In the past, the private investigation profession was acknowledged as the man’s area of expertise, yet increasing numbers of women are pursuing the field. The war of the genders will never cease. In Sue Grafton’s book “K is for Killer”, gender conditions have an affect on the methods of investigation. To support my thesis, I apply the methods of investigation with quotations from the book supporting my argument.
Before the methods of investigation can begin the detective must acquire a case, which is no easy task. Private investigators rely on their own marketing and advertising. The most common cases P.I.’s are presented with are the unsolved and/or forgotten cases left over from the justice system or suspicious wives in pursuit of catching their cheating husbands. Gender importance is prevalent from the very beginning of the book. The mother of the victim, Janice Kepler knocks on the door. “Is this Millhone Investigations?” Millhone replies “We’re closed, is there anyway you could come back tomorrow and I’ll setup an appointment for you once I check my book?” “Are you his secretary?” “I tried not to sound irritated since the mistake is not uncommon, I’m him.” (4).
The mistake is not uncommon because women are seen as outsiders to the male-dominated worlds of work and affairs. Gender stereotypes elicit the idea that women shouldn’t do certain things. The first female detective was published in 1864, which was even before any official working female police officers. Back then women were to be sheltered from the harsh realities of life, furthermore there were many jobs deemed unsuitable for women and their lady-like qualities. Evolution of women and women’s rights has come a long way, and even still detectives are thought firstly as being male. Janice apologized, “It never occurred to me you’d be a woman” (4).
The first method of investigation is gathering information and possible evidence to build the case. Women are known for being great data detectives, also for their “gift of the gab” in other words, people skills. Kinsey is able to obtain more information than her male counterparts during interviews. People feel less threatened by a female and more apt to be suspicious of a male investigator. Women are more at ease when consulting with another woman. Here a foreseen weakness of power of women becomes the right power for extracting vital information. “ Come on, Trinny. Please, please, please? I learned this interrogation method back in grade school, and its particularly effective when the subject matter is a cross your heart type secret just between us girls. I could see her softening. Whatever our confidences, we’re usually dying to tell, especially if the confession involves the condemnation of someone else”. Finally she said, “Swear you won’t tell?” (177)
Kinsey uses this woman-to-woman technique many times throughout the book. She applies it to Lorna’s fellow hooker friend Danielle as well; practically ends up befriending the girl....