Tuesday, August 21, 2007

On Vive Le Difference (Part Deux)

"Things are seldom what they seem. Skim milk masquerades as cream."

**W. S. Gilbert

You asked for it. You get it from Jungle Red. Gender Quiz 2!

All of you who were too, um, chicken, to post your guesses to the last gender quiz? "Bawk bawk bawk," as my brother Chip used to say.

But you can redeem yourself from chickendom, and perhaps even wrest the crown from the oh so perceptive Lisa who pranced away with the honors last week. Or was it the week before? Blogs come and go so quickly around here.

Anyway. We promise these are toughies. One from Ro--and you know how tough she is. And two from Mo--Walsh, that is. Mo is a stalwart of Sisters in Crime, and Miss June on the SINC NE calendar.

(And one from me. And one from Jan. Sorry our names don't rhyme with Mo and Ro.)

And thinking about Miss June actually gives me good idea. The first person to correctly guess the genders of these snippets will get their very own collector's item 2007 SINC calendar. With photos galore. And lots of time left to use it. And, that's not all. The winner will also get a coupon (good at any bookstore) for 20 percent off the new Charlotte McNally mystery, Face Time, and a signed copy of Jan's impossible to find first mystery, Final Copy.

When was the last time you heard an offer that irresistible?

So here you go. Male author? Or female?


"I want you to kiss me. I want you to hold me. I want you to take me upstairs and make love to me. I want you to do it with no expectations because I don't have any. I could dump you tomorrow and you could dump me. It doesn't matter. But I'm not fragile.....This is a no-obligation offer....All I want tonight is you."

"He looked much as usual: bulging piggy eyes, gargoyle face, unfashionably long hair. The pallor was a change from his usual boozy redness, though, and the stain on his shirt was definitely not Chivas Regal. Louis Warren kept staring at the body, idly wondering if he had two more wishes coming."

"Nothing had prepared me for the shock of seeing death on the face of someone I loved. I looked at him and I realized what a great power, what a great presence, what a great life had ended. I kissed my fingertips and ran them over his hard cheek and walked outside.
Tears swelled from my heart, and a cold passion for revenge rose up with them."

"Peter collected souvenir copies of the wannabe A-bomber flyer as he walked back to his car on Dunster Street. The damned things were posted everywhere. Peter unlocked his car. Despite his detours for coffee and encounter with Harvard Harry, he had plenty of time to get back to the Pearce for his final appointment with Rudy Ravitch before discharging him. He got into his car. Her know he should have called the police the minute he spotted Harry. MacRae and Needleman had every right to be pissed at him. No, he wasn't a detective, as MacRae so helpfully pointed out.

It wasn’t raining at the moment, but an on-again off-again drizzle was expected to rev up into a torrent. Eldridge had left a message on my cell phone that he was running late, but now it was seven thirty and he hadn’t shown up yet. I told myself that it was probably a moot point. This was no night to stage an accident. How could anyone predict the physics of a rash with a downpour lubricating the streets.


  1. I have a feeling my luck is about to run out, but here goes:

    1. Woman
    2. Woman
    3. Woman
    4. Woman
    5. Man

  2. Lisa, you rock. You're brave to be the first to put yourself out there.

    But--are you correct???

    What does everyone think?

    And we were talking about fantasties in the last post--is it some female writers' fantasy to be able to "write like a man"?

    Didn't the talented Jennifer Crusie and--(oh, gosh, forgive me I can't think of his name--embarrassing--someone help me here) write a mystery together? To sort of--balance the male/female essences? Anyone know about that? Whether it worked?

  3. I don't read enough in this genre, but I think #4 was written by a woman -- not because of the narrative voice, but I think I recognize the passage. }:>

  4. Oh, Susannah. (Sorry, you probably hate that..and now, scroll back and read our blog on earworms. And you'll have your revenge.)

    Anyway--can't wait to see if you're correct. We're tricky, aren't we?

  5. Hank, you pose an interesting question about gender and voice. I actually do strive not to sound like a woman when I write (unless I'm writing from a woman's POV) -- but I'm not trying to sound like a man either, just a person. I don't know why it is that you can definitely "hear" the author's gender more strongly in some work than others, but it's a quirky thing I have and maybe it's because I'm working on something now that alternates between male and female POV and since they're siblings, romance and sex don't come into play, so I'm trying to write them as humanly as possible.

  6. Uh oh...mine are very different:

    1. male
    2. male
    3. female
    4. female
    5. female


  7. I have to abstain from 2,3&4, but here are my guesses at the other two:

    1. Sounds like a female POV expressing a male fantasy. I'll guess male.

    5. Female. Pure guess. Something about the flow of the sentences.


  8. Male

    In which I have probably demonstrated that I can't tell the difference, lol.