Women’s History Month – Spotlight on Female Mystery Authors

Throughout March, in honor of Women’s History Month, I will be highlighting a different female mystery writer I admire. The first author I wrote about was Phyllis A. Whitney (you can find it on my Facebook author page), whose young adult mysteries were the first to get me hooked on the genre. The second author I’m highlighting is Louise Penny.
Ms. Penny is my favorite mystery writer. I have listened to and/or read all of her books and when I finish one, I find that I am missing the company of the characters, particularly the main character Detective Inspector Armand Gamache. Though, I freely admit that I also miss the sharp-tongued, poet Ruth too! I even got my husband hooked on her books. We are eagerly awaiting the release of Gamache’s next case in The Grey Wolf, due out at the end of October. Her books have won too many awards to list here, but it’s clear she has garnered the respect of the mystery writing community.
What I admire about Ms. Penny’s writing is her ability to weave a detailed, well-thought out storyline with humor, poetry, incredible, deep characters, and interesting mysteries. Her plots are always surprising and have been set in various places including the beloved Québec village of Three Pines (fictional setting of most of the stories), a monastery, and Paris. Her stories always leave me wanting to turn the page or listen to the next chapter. She is an inspiration to me as a writer.
She is also a kind human being. I reached out to her early on in this journey of writing my own mystery and received a lovely email back. I also had the opportunity to have her sign a book at a conference and she was a joy to speak with.
Additionally, she’s an inspiration because she also came to publishing a little later in life (in her 40s), earlier than me, but later that a lot of authors. It gives me hope for a long publishing career ahead of me. Her career began as a journalist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and she is still an advocate for the importance of journalism in a healthy society and for journalistic integrity.
She is generous with her wisdom. On her website there is a page titled Getting Published where she offers advice and lessons she’s learned over the years in the world of publishing.
I encourage you to check out her books and to sign up for her entertaining monthly newsletter. If you haven’t read her books, I envy you your first reading of them!

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