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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > November 2017 > PROFILES


From established bestsellers to new voices, here are six women mystery writers to add to your reading list

Ausma Zehanat Khan

“THESE ARE VERY politicized times,” says Ausma Zehanat Khan, the British-born Canadian author of the Esa Khattak/Rachel Getty mystery series, which follows a Toronto-based Muslim detective and his young partner who become entangled in various crimes reflecting the volatility of the post-9/11 world. “Anyone who is from a minority community, their existence is political. That’s just a reality that you live and that you deal with every day, and so I think the point of my books [have become] more urgent and more necessary.”

Khan, who earned her PhD in international human-rights law specializing in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans, drew on her expertise for the first novel in the thriller series, 2015’s The Unquiet Dead (Minotaur Books), where the detectives investigate a murder victim with possible connections to the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. Her latest, Among the Ruins, has the partners investigating the death of a renowned Canadian-Iranian filmmaker. While Khan’s novels are not ripped-from-the-headlines procedurals, she does aim to expand readers’ focus by telling stories from a Canadian- Muslim perspective.

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Murder, she wrote: How women authors are ruling crime and mystery fiction; Hockey books on a breakaway.