them have already appeared. I will add Laura Ingalls Wilder (I will never outgrow them), Louisa May Alcott, Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell (who I first met under her real name, Ann Maxwell) and has Rosemary Sutcliffe been mentioned?
    I don’t particularly choose women as author; and I could list equivalent male authors; but when it comes to my early reading only Mark Twain and Henry? Altscheler stand out as males and the female list continues long past those mentioned in the first paragraph and by other readers.

    Reply
  101. Mary, my mother was a huge admirwr of Pearl Buck and I read a number of her books as a kid. haven’t read them for years — thanks for the reminder. And yes, the “Call the Midwife” TV series brought the books back into prominence — which is a wonderful thing. I hadn’t heard of them before then.

    Reply
  102. Mary, my mother was a huge admirwr of Pearl Buck and I read a number of her books as a kid. haven’t read them for years — thanks for the reminder. And yes, the “Call the Midwife” TV series brought the books back into prominence — which is a wonderful thing. I hadn’t heard of them before then.

    Reply
  103. Mary, my mother was a huge admirwr of Pearl Buck and I read a number of her books as a kid. haven’t read them for years — thanks for the reminder. And yes, the “Call the Midwife” TV series brought the books back into prominence — which is a wonderful thing. I hadn’t heard of them before then.

    Reply
  104. Mary, my mother was a huge admirwr of Pearl Buck and I read a number of her books as a kid. haven’t read them for years — thanks for the reminder. And yes, the “Call the Midwife” TV series brought the books back into prominence — which is a wonderful thing. I hadn’t heard of them before then.

    Reply
  105. Mary, my mother was a huge admirwr of Pearl Buck and I read a number of her books as a kid. haven’t read them for years — thanks for the reminder. And yes, the “Call the Midwife” TV series brought the books back into prominence — which is a wonderful thing. I hadn’t heard of them before then.

    Reply
  106. And before she started writing those wonderful mysteries, CS Harris was writing as Candice Procter — big meaty wonderful historicals set in interesting places. Hunt them out — they’re well worth it.

    Reply
  107. And before she started writing those wonderful mysteries, CS Harris was writing as Candice Procter — big meaty wonderful historicals set in interesting places. Hunt them out — they’re well worth it.

    Reply
  108. And before she started writing those wonderful mysteries, CS Harris was writing as Candice Procter — big meaty wonderful historicals set in interesting places. Hunt them out — they’re well worth it.

    Reply
  109. And before she started writing those wonderful mysteries, CS Harris was writing as Candice Procter — big meaty wonderful historicals set in interesting places. Hunt them out — they’re well worth it.

    Reply
  110. And before she started writing those wonderful mysteries, CS Harris was writing as Candice Procter — big meaty wonderful historicals set in interesting places. Hunt them out — they’re well worth it.

    Reply
  111. Helen, I think hundreds of writers of popular fiction started off reading — and loving — Enid Blyton. Certainly in the UK and the “pink bits on the map” (referring to the Former British Commonwealth)
    I devoured her books like lollies (sweets)

    Reply
  112. Helen, I think hundreds of writers of popular fiction started off reading — and loving — Enid Blyton. Certainly in the UK and the “pink bits on the map” (referring to the Former British Commonwealth)
    I devoured her books like lollies (sweets)

    Reply
  113. Helen, I think hundreds of writers of popular fiction started off reading — and loving — Enid Blyton. Certainly in the UK and the “pink bits on the map” (referring to the Former British Commonwealth)
    I devoured her books like lollies (sweets)

    Reply
  114. Helen, I think hundreds of writers of popular fiction started off reading — and loving — Enid Blyton. Certainly in the UK and the “pink bits on the map” (referring to the Former British Commonwealth)
    I devoured her books like lollies (sweets)

    Reply
  115. Helen, I think hundreds of writers of popular fiction started off reading — and loving — Enid Blyton. Certainly in the UK and the “pink bits on the map” (referring to the Former British Commonwealth)
    I devoured her books like lollies (sweets)

    Reply
  116. I’d add Betty Smith to this great list of women authors. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all-time favorite books, and I mean that literally: when I was young, the first part of the book was my favorite, and as I aged, the latter half of the book became the part that spoke most to me. Finding out that this book was enormously popular with soldiers in WWII and how they wrote to her (and how she wrote back) was just fascinating. I think she’s an undersung author today.

    Reply
  117. I’d add Betty Smith to this great list of women authors. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all-time favorite books, and I mean that literally: when I was young, the first part of the book was my favorite, and as I aged, the latter half of the book became the part that spoke most to me. Finding out that this book was enormously popular with soldiers in WWII and how they wrote to her (and how she wrote back) was just fascinating. I think she’s an undersung author today.

    Reply
  118. I’d add Betty Smith to this great list of women authors. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all-time favorite books, and I mean that literally: when I was young, the first part of the book was my favorite, and as I aged, the latter half of the book became the part that spoke most to me. Finding out that this book was enormously popular with soldiers in WWII and how they wrote to her (and how she wrote back) was just fascinating. I think she’s an undersung author today.

    Reply
  119. I’d add Betty Smith to this great list of women authors. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all-time favorite books, and I mean that literally: when I was young, the first part of the book was my favorite, and as I aged, the latter half of the book became the part that spoke most to me. Finding out that this book was enormously popular with soldiers in WWII and how they wrote to her (and how she wrote back) was just fascinating. I think she’s an undersung author today.

    Reply
  120. I’d add Betty Smith to this great list of women authors. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all-time favorite books, and I mean that literally: when I was young, the first part of the book was my favorite, and as I aged, the latter half of the book became the part that spoke most to me. Finding out that this book was enormously popular with soldiers in WWII and how they wrote to her (and how she wrote back) was just fascinating. I think she’s an undersung author today.

    Reply
  121. I love many of the choices already mentioned, and my other favorites include Penelope Fitzgerald, Muriel Spark, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Georgette Heyer. There are too many great romance authors writing now to even name my favorites, it is the best of all possible times to be a romance reader!

    Reply
  122. I love many of the choices already mentioned, and my other favorites include Penelope Fitzgerald, Muriel Spark, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Georgette Heyer. There are too many great romance authors writing now to even name my favorites, it is the best of all possible times to be a romance reader!

    Reply
  123. I love many of the choices already mentioned, and my other favorites include Penelope Fitzgerald, Muriel Spark, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Georgette Heyer. There are too many great romance authors writing now to even name my favorites, it is the best of all possible times to be a romance reader!

    Reply
  124. I love many of the choices already mentioned, and my other favorites include Penelope Fitzgerald, Muriel Spark, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Georgette Heyer. There are too many great romance authors writing now to even name my favorites, it is the best of all possible times to be a romance reader!

    Reply
  125. I love many of the choices already mentioned, and my other favorites include Penelope Fitzgerald, Muriel Spark, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Georgette Heyer. There are too many great romance authors writing now to even name my favorites, it is the best of all possible times to be a romance reader!

    Reply
  126. I have Georgette Heyer and Agatha Christie on my list, as well as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Nora Roberts. I loved the first book in this series, Scandalously Yours, the three sisters were lovely and I can’t wait to read all about the other two young ladies.

    Reply
  127. I have Georgette Heyer and Agatha Christie on my list, as well as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Nora Roberts. I loved the first book in this series, Scandalously Yours, the three sisters were lovely and I can’t wait to read all about the other two young ladies.

    Reply
  128. I have Georgette Heyer and Agatha Christie on my list, as well as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Nora Roberts. I loved the first book in this series, Scandalously Yours, the three sisters were lovely and I can’t wait to read all about the other two young ladies.

    Reply
  129. I have Georgette Heyer and Agatha Christie on my list, as well as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Nora Roberts. I loved the first book in this series, Scandalously Yours, the three sisters were lovely and I can’t wait to read all about the other two young ladies.

    Reply
  130. I have Georgette Heyer and Agatha Christie on my list, as well as Daphne du Maurier, Victoria Holt and Nora Roberts. I loved the first book in this series, Scandalously Yours, the three sisters were lovely and I can’t wait to read all about the other two young ladies.

    Reply
  131. Looking over my collection of fiction , I see that the majority of the books are by women. I have a goodly number of mysteries by women– with female detectives– or problem solvers because neither Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher nor Miss Marple would call themselves detectives. Of course I have Heyer and Austen, Alison Lane , Beverley, Putney and a wide variety of others– mostly women.

    Reply
  132. Looking over my collection of fiction , I see that the majority of the books are by women. I have a goodly number of mysteries by women– with female detectives– or problem solvers because neither Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher nor Miss Marple would call themselves detectives. Of course I have Heyer and Austen, Alison Lane , Beverley, Putney and a wide variety of others– mostly women.

    Reply
  133. Looking over my collection of fiction , I see that the majority of the books are by women. I have a goodly number of mysteries by women– with female detectives– or problem solvers because neither Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher nor Miss Marple would call themselves detectives. Of course I have Heyer and Austen, Alison Lane , Beverley, Putney and a wide variety of others– mostly women.

    Reply
  134. Looking over my collection of fiction , I see that the majority of the books are by women. I have a goodly number of mysteries by women– with female detectives– or problem solvers because neither Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher nor Miss Marple would call themselves detectives. Of course I have Heyer and Austen, Alison Lane , Beverley, Putney and a wide variety of others– mostly women.

    Reply
  135. Looking over my collection of fiction , I see that the majority of the books are by women. I have a goodly number of mysteries by women– with female detectives– or problem solvers because neither Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher nor Miss Marple would call themselves detectives. Of course I have Heyer and Austen, Alison Lane , Beverley, Putney and a wide variety of others– mostly women.

    Reply
  136. I’ve been thinking about who else to add since so many of the authors already mentioned are favorites of mine as well – Heyer, Hold, Stewart, Wenches, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Jayne Anne Krentz (all 3 of her different styles of writing), Etc.
    So here are several more contributions:
    Anne George – Southern sisters books. Even funnier when listened to on audio book read in a southern voice
    Dorothy Gilman – her Mrs. Pollifax books. I remember them from the Readers Digest condensed books, reading them full length and LOVE listening to them on audio book when read by Barbara Rosenblat
    Rosamunde Pilcher – I have most of hers on my keeper shelf. As well as love listening to her audio books.
    D.E. Stevenson – love them as well
    M.M.Kaye and Madeline L’Brent
    Plus many many more that are too many to mention.

    Reply
  137. I’ve been thinking about who else to add since so many of the authors already mentioned are favorites of mine as well – Heyer, Hold, Stewart, Wenches, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Jayne Anne Krentz (all 3 of her different styles of writing), Etc.
    So here are several more contributions:
    Anne George – Southern sisters books. Even funnier when listened to on audio book read in a southern voice
    Dorothy Gilman – her Mrs. Pollifax books. I remember them from the Readers Digest condensed books, reading them full length and LOVE listening to them on audio book when read by Barbara Rosenblat
    Rosamunde Pilcher – I have most of hers on my keeper shelf. As well as love listening to her audio books.
    D.E. Stevenson – love them as well
    M.M.Kaye and Madeline L’Brent
    Plus many many more that are too many to mention.

    Reply
  138. I’ve been thinking about who else to add since so many of the authors already mentioned are favorites of mine as well – Heyer, Hold, Stewart, Wenches, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Jayne Anne Krentz (all 3 of her different styles of writing), Etc.
    So here are several more contributions:
    Anne George – Southern sisters books. Even funnier when listened to on audio book read in a southern voice
    Dorothy Gilman – her Mrs. Pollifax books. I remember them from the Readers Digest condensed books, reading them full length and LOVE listening to them on audio book when read by Barbara Rosenblat
    Rosamunde Pilcher – I have most of hers on my keeper shelf. As well as love listening to her audio books.
    D.E. Stevenson – love them as well
    M.M.Kaye and Madeline L’Brent
    Plus many many more that are too many to mention.

    Reply
  139. I’ve been thinking about who else to add since so many of the authors already mentioned are favorites of mine as well – Heyer, Hold, Stewart, Wenches, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Jayne Anne Krentz (all 3 of her different styles of writing), Etc.
    So here are several more contributions:
    Anne George – Southern sisters books. Even funnier when listened to on audio book read in a southern voice
    Dorothy Gilman – her Mrs. Pollifax books. I remember them from the Readers Digest condensed books, reading them full length and LOVE listening to them on audio book when read by Barbara Rosenblat
    Rosamunde Pilcher – I have most of hers on my keeper shelf. As well as love listening to her audio books.
    D.E. Stevenson – love them as well
    M.M.Kaye and Madeline L’Brent
    Plus many many more that are too many to mention.

    Reply
  140. I’ve been thinking about who else to add since so many of the authors already mentioned are favorites of mine as well – Heyer, Hold, Stewart, Wenches, Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Jayne Anne Krentz (all 3 of her different styles of writing), Etc.
    So here are several more contributions:
    Anne George – Southern sisters books. Even funnier when listened to on audio book read in a southern voice
    Dorothy Gilman – her Mrs. Pollifax books. I remember them from the Readers Digest condensed books, reading them full length and LOVE listening to them on audio book when read by Barbara Rosenblat
    Rosamunde Pilcher – I have most of hers on my keeper shelf. As well as love listening to her audio books.
    D.E. Stevenson – love them as well
    M.M.Kaye and Madeline L’Brent
    Plus many many more that are too many to mention.

    Reply

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