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Closed in Silence (Feminist Mystery Series)…
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Closed in Silence (Feminist Mystery Series)

by Joan M. Drury

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Alas, this is the last of Joan Drury's lesbian-feminist mystery trilogy. Where else will I find suspenseful novels filled with radical feminist politics and rest assured that the corpse the protagonist and her dog will inevitably stumble upon will likely be that of a deserving man?

Set on a secluded island off the Pacific coast, the mystery unravels during a college reunion of sorts. Six friends meet up, for the first time in decades, to catch up and tie up loose ends. Finally, after two books of vague references to the woman who broke Tyler's heart, we get the scoop on Julie; we also meet some new characters from Tyler's past, rounding out the picture of her years at the University of Minnesota. The women have hardly settled down on the island when Tyler, as she is wont to do, stumbles across a dead body. Questions abound, exposing truths and lies. Is there a murderer in their midst?

As with her other novels, Drury uses her story to reflect on violence against women, exposing men's brutality and its impacts on women. She dabbles into the notable feminist debates of the time — here, the question of prostitution as sexual violence or a choice. You'll also find references to Andrea Dworkin and Kathleen Barry.

I'm glad to have read this book with the context of the previous two; Tyler is a familiar protagonist, and the final novel in the series builds on her past, while fleshing out unexplored aspects of her character. We've seen her in San Francisco, in northeast Minnesota, struggling with sobriety, joking with Mary Sharon, catching up with family members — and, now, reunited with the women she went to school with, it all comes together.

I do have a quibble carrying over from the previous books. Despite her otherwise feminist politics, Drury seems to have a thing for the word "slut"; Aggie the slut, Tyler the slut, and now, Mary Sharon, the "shlut." If it's meant to be a joke (and it is), it's not a very funny one.

In any case, I'm sad to see the series end, and if I'm ever in Minnesota, I will definitely pay Drury's bookstore in Grand Marais a visit.
  csoki637 | Nov 27, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 188352329X, Paperback)

When five women meet up at a reunion to share stories of struggle, triumph, accomplishment and pain, they also encounter a murder.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:28 -0400)

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