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Who’s Your Favorite Female Detective Character?

Acknowledging that many television networks offer a glut of programs featuring male detectives, writer Jess McCabe pays homage to standout fictional female sleuths in an article for The Guardian. The top ten list features characters from literature, film and TV and highlights the reasons why these lady detectives “broke boundaries and helped redefine the image of the investigator.” Of her number one pick Nancy Drew, McCabe writes, “The original, the iconic teenage detective, any list of female detectives inevitably starts with Nancy Drew, who has been solving mysteries for more than 80 years, with Hilary Clinton and Sonia Sotomayor among the high-profile women to cite her as an inspiration.”

The article also names characters from bestselling series like the Millennium Trilogy‘s Lisbeth Salander, and Kathy Reichs’ forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Among the female crime fighters on the small screen, Veronica Mars is called out as a “witty, tough and a brilliant investigator.” And of course, DCI Jane Tennison from the British series Prime Suspect is also mentioned as the character that “set the mould for police procedurals and female cops struggling in the male-dominated workplace.”

What do you think, fellow mystery lovers? Did McCabe’s list include all your favorite lady detectives, or would you add more to the list? Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone and Tess Gerritsen’s Jane Rizzoli are also strong contenders. Tell us your favorites in a comment below.

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