Silk Stalkings: When Women Write of Murder, first published by Black Lizard Books in 1988, began more than fifteen years ago as the authors' personal shopping list. United by a common interest in crime and mystery fiction written by women and unable to find a reference source listing these titles, the team of Nichols/Thompson began to compile a list for themselves. They have done it again the result is the remarkable Silk Stalkings: More Women Write of Murder. That the genre has grown enormously since the first edition was published is obvious. The authors not only updated past references, but have also searched out and introduced new women mystery writers. This book provides a comprehensive survey of series characters created by women authors in crime and mystery fiction from 1867 to 1997. The first half of the book categorizes 187 characters created since 1976, by profession, avocations, and inclination, and discusses them in a frank, witty, critical voice. The second half consists of a master list, alphabetically arranged by author's real name and cross-referenced by pseudonyms, and a series character to author list. The depth of the authors' research is impressive and the detail is impeccable. The authors have been actively involved in the community of mystery writers for fifteen years, attending conferences and getting to know the authors of the books chronicled in Silk Stalkings. Nichols/Thompson provide scholars and fans alike with a source of long lost or forgotten treasures as well as what is currently hot in the world of women's mystery writing today. This extraordinary reference effortlessly blends engaging observations with useful data into a work that will continue the well-established tradition of Silk Stalkings.
Both Victoria Nichols and Susan Thompson have background in the fields of medical research and independent film production and distribution. For over fifteen years, they have applied their considerable talents to the study of series mysteries by women authors.