Jean Stubbs Analysis


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Midway in her writing career, Jean Stubbs wrote two historical thrillers; in each of them, retired Scotland Yard inspector John Lintott is persuaded to undertake a private investigation. Although she then left the genre to write a historical saga, Stubbs is notable for her unique mixture of genres in novels that are variously called historical romantic mysteries, historical thrillers, and historical mystery stories. These two books are also memorable in that by placing the conservative, down-to-earth Inspector John Lintott in exotic surroundings, Stubbs uses the private investigator format for ironic social commentary in the tradition of the naïve fictitious foreign observer. The mixture fascinated readers; the fact that Stubbs then abandoned her unique format is a matter for regret.


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Heilburn, Carolyn G. Writing a Woman’s Life. New York: W. W. Norton, 1988. This volume describes how writers and biographers artificially reduced the lives of the women about whom they wrote to a narrow, conventional view. Heilburn deals with the struggles of women writers and touches on Stubbs.

Klein, Kathleen Gregory, ed. Great Women Mystery Writers: Classic to Contemporary. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994. Contains an entry on Stubbs that examines her life and works.

Scaggs, John. Crime Fiction. New York, Routledge, 2005. Contains a chapter on historical crime fiction that sheds light on Stubbs’s work.

Stubbs, Jean. Interview. Books and Bookmen 18 (April, 1973): 39. A brief interview that includes biographical details about the author and a discussion of themes in her works.

Vasudevan, Aruna, ed. Twentieth-century Romance and Historical Writers. 3d ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Provides an in-depth profile of Stubbs and discussions of her major works, specifically her historical romances.