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Crime Fiction and Community

The University of Edinburgh is holding a crime fiction conference and I'll be presenting this paper: Hardboiled and Loaded with Sin: Investigating Sex Worker Sleuth.

In the early 2000s, coinciding with the emergence of the subgenre known as Tart Noir, a number of crime novels emerged with strippers, porn stars and prostitutes as protagonists. Authors such as Christa Faust, Jenny Scholten, Sara Gran and myself appropriated the conventions of hard boiled, noir and feminist detective fiction to create investigative characters who were current or former sex workers. While the PI is traditionally an outsider, the sex worker investigator is doubly so. This paper will examine how these transgressive characters navigate and problematise concerns about class and gender within the stratified communities in which they operate, and how these texts speak to various feminist and post-feminist debates in relation to sex work, female objectification and agency.