Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Nuria Cruz-Cámara, Luis Cano

Committee Members

Lois Presser, Harrison Meadows


My research examines the depiction of female characters in the Spanish crime fiction series Crímenes Exquisitos written by Vicente Garrido and Nieves Abarca. While the genre has been heavily male dominated since its origin by writers and characters alike, the inclusion of female led narratives and gender concerns by women writers has expanded women’s roles beyond the traditional triangular schema –victim-culprit-sleuth– and its stereotypical characterization. The textual analysis of Garrido and Abarca’s series demonstrates how the conception and configuration of female characters has evolved in order to fight against the traditional patriarchal system in place, includes urgently relevant topical issues that affect women and emphasizes the critical role of women’s appearance and sexuality as determining factors for physical and sexual violence. These female representations, when taken together, exemplify women’s objectification by the masculine gaze and their subsequent victimization as a controlling measure against women’s independence and sexual deviance in a patriarchal society struggling to maintain power. By exploring the three sets of bodies –the detective, victims and secondary characters– I create a circular analysis that showcases how bodies not only are a roadmap to our lives but that once they become visible and available, women can be physically and sexually assaulted, regardless of their position and status in society, hence configuring crime fiction as a vehicle to depict possible ways of dealing with its trauma and contemporary gender concerns.

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