Der Frauenkrimi: Women’s Crime Writing in German

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Faye Stewart, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Towards the end of the twentieth century, the shelves of German bookstores began to fill up with a popular new subgenre of crime novel written by, about and for women: it was aptly dubbed the Frauenkrimi (women's crime novel). The robust male investigators and culprits of yore took feminine forms in stories that contest social inequality and celebrate new constructions of gender and sexuality. In contrast with the female characters who often occupy the more passive roles of victims and witnesses in earlier crime stories, the active women driving Frauenkrimi narratives lead investigations, solve murders, avenge injustices, and plot and commit gruesome crimes themselves. They sometimes work alone and sometimes in collaboration with male or female partners, and they engage in flirtations and relationships with men or women or occasionally both. At the time of their appearance, Frauenkrimis by writers such as Christine Grän, Doris Gercke, Edith Kneifl and Ingrid Noll challenged established notions about who could write successful crime stories, what female characters could do in mysteries and which social issues these novels could address. This subgenre, which has arguably become a genre in its own right, brings new perspectives to the representation of gender and sexuality in popular fiction.

Additional Information

Crime Fiction in German: Der Krimi. Ed. Katharina Hall. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2016. 100–14.
Language: English
Date: 2016
German, crime writers, feminist crime novels

Email this document to