Crime and mystery writers of the hard-boiled school have a lot of kings (James Cain, Jim Thompson, Charles Willeford
) but precious few queens. In fact, the genre of tough-talking PIs, femmes fatales and nihilistic criminals is pretty much a boys club. So when Vicki Hendrickss debut novel Miami Purity came out in 1996, a reviewer from The New York Times did a background check to make sure the author was actually a woman. Ive often been in the small percentage of women among men, says Hendricks. And it makes me feel tough. Puritys tale of a topless dancer attempting to go straight -- while still having lots of hot sex -- has just been reissued by local publisher Busted Flush Press. Ive heard my books described as noir, noir-otica, neo-noir and other terms I cant remember, Hendricks says with a laugh. I just start with the idea of obsession and it gets to crime because I write characters that go there in some screwy fashion. Theyre basically doomed to a low-life existence. Hendrickss latest, Cruel Poetry, features a prostitute protagonist and is set in Miami Beach, a natural setting for steamy coupling and seamy deals. I find sexual conflict to be the most interesting basis of everything, she adds. Its also a great way to keep readers turning pages. Hendricks and fellow crime author Megan Abbott stop by Murder by the Book today.
Wed., Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m.
Get the Events Newsletter
What's happening in town? From underground club nights to the biggest outdoor festivals, our top picks for the week's best events will always keep you in on the action.