Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Feminist Fiction Friday: Edna Buchanan

Photo by Jim Virga/courtesy of Simon & Schuster
In 1986, when I was a newly minted reporter covering total fluff, Edna Buchanan won a Pulitzer Prize for her general assignment reporting at the Miami Herald. The following year she published one of my all-time favorite true-crime books, The Corpse Had a Familiar Face, which was followed in 1992 by Never Let Them See You Cry. Corpse was turned into a television movie in 1994, with Elizabeth Montgomery playing Edna. A terrific reporter, Edna was also a style icon (and still is), rocking big hair and basic black. She covered more than 3,000 murders in her career while looking like the star of her own television series. I wanted to be Edna Buchanan when I grew up. (At the time, the only two women I knew who were writing true-crime were Edna and Ann Rule, also a terrific writer. Other women have since joined the team but the alphabetical list of women true crime writers begins with Ann and Buchanan.)
So I was already a fan of Buchanan's when she published her first novel, Nobody Lives Forever, I was onboard.  And then she created the character many people think is her alter-ego, Cuban-American newspaper reporter Britt Montero who made her debut in Contents Under Pressure.  Britt, with her take no prisoners attitude and deep suspicion of editors, is a terrific character. With Britt, Edna hit her stride as a novelist  The second book in the series, Miami, It's Murder, was nominated for an Edgar Award.
Her most recent book, A Dark and Lonely Place, came out in November of last year. It's based on a true story from Miami's history a century ago and is a change of pace for her, although it is crime fiction.
Edna's official website is here
She is @ednabmiami on Twitter (although she's not terribly active).

Here's her author's page on Amazon.com.  And while we're on the subject of amazon.com, let me digress into a mini-rant. What is the deal with people not leaving reviews?  Reviews on Amazon only have to be 20 words long.  "I read this book by Edna Buchanan and I liked it a lot. A whole lot. I read it twice."  How hard is that?  But some of her books have fewer reviews than, say, a collection of short stories by someone like, say, me.  That's just wrong...Edna Buchanan doesn't need a lot of people reviewing her books--she's a best-selling author--but it might help introduce her work to readers who don't know how fabulous she is.

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