Murder by the Book? (Routledge 1994) is a critical overview of the wave of feminist crime novels which appeared during the 1980s. Both British and American novels by women authors are studied in order to examine emerging generic conventions which have enabled the expression of new sexual and gender politics. Sally Munt asks why the form has proved so attractive as a vehicle for oppositional politics; whether the pleasures of a notionally conservative
genre can be truly transgressive, and why the dyke detective is striding forth as a new superhero for today.