by Taffy Cannon
If you are known for the company you keep, then the 1993 publication of my first mystery, A Pocketful of Karma, puts me in the mystery world’s master class. At this point in my life I’ve had a lot of different peer groups, but none quite like the group of talented women whose first mysteries were also published that year.
Every one of these authors has developed an extensive and international following. Their work highlights specific areas of expertise – medievalism, law, forensics, and much, much more. Most have written series with the occasional stand-alone, some have produced more than one series or have interrelated characters in a single location.
Location is critical to all, of course, and generally a character in its own right. The other more traditional characters are splendid and multidimensional. If it’s possible to find any fault with this sisterhood, it’s that they can’t produce as many books as we might wish for.
Most of these women have won major awards in the mystery community, and the awards year when they competed against each other (and against me, as well!) for Best First Novel may have been the most star-studded in mystery history.
These are the women with whom I made my mystery debut in 1993, and the first novels for which they were acclaimed:
Nevada Barr, Track of the Cat
Jan Burke, Good Night, Irene
Deborah Crombie, A Share in Death
Laurie R. King, A Grave Talent
Sharan Newman, Death Comes as Epiphany
Abigail Padgett, Child of Silence
Lisa Scottoline, Everywhere That Mary Went
Proud to be among you. It was a very good year.