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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I agree about Sue Grafton - and the earlier alphabet seemed to have more of an edge than the last few, but maybe everyone gets a bit flagged by the end of the alphabet...
Also try PJ Tracy's Monkeewrench series.
This is a great list. And do try something by Christa Faust - really gritty, and a complete delight in person (have been on a couple of panels with her - she is just fantastic!)
I've read a number of authors listed, thus far; but no one seems to have included Patricia Cornwell. Cornwell writes from her medical examiner's experience in the field. She's not only a fiction writer. Cornwell is a translator of forensics into lay person's terms. We can all learn from her descriptive naration and dialogue. I vote for Patricia!
Cornwell was excellent in the first three novels. Alas, she's declined badly since. At least, that seems to be the consensus.
Yes, the first three were corkers, but she seems to have changed emphasis to more character and relationship driven stuff. For those of us who loved the sharp, scientific and tense material of the early books, it was a puzzling disappointment. But I'll still read anything (fiction) she writes.
I've got to agree. Her earlier books were excellent, and hung with a reader. Lately, it seems as though she's tired of Kay Scarpetta. The books have lost their edge. She's focusing more and more on Lucy and less and less on the crimes and the mystery. I still read, but it seems a chore to get through the book.
I agree ... Either that or we've gotten tired of CSI on the page.
In the Cut, by Susanna Moore, was harrowing. P.D. James isn't noir, but she's a master. What are you looking to do by reading them (other than enjoy the writing, of course).
My reading list just seemed a little sexist, so I thought I would experiment, see if I connected with any crime fiction that wasn't my usual fare.
Definitely Denise Mina, Danuta Reah, Val McDermid (dip into each of her series characters as some may appeal / others may not), Karin Alvtgen, Karin Fossum, Anne Holt, Yrsa Siggardottir (?sp).

Perhaps less noir, but absolutely terrific writers - Katherine Howell, Malla Nunn, Lindy Cameron (Redback for example), PD Martin (if you want something set in the US).
Beat me to it, Karen - I was going to suggest Val McDermid as well as Katherine Howell, PD Martin and Lindy Cameron.


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