This work considers, seriously, the hugely popular and influential works of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L.Sayers, Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, P.D. James and Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine. Providing studies of 42 key novels, it introduces these authors for students and the general reader within the contexts of their lives, and critical debates on gender, colonialism, psychoanalysis, the Gothic, and feminism. It includes interviews with P.D. James and Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine.