Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Meet Five Aging Female Sleuths

by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed

When Gertie Johnson started talking to me in my head, she was 77 years old.  "But they want their heroines young," I was told. Over and over. As a newbie writer, I caved to peer pressure and made her 66 (not exactly what my advisers meant). At first I thought 'they' equaled readers. But as it turned out it was the  publishers who didn't want older protagonists. That's still true. My publisher turned down my last proposal for a group of 'mature' women for that very reason. Have they completely forgotten about the famous Miss Marple?

I love, love, love writing and reading about older folks. They don't have all those issues young people have. They aren't afraid to take risks, don't care what others think, and have accepted themselves exactly as they are. Peer pressure doesn't scare them one bit.

So, without further ado, I bring you five contemporary older sleuths.

1. Ninety-two year old  Victoria Trumbell (by Cynthia Riggs). She live on Martha's Vineyard and has quite a reputation for her investigation skills.
The Bee Balm Murders(Martha's Vineyard Mysteries)

2. Mrs. Jeffries (by Emily Brightwell) keeps house in nineteenth century England and also keeps villains at bay. Mrs. Jeffries Forges Ahead (A Victorian Mystery)

3. Agatha Raisin (by M. C. Beaton) isn't quite as old. She's 53 and lives in Cotswold's. Agatha isn't everyone's cup of tea, but readers who start with the first in the series (The Quiche of Death) learn to love her. The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin Mysteries, No. 1)

4. Gladdy and the girls (by Rita Lakin) reside in a Fort Lauderdale retirement community and never lack for interesting adventures and laugh out loud fun. Getting Old Can Kill You

5. Okay, I had to thrown in Gertie (she made me.)Murder Passes the Buck: A Gertie Johnson Murder Mystery

Anymore to add to the list??


Paula Miller said...

Sister & Mouse in Anne George's Southern Sister's Mysteries.

Anonymous said...

How about "the Mrs Pollifax series"
love those books and that cute little old lady!

Deb said...

I miss Anne George:(

Ramona said...

Another Anne George fan. Sister and Mouse were such fun.

KeLLy aNN said...

BIG! Agatha Raisin fan here.

Vickie said...

Oh, I miss Mrs Pollifax, too!!

Betty Hechtman has the Crochet Mystery series. I believe Molly Pink, the main character, is a woman of a certain age. It's a fun series.

Chaplain Jan said...

Also a huge Ann George fan. I also love Mary Saum's Thistle & Twigg characters. Too bad there were only 2 books in the series.

misskallie2000 said...

I also love Agatha Raisin and Agatha Christy. In fact it does not matter the age it is the character that makes the story. I read with young and old but I do love women sleuths.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Nancy said...

Your publishers are wrong about the age issue, as I'm sure you know. I have read Agatha Raisin from the beginning and Gertie, too. Love them both and also Miss Marple. Being 67 myself, I gravitate toward older characters. I also like YA books and books about 20 somethings, 30 somethings, etc. It's the story that counts and interesting characters. Mostly the characters, in my opinion. I'm hoping Gertie goes on for many years.

Aurian said...

I love older characters in books. I have read Murder in Miniature, that has a grandmother starring in it.
And how about Laura Childs? Her books have 40-ish lady sleuths. I love her worlds, and her characters. I want to have tea in her teashop in Charleston, go to New Orleans to visit Camilla or eat eggs for breakfast with the three ladies of the Cackleberry Club.