CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Chicago crime novelist Sara Paretsky, creator of female private eye V.I. Warshawski, is being recognized by her peers in a big way.

The Mystery Writers of America has chosen Paretsky to receive the group’s top honor next year. The group announced Thursday that it would present Paretsky its Grand Master award in April in New York.

The award is among the Edgar Awards the group presents annually. The Grand Master award was established to acknowledge an author’s important contributions to the genre.

 Paretsky created the feisty Warshawski in the 1982 novel “Indemnity Only.” Her latest book, “Body Work,” was released earlier this year and is the 14th installment in the Warshawski series.

 The mystery writers’ group says Warshawski challenged a genre where “women typically played minor or passive roles.” Past winners have included authors Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King.

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