Hendricks was born in Covington, Kentucky, raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and moved to Florida in 1973. She earned a B.S. in English Education from Ohio State University in 1973, an M.A. in English from Florida Atlantic University in 1979, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Florida International University in 1992. Hendricks' novel Cruel Poetry was a finalist for the Edgar Award in 2008. Her work has been translated into Italian, German, French, Finnish, Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Korean, Japanese and Chinese. As a Professor of English, she has taught at Broward College in Hollywood, Florida since 1981.
Hendricks has been praised as the "Queen of Noir" for rejuvenating women's crime/noir in the nineties and both extolled and denounced for her graphic use of sexual elements that distinguish neo-noir from noir of the 1930s through 1950s. Her novels have been reviewed in The New York Times Review of Books, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and the American Library Association's Booklist, as well as newspapers, blogs, and review sites.