Fay negatively reviewed Down These Green Streets labelling crime writing as clichéd and the collection 'rife with preening, posturing and special pleading, and the air of self-congratulation soon grows stifling.'
Fay then referred to 'the chicklit sisterhood' and warned crime writers against 'aping' them. He said, 'Collectively, the creators of popular women's fiction are a quasi-masonic bunch, an insular club that closes ranks against criticism.'
Webb wrote to refute these claims. She agreed that women writers support each other but declared that that is a strength. She finished by saying, 'Crime writers are lucky to have Declan Burke fighting their corner. I hope, in the future, popular fiction will have its own Burke.'
Thank you for your letter, Sarah.