by Sarah Weinman
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Crime, Mystery
Fourteen chilling tales from the pioneering women who created the domestic suspense genre. Murderous wives, deranged husbands, deceitful children, and vengeful friends. Few know these characters—and their creators—better than Sarah Weinman. One of today’s preeminent authorities on crime fiction, Weinman asks: Where would bestselling authors like Gillian Flynn, Sue Grafton, or Tana French be without the women writers who came before them? In Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, Weinman brings together fourteen hair-raising tales by women who—from the 1940s through the mid-1970s—took a scalpel to contemporary society and sliced away to reveal its dark essence. Lovers of crime fiction from any era will welcome this deliciously dark tribute to a largely forgotten generation of women writers.
Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, is a collection of short stories from the trailblazers of domestic suspense. The book features fourteen chilling tales of suspense that will make your spine tingle. Featuring female authors from the 1940s through the 1970s, these are the woman who paved the wave for today’s female author’s of crime fiction and suspense. Three word review: Twisted, dark, and a delicious sampling of authors.
Sarah Weinman is the editor of this unique collection, and she chose a unique blend of authors to showcase. Each tale is quick, some only a few pages long but captures the elements of suspense, thrillers, and crime with psychological twists. Some of the tales are dark and gritty, while others reminded me of dime store crime novels. The stories are carefully crafted and a testament to each author’s individual ability and voice. I squirmed as some shocked me and others revealed raw and brutal feelings.
In Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives each tale delves into domestic life as it reveals the darker side of bliss. We have evil children, obsessed lovers and spouses looking for a sinister way out. The period in which these tales were written was a time when a woman was expected to be at home raising their beautiful “nuclear family”. Some of the stories tackle female issues and shatter those images of domestic bliss. The tales shake things up and unnerve the reader. I have always been a fan of crime fiction and was impressed by the group as a whole. While I preferred some more than others I would honestly recommend eleven of the fourteen tales to friends and I find that remarkable. Some of my favorite tales include Splintered Monday about a missing sister, The Heroine about a crazy nanny who will make you shiver and The Stranger in my Car told from a male perspective. Other notable titles were Louisa, Please Come Home, The Purple Shroud and Sugar & Spice. Some of the authors I was familiar with and others were new to me piquing my interest. You can easily see how some of today’s writers were influenced by these talented woman.
Fans of crime fiction, suspense, psychological thrillers, and Alfred Hitchcock will delight in these twisted tales of domestic bliss. Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives is a perfect gift or coffee table collection. This anthology was brilliantly pieced together showcasing some excellent authors from the past.
Four cups of coffee out of five
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