On this week’s Blogging for a Good Book, I’m posting about four authors who are coming to the Williamsburg Library Theatre on Monday, March 31. We’ll be having a relaxed conversation with Margaret Coel, David L. Robbins, and Jacqueline Winspear, led by Willetta L. Heising. The event starts at 7 pm in the Theatre at 515 Scotland Street, and will be followed by light refreshments and a book-signing.
Detecting Women (now in its 3rd edition), has rightfully been called ‘the Bible of Mystery readers’. Author Willetta L. Heising compiled information on women in Mysteries – authors and characters – in the kind of detail that allows readers to explore almost any interest. Series (listed in order, no small feat), writers (including pseudonyms), settings (both place and time), characters (including occupation and relevant personal information), and pithy descriptions of author backgrounds and series arcs make this as complete a resource as any reader could ask. If you enjoy specific kinds of Mysteries – like Private Investigators or Amateurs – or look for award-winning books, you’ll find them here. All of these elements are cross-tabulated, indexed, and laid out in an easy-to-read format. Given that (as she’s told me) she’s got about 180,000 individual pieces of information but you can find anything within seconds, the book is a masterpiece of organization.
This is no dry reference work, though. Throughout, Heising’s individual voice speaks from the page, making this an excellent book for both quick consultation and extended browsing. The 3rd edition came out in 2000, and the 4th edition is slated for publication in the near future. Libraries should have it in their collections, but devotees of Mysteries would do well to have it at their fingertips.
Full Disclosure: Willetta L. Heising was the prime mover of our Mysteries@Your Library evening, and through her good offices we are able to welcome authors I’d never have dreamed possible come to the Library. Her mom is a regular patron of Williamsburg Regional Library, but when she introduced herself at the Reference Desk, I was floored. That being said, I was a fan of Detecting Women (and Detecting Men) before I even knew I was going to be a librarian, and would suggest it to anyone who cares about reading Mysteries.
So, if you’re anywhere near Williamsburg, we’d love to see you on Monday March 31 at 7 pm. With someone as knowledgeable as Willetta hosting three outstanding Mystery writers, it’s going to be a fun evening.