Murder, Mayhem and Mystery, my, how we’ve changed…or have we

Thirty years ago a group of women mystery writers got together and realized that writing mysteries was a man’s game. At least, that’s how it seemed. So these ladies banded together and founded Sisters in Crime. The purpose, to level the playing field. Demonstrate that quality mysteries were a matter of writing, not author gender. And yes, for those who wonder, misters in crime are welcome. If you’re not a member, you should consider joining.

Those of you who read mysteries may have noticed that SinC has been successful in its mission. These days mysteries of all degree, from light humorous cozies to hard boiled noir are as likely to be written by a woman as a man. Thirty years into the fight, it would be arrogant to say SinC’s accomplished its goals, there is always more to be done, but arguably, it has demonstrated a good bit of success.

Not being on the board of SinC, I can’t speak to how the idea came about, but the sisters undertook to conduct a survey of the membership. The survey’s purpose, to open a conversation on diversity in the mystery writing world. The report, the 2016 Summit Report on Diversity titled Report for Change is available on the SinC webpage. The results of the Report are eye-opening.

Read it for yourself. Get the conversation going. Would you opt not to read a mystery because of the racial background or sexual orientation of the author or the characters?

We’ve come a long way, and we’ve a fair piece to go.

Kait loves to hear from readers, check out her website at; follow her on Facebook at, on twitter at @kaitcarson, or e-mail her at



7 thoughts on “Murder, Mayhem and Mystery, my, how we’ve changed…or have we

  1. Interesting post, Kait. I’ve read mysteries by several women writers (including yours) and found them entertaining and insightful. In fact I consider books of most genres by penned by women to be not only a good way to get caught up in a different world from cover to cover, but also educational. By that I mean reading from a woman’s point of view helps me (and I’m sure other male writers) understand how women look at various aspects of life. Many are shared outlooks, but others are different. As a writer, learning by “seeing through a woman’s eyes” helps me expand my outlook and knowledge. Does any of this make sense? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike. Yes, it makes sense, but I think it’s also writer dependent. Would you avoid buying a book written by a woman because you didn’t think she could handle the genre? There was a time when that wouldn’t even be a question because either her agent or publishing house would have changed her name, if she got that far.

      I agree, that reading a book from a female POV is different than reading a book from a male POV, but does the gender of the author make a difference? I’m not sure. And I’m going to have to pay more attention to that aspect.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The gender of the author makes ZERO difference to me. Good writing, interesting characters, and a plotline with no holes or loose ends to tie up are my parameters. I could (but won’t here) name a couple of examples of “dames” who can write men under the table. (Ain’t I cute?) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course it makes sense. Writers are all psychologists of sorts and the more we know about the thinking patterns and motives of people unlike ourselves the better our ability to create interesting, believable characters will become. Both men and women benefit from understanding the different ways we think and the ways we are similar in thought and values. Very nice post Kait, you are always informative and interesting!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, MJ. After reading it through a couple of more times I decided I did make my point (despite a misplaced additional word or two). You seem to have a keen insight to the psychology of our species. I’m guessing that came from the school of very hard knocks!


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