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In 2012's Best Mysteries, Mean Girls Rule

Best Mysteries of 2012

Mean girls and their ingenious female creators top my mysteries and thrillers list this year. Maybe it takes the special discernment of a female writer (who's presumably suffered through the "Queen Bee and Wannabee" cliques of middle school) to really capture the cruel mental machinations that can hide behind a pair of shining eyes and a lip-glossed smile.

It's ironic to recall that American pulp detectives used to dismissively refer to women as "frails." Those tough guys wouldn't dare use that term about the women in — or authors of — some of these books. They'd be garroted with their very own Y chromosomes faster than you can say "Nancy Drew."

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