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The Female Detective

Fri 8 Mar 2013, 18.30-20.00

Conference Centre, British Library

£7.50 / £5 concessions

Sold out for 08 Mar 2013, 18.30-20.00

Britain’s first-ever lady detective “Miss Gladden” appeared in The Female Detective published in 1864, where she exposed killers while concealing her own identity.  Since then the female sleuth, from Agatha Christie’s Miss Maple to Alexander McCall Smith’s Mma Ramotswe, has captivated readers of crime fiction, but what is it about the female detective which makes her an icon of the genre? Join a panel of esteemed crime writers for a lively discussion.

N J Cooper (Chair) author of Vengeance in Mind (Simon & Schuster), has also written the Willow King and Trish Maguire series of crime novels.  Her Threaded Dances series, set between the Second World War and 1968, is being republished by Bello. When not writing fiction, she reviews for the TLS and has a monthly crime review column on  A regular on Radio 4, she has also judged many literary prizes, including the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for thrillers. 

Ann Cleeves worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before writing. She is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other northern writers to promote crime fiction.  In 2006 Ann was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger (CWA Gold Dagger, Best Crime Novel) for Raven Black. Her book Red Bones was made into the BBC One drama, Shetland, this year. The second series of ITV’s adaptation of Vera starring Brenda Blethyn aired earlier this year.

Historical novelist Lindsey Davis is best known for The Course of Honour, and for her mystery series featuring Roman detective, Marcus Didius Falco.  She has also written Rebels and Traitors, an epic novel set in the English Civil War.  Awards include CWA Historical Dagger, Dagger in the Library and a Sherlock for Falco as Best Detective and the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement. Lindsey has been Honorary President of the Classical Association, Chair of the Crimewriters Association and Chair of the Society of Authors'.

Margaret Kinsman is a Visiting Research Fellow in Popular Culture at London South Bank University, where her current research focuses on the female detective figure in crime and mystery fiction.  Her most recent publication was Feminist Crime Fiction in The Cambridge Companion to American Crime Fiction (2010). She serves as Consulting Editor for Clues: A Journal of Detection and is a member of the Crime Writers Association judges' panel for the Gold Dagger Award. Margaret is currently working on a book about mystery author Sara Paretsky and her detective V I Warshawski.

Piv Bernth is an awarding winning producer and director. Debuting as a director in 1981, she has directed plays, musicals and theatrical productions across Denmark and Sweden. At Danish Broadcasting (DR) she was responsible for producing the internationally acclaimed The Killing I –III and the International Emmy winning Nikolaj & Julie. Piv is now the Head of Drama at DR Fiction, home of Borgen and The Bridge.