I would like to comment on a discussion that was taking place here a couple of days ago regarding women and mystery books.
I think the members were all of the male gender, but am not sure. As a longtime female reader of mysteries and crime fiction I would like to say that romance is definitely NOT what I look for in a book. I do much prefer stories with interesting female characters.
Having picked up a couple of unknown authors' books and found absolutely no women in the stories does make me lose interest quickly. Thanks for "listening".

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Coffin? I remember a Coffin. British police officer? Don't remember any sheets though.
I'm not big on romance either and so here are my suggestions for some authors who write books with great female protagonists - Megan Abbott, Christa Faust, Barbara Seranella, Zoe Sharp, Liza Cody, Robert Eversz, And I've just started a book with a female protagonist that looks as though it wil be excellent - Charlie Newton's CALUMET CITY.
I like Sandra Brown, Erica Spindler, Iris Johansen, Faye Kellerman and Catherine Coulter. They usually write strong female characters into their story, while not dumbing down their male counterparts.
Catherine Coulter is only known to me as the author of fat bodice-ripper romance novels. She must be one of the romance writers who switched to crime.
She does a FBI series featuring special agents Savich and Sherlock

There are eight or nine books so far.
Which are fun and interesting !
Beg to differ.
Not familiar with Erica Spindler but like the others you mentioned.
I think you would enjoy her books. This is a list of some of her books:

Last Known Victim
Killer Takes All
See Jane Die
Breakneck
In Selence
Bone Cold
Cause for Alarm
Fortune
Red
Dead Run
Copycat
I second Anne's response. In fact, I will not read an author twice if there is over-emphasis on the romance or sex angle. I am looking for a good, well-developed plot and interesting characters. I want good writing and a good setting. Give me a great crime any day, not a great romance! In fact, for a while I shunned all female authors because the few I had read were so "soft." Now I find I was doing my own gender a disservice. Louise Penny and Chelsea Cain top my list of favorite authors.

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries
As a feminist (since I married a woman and have three daughters who are also women) I have written a series of books with female protagonists. It's the Mystery Club series published as ebooks by Wings ePress. Wings also releases two as paperbacks and I do print editions of two others. You can find out about them at my web site www.hu.mtu.edu/~hlsachs. Since I winter in a retirement building where most of the residents are elderly women, I can write about them. These are so-called "cozy" mysteries, no gory scenes, no explicit sex no foul language. Some of the readers on this list love gore and mayhem, so a cozy is not for them, but women indeed can be the main characters in a mystery. So if you want to see smart old ladies putting their heads together to solve crimes, have a look at those. "The Mystery Club Solves a Murder" is in the top ten best sellers at Wings and the paperback can be found at www.lulu.com.
As a bookdealer I have found that many women especialy the young like hard bouiled crime. The older woman likes cosies. Very few are interested in Romance

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