Saturday, July 02, 2005

Book: Not a Girl Detective

Not a Girl Detective
A Cece Caruso Mystery
Susan Kandel

From the new books section in the library, it could just as well have been in the science fiction shelves as in the mystery shelf - as far as I am concerned. The murder mystery was incidental. Good science fiction imagines and populates new worlds. This book does the same for me. (By the way, I'm sure heavier fiction does the same as well, but I refuse to read anything that is not lighthearted or that is sordid. If one's reading is not entertaining, why read? Reading would become like a forced regimen of exercise.) The world of Cece Caruso may be a reality, but is utterly foreign to me - its people and their concerns. This is the world of the woman, with children, divorced, with no strong male character around. A mirror contrast from Andrew Greeley's world, where the men are many things, but the women are primarily sexual beings, in this world, women are strong, solitary, self-reliant and multi-faceted characters, and the men are cardboard figures. Cece Caruso has parallels with Jill Churchill's Jane Jeffry, but Caruso's world is wackier.

It occurs to me that Hindi dramas on Zee TV or Sony also have the same trend of having only weak male characters. Presumably the lesson is that these products are not directed at my demographic (male, patriarchal :) ).