Anyone have suggestions for a few good, established female crime writers?

I've realized that I have never read any crime fiction by women and would like to try some. My tastes tend to run to the noir/neo-noir and hard-boiled genres (Pelecanos, Bruen, Ellroy, Huston, Burke, etc) so if anyone can suggest female writers in that vein, that would be great.

So far, I'm thinking Alafair Burke, Sara Paretsky and Sue Grafton. I'd appreciate any other ideas.


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Denise Minna, Christa Faust, Meagan Abbott.

Don't know Denise, but I agree about Christa Faust and Meagan Abbott. Add to this group Vicki Hendricks. "Miami Purity" is as dark as crime fiction gets.


Jack Bludis

Try Money Shot by Christa Faust. It's hard-hitting.
I like Margaret Millar, Patricia Highsmith, and Megan Abbott.

Ruth Rendell, aka Barbara Vine, Minette Walters, PD James, Carol O'Connell, Karin Slaughter

I think you'll be disappointed with Sue Grafton, I would not call her stuff hard-boiled or noir. She's good, but not that type of writer.
I agree with several of the above, and would add Libby Fischer Hellman. She does a nice job of keeping a female protagonist female, but not cheating her way out of situations where the detective would need to either become Wonder Woman or get male assistance. (Or divine intervention.)
Thanks everybody. I've added several of these names to my list (and removed Sue Grafton).
+1 on Highsmith. Absolutely harrowing stuff--she could really write, despite being a completely horrid person, by all accounts.
Highsmith...she was the Ripley novelist, right?
She is tops as a writer.
All those above and also the UK's Laura Wilson (Stratton's War), Carol Smith, Tana French and Frances Fyfield. Or Sharyn McCrumb. Also for some severely funny stuff, Joan Hess's Maggody series. And don't write off Sue Grafton without giving her a shot.


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