(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Sarah Dunant has created a realistic female private investigator in Hannah Wolfe, adding a feminist slant to the detective-fiction genre. She has added psychological and issue-oriented elements to the genre without sacrificing the necessary strengths of plot and action. Her later novels Transgressions (1997) and Mapping the Edge (1999) stretch the boundaries of the psychological thriller genre, developing themes of women who refuse to become victims and exploring the relationship between sexuality, fear, and control. Her style is intelligent and literary, blurring the lines between detective fiction, psychological thriller, and literary fiction. Dunant’s work bridges the gap between commercial fiction and the literary novel. Hannah Wolfe’s self-conscious commentary is reminiscent of postmodernism, while both Transgressions and Mapping the Edge maintain complex parallel plots that are experimental in form. The first Hannah Wolfe mystery, Birth Marks (1991), was shortlisted for Britain’s prestigious Gold Dagger Award. Fatlands (1994), the second Wolfe mystery, won the Silver Dagger Award.