List of female detective characters

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This is a list of fictional female investigators from novels, short stories, radio, television, films and video games.




  • Christine Cagney (Sharon Gless) is a New York City police detective on CBS series Cagney & Lacey 1982-1988.
  • Jenny Cain is the director of a philanthropic foundation in a series by Nancy Pickard begun 1984-1995.
  • Miranda Callendar is a detective on the BBC One Jekyll 2007.
  • Anna Cameron is a Glasgow police sergeant in a series by Scottish Karen Campbell begun 2008.
  • Letitia 'Tish' Carberry was embroiled in comic adventures in short stories in the Saturday Evening Post, and from 1911 in books, by Mary Roberts Rinehart.
  • Carlotta Carlyle is a 6'1" former Boston city cop turned private detective in a series by Linda Barnes (writer) begun 1987.
  • Caroline Carmichael is a CIA intelligence analyst in a series of books by Francine Mathews who held such a job herself for some years.
  • Mary Carner is a store detective in five books by Zelda Popkin 1938-1942.
  • Sandra Carpenter (Lucille Ball) is an American dancer in London who helps police investigate the death of a friend in film Lured 1947.
  • CeCe Caruso is an LA based biographer of crime writers and film makers who becomes involved in mysteries in the course of her work, in a series by Susan Kandel.
  • Emily Castles is an amateur sleuth in a British mystery series by Helen Smith.
  • Jordan Cavanaugh is a forensic pathologist played by Jill Hennessy in the NBC series Crossing Jordan 2001-2007.
  • Lady Grace Cavendish is a 13-year-old girl at Queen Elizabeth I's court, in a series for children by Patricia Finney, but with author credit given to 'Lady Grace'.
  • Laura Caxton is a Pennsylvania State Trooper turned vampire hunter in a fantasy series by David Wellington (debuted 2006).
  • Lois Cayley is an adventurous young woman in an early mystery novel by Grant Allen (1899).
  • Catherine Chandler is a NYPD detective played by Kristin Kreuk in Beauty & the Beast.
  • Corinna Chapman runs a bakery in Melbourne and solves neighbourhood puzzles in a series commenced 2004 by Australian Kerry Greenwood.
  • Nora Charles is a Nob Hill heiress married to Nick Charles, a retired Pinkerton detective. The pair solves a crime in The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett and in the successful movie of the book, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. Five movie sequels to "The Thin Man" were made, followed by radio and television series. A remake of "The Thin Man" will be released in 2013.[needs update] Witty banter between husband and wife was a hallmark of the book and films.
  • Annabeth Chase is a criminal prosecutor, played by Jennifer Finnigan, in the television series Close to Home, broadcast on CBS 2005-2007.
  • Lydia Chin is a private detective in New York City with partner Bill Smith in a series of books by American novelist S. J. Rozan (debuted 1994).[5]
  • Denise Cleever is an undercover agent in a series of books by Australian crime novelist Claire McNab (debuted 2000).
  • Nancy Clue is an amateur detective and lesbian parody of Nancy Drew in a series of books by American crime novelist Mabel Maney (debuted 1992).
  • Phyl Coe was a 'beautiful lady detective' in Philco’s Mysteries of the Air, a radio program sponsored by Philco Radio Tubes in 1936. The next season the detective was changed to a man, Phil Coe.[1]
  • Nikki Collins is a debutante and detective story enthusiast, played by Deanna Durbin, who sees a murder from a train in the comedic mystery film Lady on a Train (1945).
  • Kat Colorado is a private investigator in Sacramento, California in a series of books by American crime novelist Karen Kijewski (debuted 1989).
  • Harper Connelly is an investigator in a series of books by American crime novelist Charlaine Harris (debuted 2005).
  • Natalie Cook (Cameron Diaz) is a private detective in Charlie's Angels (film) 2000 and sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle 2003.
  • Bertha Cool is a private investigator in the Cool and Lam series by American A. A. Fair 1939-1970; Jane Darwell in a lost 1955 TV show based on 1939 debut The Bigger They Come; Benay Venuta in pilot based loosely on Turn On The Heat 1958, perhaps never aired.
  • Alexandra Cooper is a Manhattan prosecutor in a series by American Linda Fairstein begun 1996.
  • Beka (Rebekah) Cooper 16 is a King's Provost Guard who can talk to spirits, polices the fantasy kingdom Tortall in the Provost's Dog trilogy by Tamora Pierce 2006-2011.
  • Iris Cooper is a flapper-era college student in Oregon who solves crimes with journalist Jack Clancy in three books 1984-1989 by K. K. Beck (also writes Jane Da Silva series).
  • Miranda Corbie is a private investigator in San Francisco, California in the 1940s in a series by American Kelli Stanley begun 2010.
  • Meg Corey is an amateur sleuth whose adventures start after she inherits a colonial house and apple orchard in a series by Sheila Connolly begun 2008.
  • Maureen Coughlin is a former Staten Island native who becomes a police officer in New Orleans in a series by Bill Loehfelm begun 2006.
  • Miranda "Randy" Craig is an amateur sleuth who solves mysteries related to academe in Edmonton in a series by Janice MacDonald begun 1994.
  • Bess Crawford is the daughter of military man and a battlefield nurse in World War I in a series by Charles Todd begun 2009.
  • Lady Lara Croft is an English archaeologist explorer who finds missing artifacts and fights danger in Tomb Raider games begun 1996 and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider films begun 2001.
  • Stella Crown a biker and dairy farmer in Pennsylvania solves mysteries in a series by Judy Clemens.
  • Florence Cusack is a young lady detective in stories by L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace 1899-1900; played by Elizabeth Conboy in the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of the story "Mr. Bovey's Unexpected Will".




  • Doran Fairweather is an antique dealer and amateur detective in a series of books by English novelist Mollie Hardwick (debuted 1986).
  • Nola Falacci is a New York City detective played by Alicia Witt on the USA series Law & Order: Criminal Intent in 2007.
  • Erica Falck is a biographer who teams up with her police detective husband in this Swedish series by Camilla Lackberg. Books in the series are: The Ice Princess, The Preacher, The Stonecutter, The Gallows Bird, The Hidden Child, The Drowning, The Lost Boy and Buried Angels.
  • Kate Fansler is a literature professor and amateur sleuth in a series of books 1964–2002 by Amanda Cross.
  • Brodie Farrell is a "finder" of lost objects in a series of books by British crime novelist Jo Bannister (debuted 2001).
  • Clare Fergusson is an ex-army helicopter pilot and Episcopalian minister who solves crimes in a series by Julia Spencer-Fleming, commenced 2002.
  • Sister Fidelma is a lawyer and religeuse in 7th-century Ireland in a series of books by "Peter Tremayne" (debuted 1994).
  • Phryne Fisher is a wealthy aristocratic jazz age detective in a series of books by Australian crime novelist Kerry Greenwood (debuted 1991).
  • Josephine Flanagan is an ex-junkie hired to track down a college girl in Hell’s Kitchen in the 1950s, in Sara Gran's Dope (2006).
  • Flavia Gemina is a rich girl in ancient Rome in The Roman Mysteries book series debuted 2001 by Caroline Lawrence and the BBC television series first broadcast 2007.
  • Flavia Nubia is an African girl, and former slave, in ancient Rome in The Roman Mysteries book series debuted 2001 by Caroline Lawrence and the BBC television series first broadcast 2007.
  • Jessica Fletcher is an author and amateur detective played by Angela Lansbury on the 1984-1996 CBS series Murder, She Wrote.
  • Meredith "Merry" Folger is a Nantucket police officer appearing from 1994 in a series of novels by Francine Mathews.
  • Marianne Folkesson is a civil servant whose job it is to take care of the belongings of people who die without any next of kin. She appears in the standalone novel Shadow by author Karin Alvtegen. Set in Sweden.
  • Solange Fontaine is a private investigator in short stories by F. Tennyson Jesse (1888–1958), also the author of A Pin to See the Peepshow and Murder and its Motives.
  • Maggie Forbes is a police Inspector in London, played by Jill Gascoine in The Gentle Touch, a British TV series 1980–1984, as well as its follow-up C.A.T.S. Eyes, 1985–1987.
  • Ellie Foreman is a documentary filmmaker in Chicago in a series debuted 2002 by Libby Fischer Hellmann.
  • Malin Fors is a 30-something divorced mother of a teenage daughter, and an ambitious detective inspector, in Linköping, Sweden in a series commenced 2007 by Mons Kallentoft.
  • Sarah Fortune is a solicitor and freelance unpaid sex therapist who unravels mysteries that she finds around her in a series commenced 1989 by Frances Fyfield.
  • Diana Fowley is an FBI agent played by Mimi Rogers on the Fox series The X-Files from 1998 to 1999.
  • Charlie Fox is a personal protection agent and de facto detective in the book series written by British novelist Zoe Sharp.[7]
  • Nea Fox is a private investigator in a series of books by British-German crime novelist Amelia Ellis (debuted 2005).
  • Dame Frevisse is a Benedictine nun in 15th-century Oxfordshire in a series of books by "Margaret Frazer" (debuted 1992).
  • Joe Frye is a female detective first appearing in 2005 and now playing a leading role in P.J. Parrish's Louis Kincaid series.
  • Erika Furudo is an amateur detective in the Umineko no Naku Koro ni series of visual novels (debuted 2009).


  • Kelly Garrett is a private detective played by Jaclyn Smith on the 1976-1981 ABC series Charlies Angels and the 2003 film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.
  • Angela Gennaro is a private detective with partner Patrick Kenzie in Boston, MA in a series of books by American novelist Dennis Lehane (debuted 1994).[8]
  • Carol Ann Gibson is an attorney in Washington D.C. who becomes involved in investigations in a series of four books by Penny Mickelbury, commenced 1998.
  • Stella Gibson is Detective Superintendent in the British-Irish crime drama series The Fall.
  • Gunnhildur Gisladottir is a police sergeant in Iceland in this series by Quentin Bates. Books in the series are: Frozen Assets (also published as Frozen Out), Cold Comfort, Winterlude, Chilled to the Bone and Cold Steal.
  • Mrs Gladden is the protagonist in Andrew Forrester Jr's The Female Detective (1864).
  • Cordelia Glauca (コーデリア・グラウカ Kōderia Gurauka?) is a girl detective who can see and her things others cannot, working with the Milky Holmes Detective Agency to combat evil doers in various products of the Tantei Opera Milky Holmes media franchise.
  • Gladys 'Gladdy' Gold is an ex-librarian and murder mystery fan, retired to Florida, who takes up sleuthing in a book series by Rita Lakin commenced 2005.
  • Ginny Gordon is a teenaged girl in a series of books 1948-1956 by Julie Campbell Tatham.
  • Beverly Gray is the protagonist of the Beverly Gray Mystery Stories by Clair Blank.
  • Cordelia Gray is private investigator in the 1972 novel An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and its 1982 sequel The Skull Beneath the Skin, both by English crime novelist P. D. James. Gray was first played by Pippa Guard in the 1982 British film adaptation, and later by Helen Baxendale in the jointly-produced ITV/PBS television adaptation, the first series broadcast 1997 and the second in 1999.
  • Hazel Green is a resourceful girl in four books for children 1999-2003, by Odo Hirsch.[9]
  • Sophie Greenway is the detective in a culinary mystery series of books by American crime novelist Ellen Hart (debuted 1994).
  • Lady Julia Grey is a sleuth in Victorian Britain in historical mysteries by Deanna Raybourn commenced 2007.
  • Fiona Griffiths is a Welsh police detective in this series by Harry Bingham. She has a rare condition called Cotard's Syndrome, in which the sufferer is so detached from the world that they believe they are dead. Books in the series are: Talking to the Dead; Love Story, With Murders; and The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths.
  • Thóra Gudmundsdóttir is an Icelandic lawyer and detective in a series of books by Icelandic crime novelist Yrsa Sigurðardóttir (debuted 2005).




  • Jill Jackson is a Sydney cop in series by Leah Giarratano begun 2007.
  • Gemma James is a Scotland Yard detective in a series by American Deborah Crombie begun 1993.
  • Smilla Qaaviqaaq Jaspersen is an isolated woman, who doesn't accept the police conclusion that a neighbour boy's death is accidental and investigates it herself, in Danish author Peter Hoeg's Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow (1992).
  • Mrs Jeffries is a housekeeper to Scotland Yard Inspector Witherspoon in Victorian England who leads the staff to solve his cases in a series by Emily Brightwell begun 1993.
  • Jane Jeffry is a Chicago widow with three children who solves murders in a series by Jill Churchill begun 1989.
  • Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) is the Deputy Chief in the Major Crimes Division at Los Angeles TNT series The Closer 2005-2012.
  • Vivian Johnson (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) is an FBI agent on the CBS series Without a Trace 2002-2009.
  • Casey Jones is an unlicensed PI and ex-con, tough and brash, in a series by Katy Munger (co-creator of sexual Tart Noir) begun 1997.
  • Jessica Jones is a New York private detective and journalist and former superhero, the main protagonist of the Marvel comic series Alias (2001-4) and The Pulse (2004-6), and has subsequently appeared in The Avengers and other titles. She is married to Luke Cage. It's notable that most of her back-story is retconned into the history of other characters such as Spider-Man.
  • Lena Jones is a private investigator and former policewoman in western U.S. in a series by Betty Webb begun 2001.
  • Jimm Juree is a Thai crime reporter forced to return to a rural area to look after her mother and the rest of her family, in a series by Colin Cotterill begun 2011.
  • Charlotte Justice is an African-American Los Angeles Police Department Detective in a series by African-American Paula L. Woods begun 1999.
  • Jennifer Jareau, Criminal Minds


  • Julia Kalas is a poorly reformed criminal sent to central Texas by Federal Witness Protection in Nine Days and South of Nowhere by Minerva Koenig. The series debuted in 2013.
  • Sarah Keate, a nurse by profession, is the only recurring sleuth created by longtime, prolific mystery novelist Mignon G. Eberhart. (Susan Dare, a fictional mystery author who appears in a collection of Eberhart short stories, is generally not considered a "recurring" character.) Keate is featured in Eberhart's first five novels, beginning in 1929, and also appears in some 1930s Hollywood films. In the mid-1930s, Eberhart shifted her focus to standalone mysteries, and she brought back Keate only twice in the remaining 55 years of her career.
  • Sarah Kelling is a Beacon Hill, Boston amateur in The Family Vault (Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn Mystery #1) by Charlotte MacLeod begun 1979.
  • Irene Kelly is a reporter in Goodnight Irene by Jan Burke, begun 1992.
  • Kitty Keene is a former chorus girl in Kitty Keene, Inc. a radio show first broadcast 1937 in Chicago. Played successively by: Beverly Younger, Gail Henshaw and Fran Carlon.
  • Kylie Kendall lesbian, former Australian bartender, inherits a private LA detective agency in The Wombat Strategy 2004 by Claire McNab,[12] also known for Claire Ashton and Denise Cleever series.
  • Maeve Kerrigan is an Irish police detective on the London Metropolitan Police force in a series by Jane Casey. The series debuted in 2010.
  • Joanne Kilbourn is a Saskatchewan political advisor, later political science prof and commentator by Gail Bowen begun 1990. Six of the books were made into movies for television, by Shaftesbury Films and CTV.
  • Sally Kimball was bodyguard and assistant to Encyclopedia Brown in the children's book series by Donald J. Sobol, which began in 1963.
  • Samantha Kinsey is young owner of a mystery bookshop, and amateur sleuth, played by Kellie Martin, in Mystery Woman, a US series of made for TV movies debuted 2003.
  • Jacqueline Kirby is a librarian, then romance novelist, in four books by Barbara Mertz published 1971, 1974, 1984 and 1989.
  • Kyoko Kirigiri is the Ultimate, or Super Highschool Level Detective in the visual novel series Danganronpa, started in 2010 with Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.
  • Jill Kirkendall is a New York City detective played by Andrea Thompson on the ABC series NYPD Blue from 1996 to 2000.
  • Abby Knight runs a flower shop in Indiana in a cozy series by Kate Collins, commenced 2004.
  • Micky Knight is a New Orleans lesbian private investigator in a series by Jean M. Redmann, commenced 1990 with Death by The Riverside.
  • Wendy Knight is a female detective in the Knight & Culverhouse series of books by Adam Croft, commenced 2011 with Too Close For Comfort.
  • Deborah Knott is a judge and daughter of a North Carolina bootlegger in a series of books by American crime novelist Margaret Maron (debuted 1992).
  • Maria Krause is a forensic scientist in Denmark in this intense, dark and disturbing novel by Susanne Staun.


  • Magdalene La Batarde is a whoremistress in 12th century London in books by Roberta Gellis also writer of historical romances.
  • Mary Beth Lacey (Tyne Daly) is a New York City police detective on CBS series Cagney & Lacey 1982-1988.
  • Skip Langdon is a former debutante turned New Orleans police officer in a series by Julie Smith (novelist), begun New Orleans Mourning 1990.
  • Meg Langslow is a Yorktown Virginia blacksmith in a comic murder series of books by Donna Andrews (author) begun 1999.
  • Charlotte La Rue 59, is a New Orleans house cleaner in a series by Barbara Colley begun 2002.
  • Lauren Laurano is a lesbian New York PI in Everything You Have is Mine #1[13] by Sandra Scoppettone 1991-1999.
  • Jane Lawless is a restaurateur and amateur investigator in a series of books by American crime novelist Ellen Hart begun 1989.
  • Loretta Lawson is an amateur investigator in a series of books by English journalist and crime novelist Joan Smith begun 1987.
  • Aimee Leduc is a French-American private investigator in contemporary Paris in a series by Cara Black begun 1998.
  • Anna Lee is a private investigator in a series of books by English crime novelist Liza Cody (debuted 1980); Imogen Stubbs in LWT Anna Lee (TV series) 1993-4.
  • Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous stripper, is also an amateur sleuth, in two books 1941 and 1942 by Craig Rice, nom de plume of Georgianna Ann Randolph.
  • Judith Lee was a teacher of the deaf who used lip reading skills and jujitsu to help her investigations by Richard Marsh begun 1916.
  • Madison Lee (Demi Moore) is a former private detective in the film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle 2003.
  • Adrienne Lesniak is a New York City detective played by Justine Miceli on the ABC series NYPD Blue 1994-1996.
  • Catherine LeVendeur is a novice in a convent in 12th Century France who appears in a series of historical mystery novels by Sharan Newman.
  • Ingrid Levin-Hill is 13 year-old who is mixed up in mysteries in her home town of Echo Falls, in a book series for children aged 10+ debuted 2006 by Peter Abrahams.
  • Janice Licalsi (Amy Brenneman) is a New York City detective on the ABC series NYPD Blue 1993-1994.
  • Marie Lightfoot is a Florida true-crime author in three books by Nancy Pickard 2000-2002.
  • Gemma Lincoln runs a Sydney Australia security firm in a series by Gabrielle Lord begun 1999.
  • Sarah Linden see Sarah Lund.
  • Ann Lindell is a Swedish police inspector in series by Kjell Eriksson begun 1993.
  • Erin Lindsay is a detective in the Chicago Police Department's Intelligence Unit on Chicago P.D. (2014–Present)
  • Carol Lipton (Diane Keaton) is a middle-aged Manhattan resident who drags her husband Larry and friends into investigating the supposed death of a neighbour in Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery 1993.
  • Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) is a senior agent detective that works for California Bureau of Investigation in TV series The Mentalist 2008-2015.
  • Dr Eve Lockhart is a forensic pathologist assigned to a cold case squad in the British TV series Waking the Dead, subsequently the lead character in The Body Farm, a spin-off series.
  • Kate Lockley was a Los Angeles police detective played by Elizabeth Rohm on the WB television network series Angel from 2000 to 2001.
  • Sarah Lund is a police Detective Inspector, played by Sofie Gråbøl, in a 2007 Danish television series The Killing (Forbrydelsen) in which each episode covers a day in the investigation of a murder. A second Danish series was broadcast in 2009. The series was re-made in English for AMC and broadcast in 2011 with Mireille Enos playing the lead detective, renamed Sarah Linden, with the story transposed to Seattle.
  • Josefina "Jo" Lupo is a former US Army Ranger and Eureka town deputy played by Erica Cerra on the 2006-2012 Syfy series Eureka.


  • Marti MacAllister is an Illinois police detective in a series of books by Eleanor Taylor Bland (debuted 1992).
  • Rory Mackenzie is an attorney who returns to her hometown of Ransom River, California, and finds herself in hostage drama in a thriller by Meg Gardiner, who also writes two series featuring Jo Beckett, and Evan Delaney.
  • Catherine Macleod is an investigative reporter in the western United States in a series debuted 2008 by Margaret Coel.
  • Rhona MacLeod is a forensic scientist in a series of books by Scottish crime novelist Lin Anderson (debuted 2003).
  • D.D. McCall is an L.A. police detective and partner of the title character, played by Stephanie Kramer from 1985-1991 on the NBC series Hunter (1984 U.S. TV series).
  • Blue McCarron is a reclusive lesbian social psychologist appearing in two novels by Abigail Padgett, who also writes a series featuring Bo Bradley.
  • Claire McCarron is a private investigator in New York in the 1987 CBS television series Leg Work.[14]
  • Jessica McCay is a detective played by Simone McAullay on the 2008 Nine Network series The Strip.
  • Sharon McCone is a California private detective in a series of books by American crime novelist Marcia Muller (debuted 1977).
  • Ali McCormick is a detective sergeant, played by Julie Stewart, leading a task force of Canadian homicide detectives investigating unsolved cases in the CTV series Cold Squad (aired 1998–2005).
  • Connie McDowell is a New York City detective played by Charlotte Ross on the ABC series NYPD Blue from 1998 to 2004.
  • Sally McMillan solved crimes with husband police commissioner 'Stewart McMillan' in the TV series McMillan and Wife which starred Rock Hudson and Susan St James and aired 1971-1977.
  • Maxine McNab is a widow in her 60s, travelling in her Winnebago with her miniature dachsund, Stretch, in books by Sue Henry.
  • Andy McNally is a Police Officer in the 15th Division, played by Missy Peregrym in a Police Drama TV Series Rookie Blue debuted 2009 airing on NBC Universal Global Networks in Canada.
  • Elizabeth McPherson is a detective in a series of books by American crime novelist Sharyn McCrumb (debuted 1984).
  • Stoner McTavish is a lesbian travel agent in Boston, Massachusetts in droll humored mystery books with a bit of the macabre, 1985-1997 by Sarah Dreher (1937–2012).
  • 'Madame Liu-Tsong is a Chinese art dealer and detective, in The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong. The television series ran for one season in 1951 and starred Asian actress Anna May Wong. The show, produced by Dumont, is perhaps the first TV detective show featuring a woman, and it certainly was the first American TV show to star an Asian American in the leading role. Sadly, all copies of the show were destroyed.
  • Maddie Magellan is a pushy and impatient reporter and crime writer who starts investigations which magician Jonathan Creek resolves, in the BBC series Jonathan Creek 1997-2009. Maddie is played by Caroline Quentin.
  • Gianna Maglione is a lesbian police detective in charge of a Washington D.C. hate crimes unit in a series by Penny Mickelbury commenced 1994.
  • Katie Maguire is an Irish police detective who gains a reputation for catching Cork’s killers, often at great personal cost in a series by Graham Masterton commenced 2003.
  • Lady Harriet Makepeace is policewoman in an elite unit of London's Metropolitan Police, working with a male partner from a very different background in the NYPD, in the British television series Dempsey and Makepeace, aired 1984-86, and played by Glynis Barber.
  • Casey Maldonado and her companion the Grim Reaper investigate murders in a series by Judy Clemens.
  • Kathleen Mallory is a police sergeant with a dark past in New York City in a series of books by novelist Carol O'Connell (debuted 1994).[10]
  • Munch Mancini is an auto mechanic and amateur sleuth with a dark past in Los Angeles, California in a series of books by deceased novelist Barbara Seranella (1956–2007) (debuted 1997).[10]
  • Jane Marple is an elderly amateur investigator in a dozen books by English crime novelist Agatha Christie (debuted 1930). Played by Margaret Rutherford in Murder, She Said (1961), Murder at the Gallop (1963), Murder Most Foul (1964), and Murder Ahoy! (1964); by Angela Lansbury in The Mirror Crack'd (1980); by Ita Ever in A Pocket Full of Rye (1983); and by Helen Hayes in A Caribbean Mystery (1983) and Murder with Mirrors (1984). Played by Joan Hickson on the 1984-1992 BBC One series Miss Marple.
  • Veronica Mars is a teenage amateur detective played by Kristen Bell on the 2004-2007 UPN/CW series Veronica Mars.
  • Cat Marsala is a freelance investigative reporter in Chicago in a series by Barbara D'Amato commenced 1990.
  • Lizzy Martin is a doctor's daughter in Victorian England who becomes a lady's companion after her father dies with large debts. She investigates crimes with the help of policeman Ben Ross, in a series commenced 2006 by Ann Granger.
  • Rina Martin is a former actress, who played a PI on television, in a series by Jane Adams, debuted 2007.
  • Saz Martin is a private investigator who starts her business with government funding for the unemployed, in a series started 1994 by Stella Duffy.
  • Kate Martinelli is a police officer in San Francisco, California in a series of books by American crime novelist Laurie R King (debuted 1993).
  • Rebecka Martinsson is a lawyer in Sweden in this series of psychological thrillers by Asa Larsson. Books in the series are: Sun Storm (also published as The Savage Altar), The Blood Spilt, The Black Path, Until Thy Wrath Be Past and The Second Deadly Sin.
  • Sister Mary Helen is an elderly crime solving nun in San Francisco, debuted 1984 in a series by Sister Carol Anne O'Marie (1933–2009), a nun in the order of St Joseph of Carondelet.
  • Daphne Matthews is a forensic psychologist in a series of books by American suspense novelist Ridley Pearson (debuted 1988).
  • Cassie Mayweather is a homicide detective played by Sandra Bullock in 2002 film Murder by Numbers.
  • Patricia "Paddy" Meehan is Glaswegian journalist and investigator in a series of books by Scottish crime novelist Denise Mina (debuted 2005).
  • Carlotta Milburn is a Long Island socialite who, with her husband Tony, must solve a mystery which happened the night before in a wild party, in a mystery comedy film of 1935, Remember Last Night? featuring Constance Cummings.
  • Kinsey Millhone is a private investigator and former policewoman Santa Teresa, California in the "alphabet mystery" series of books by American crime novelist Sue Grafton (debuted 1982).
  • Mirette is a 10-year-old girl who travels the world and takes part in investigations in the Mirette Investigates book and animated television series.[15]
  • Tess Monaghan is a private investigator and former journalist in Baltimore in a series of books by American journalist and crime novelist Laura Lippman (debuted 1997).
  • Lindsay Monroe is a New York City detective and crime scene investigator played by Anna Belknapin the CBS series CSI: New York 2005–2013.
  • Victoria Moretti is deputy sheriff to Walt Longmire, Wyoming sheriff, in a book series commenced 2004 by Craig Johnson, and in the TV series played by Katee Sackhoff.
  • Debra Morgan is a police detective in the Dexter series of books by American crime novelist "Jeff Lindsay" (debuted 2004); played by Jennifer Carpenter on the 2006-2013 Showtime series Dexter.
  • Alex Morrow is Glaswegian detective in a series of books by Scottish crime novelist Denise Mina (debuted 2009).
  • Margaret Moss is an actress turned private detective in this Swedish series by Kjersti Scheen. The only book translated to English so far is Final Curtain.
  • Nora Mulcahaney is a NYC police detective appearing in 17 books by Lillian O'Donnell, beginning in 1972.
  • Kate Mulcay is a reporter in Atlanta, Georgia in books by reporter Celestine Sibley. Kate first appeared in 1958 in The Malignant Heart, as Katy Kincaid, along with her future husband, policeman Lieutenant Mulcay. Her character returned to solve mysteries in five books published 1991-1997.
  • Alex Munday is a private detective played by Lucy Liu in the 2000 film Charlie's Angels and 2003 sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.
  • Jill Munroe is a private detective played by Farrah Fawcett on the ABC series Charlie's Angels 1976-1977.
  • Kris Munroe is a private detective played by Cheryl Ladd on the ABC series Charlie's Angels 1977-1981.
  • Laura Murphy is a New York City detective played by Bonnie Somerville on the ABC series NYPD Blue 2004-2005.
  • Molly Murphy is a private detective in 19th century New York City in a series of books by English crime novelist "Rhys Bowen" (debuted in 2001).
  • Ruby Murphy is a museum worker and accidental investigator in a series of books by American poet and crime novelist Maggie Estep (debuted in 2003).


  • Grace Nakimura is an assistant and eventually investigator for titular protagonist Gabriel Knight in adventure game series created by Jane Jensen from 1993.
  • Victoria "Vicki" Nelson is a medically retired police officer turned private investigator in Tanya Huff's Blood Ties series 2007-2008.
  • Elizabeth "Lizzie" Netwon is the title character of the Korean manhwa Lizzie Newton: Victorian Mysteries. In the 1864 London universe of Sherlock Holmes, she is a mystery writer under the male pseudonym of Logica Docens. She solves actual mysteries aided by Edwin White, her steward, fiancé and former barrister.
  • Thursday Next is a Literatec, literary detective in an alternate England by Jasper Fforde in series begun 2001.
  • Saga Norén
  • Pam North is wife of publisher Jerry and solves murders with him, in: newspaper vignettes and short stories written in the 1930s; a Broadway play and a film in the early 1940s; novels 1940–1963; and TV dramas 1946 and 1952-1954. Richard Lockridge created newspaper pieces and short stories, and co-wrote novels with wife Frances. The Mr. and Mrs. North series had solvable puzzles, a humorous domestic environment, New York locale, and socio-political commentary.
  • "'Nancy Drew"' is an amateur detective of River Heights in the United States.




  • Faye Quick is a 1943 Manhattan secretary who takes a detective agency when her boss is drafted, in This Dame for Hire by Sandra Scoppettone, published 2005.[21]
  • Sarah and Meg Quilliam are sisters, owner and chef of an Inn in Hemlock Falls in a cozy series by Claudia Bishop begun 1993.
  • Nina Quinn is a landscaper in a series by Heather Webber (author) begun 2004.
  • Imogen Quy is a nurse at St Agatha's College, Oxford in a series by Jill Paton Walsh.[22]







  • Bubbles Yablonsky is a high-energy beautician and rookie journalist who supplies beauty product recipes in screwball mysteries by Sarah Strohmeyer begun 2001.
  • Magdalena Yoder is the [Mennonite] owner of the PennDutch Inn, who solves mysteries which usually center around food, written by Tamar Myers.
  • Rachel Young is an FBI Special Agent and Dr. Jacob Hood's handler in The Eleventh Hour (2008-2009)
  • Nero Yuzurizaki (譲崎 ネロ Yuzurizaki Nero?) is a girl detective with the gift of controlling machines through use of a piece of metal – and is an operative of the Milky Holmes Detective Agency in various products by the Tantei Opera Milky Holmes media franchise.


Type of detective[edit]

Characters can appear in more than one category.

Amateur sleuth[edit]

Irene Adler, "Cat" Fortunati Austen, Sarah Brandt, Trixie Belden, Antonia "Ant" Blakeley, Amelia Butterworth, Emily Castles, Phoebe Daring, Nancy Drew, Kate Fansler, Jessica Fletcher, Didi Hoare, Sonya Iverson, Bonnie Indermill, Sarah Kelling, Virginia Kelly, Meg Langslow, Loretta Lawson, Jane Marple, Veronica Mars, Ruby Murphy, Maureen O'Donnell, Jemima Shore, Kate Shugak, Miss Maud Silver, Lizzie Thomas, Kay Tracey, Melanie Travis, Amelia Watson

Bounty hunter[edit]

Stephanie Plum, Ineke Valence


Helena G. Wells

Forensic scientists[edit]

Abby Sciuto, Stella Bonasera, Temperance Brennan, Rhona MacLeod, Kay Scarpetta, Lanie Parish, Maura Isles

Intelligence agent[edit]

Carmen Isabella Sandiego, Ineke Valence

Lawyers, DAs etc[edit]

Alexandra Cooper, Sister Fidelma, Deborah Knott

Mysteries keep happening around them[edit]

Angela Amalfi, "Cat" Fortunati Austen, China Bayles, Antonia "Ant" Blakeley, Rosemary Boxer, Corinna Chapman, Faith Fairchild, Doran Fairweather, Sophie Greenway, Emily 'Em' Hanson, Ellie Heskell, Didi Hoare, Meg Langslow, Sunny McCoskey, Amelia Peabody, Anna Pigeon, Emily Pollifax, Eugenia Potter, Goldie Schultz, Kate Shugak, Lady Rose Summer, Laura Thyme, Melanie Travis, Sophie Winston, Eva Wylie

Police detectives[edit]

Pepper Anderson, Angela Anderson, Carol Ashton, Kate Beckett, Olivia Benson, Christine Cagney, Anna Cameron, Denise Cleever, Beka Cooper, Barbara Havers, Grace Hanardarko, Sigrid Harald, Gemma James, Brenda Leigh Johnson, Charlotte Justice, Kate Martinelli, Alex Morrow, Christie Opara, Lady Molly Robertson-Kirk, Jane Tennison, Casey Shraeger

Private investigators[edit]

Tuppence Beresford, Helen Black, Dol Bonner, Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley (Mrs), Loveday Brooke, Anita Burgess, Cat Caliban, Carlotta Carlyle, Kat Colorado, Bertha Cool, Miranda Corbie, Amber Eckart, Phryne Fisher, Nea Fox, Cordelia Gray, Kate Jasper, Lena Jones, Anna Lee, Kinsey Millhone, Tess Monaghan, Precious Ramotswe, Mary Russell, Alison Temple, Claudia Valentine, Ronnie Ventana, Hetty Wainthropp, V.I. Warshawski, Honey West, Hannah Wolfe, Sharon McCone<Where Echoes Live>, Jessica Jones


Jo Beckett, Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley (Mrs), Maisie Dobbs (is something like a psychologist), Jane Halifax, Daphne Matthews, Millicent Newberry, Miss Lucy Pym

Real people[edit]

Abigail Adams, Jane Austen, Aphra Behn, Charlotte Brontë, Daphne du Maurier, Dorothy Parker, Beatrix Potter, Josephine Tey, Mary Wollstonecraft


Sister Agatha, Callie Anson, Sister Cecile Buddenbrooks, Sister Mary Teresa Dempsey, Prioress Eleanor, Sister Fidelma, Dame Frevisse, Rev. Clare Fergusson, Abbess Helewise of Hawkeneye, Abbess of Meaux


Laura Ackroyd, Sarah Calloway, Rebecca Cantrell, Molly Cates, Shandra Covington, Daisy Dalrymple, Evan Delaney, Sally Harrington, Robin Hudson, Irene Kelly, Cat Marsala, Paddy Meehan, Annie Seymour, Margot Simon

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e French, Jack. "Lady Crimefighters". Thrilling Detective website. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Kustanczy, Cate. "New Canadian Author Salutes Sherlock Holmes". Digital Journal. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Author Francine Mathews". Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Thrilling Detective website
  5. ^ a b Linda, Murdock (2007). Mystery Lover's Puzzle Book. Denver, CO: Bellwether Books. ISBN 978-0-9704285-3-0. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Murdock, Linda (2007). Mystery Lover's Puzzle Book. Denver CO: Bellwether Books. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-9704285-3-0. 
  9. ^ a b Mondor, Colleen. "'The Current Crop of Girl Detective Fiction'". Eclectica magazine v9n3. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c Murdock, Linda (2007). Mystery Lover's Puzzle Book. Denver, CO: Bellwether Books. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-9704285-3-0. 
  11. ^ Romanko, Karen A. (2016). Television's Female Spies and Crimefighters: 600 Characters and Shows, 1950s to the Present. McFarland. p. 16. ISBN 9780786496372. 
  12. ^ McNab, Claire (2004). The Wombat Strategy (Kylie Kendall #1). Alyson. ISBN 9781555838362. 
  13. ^ Scoppettone, Sandra (20 July 1992). Everything You Have is Mine (Lauren Laurano #1) (paperback). Fawcett. ISBN 9780345376824. 
  14. ^ Smith, Kevin Burton. "TV eyes: the series". Thrilling Detective website. 
  15. ^ "Show of the week: Mirette Investigates". TBIVision. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  16. ^ Peters, Elizabeth (May 2013). Crocodile on the Sandbank (Amelia Peabody #1). Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 9781455572359. 
  17. ^ Gilman, Dorothy (1994). The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax (Emily Pollifax #1) (Large Print ed.). Doubleday. ISBN 9780739411612. 
  18. ^ "The Unexpected Mrs Pollifax (Angela Lansbury) 1999". Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  19. ^ Galton, Susanna (30 July 2013). "UK Mirror interviews New Tricks star Amanda Redman". UKMirror. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  20. ^ Tey, Josephine (18 May 2011). Miss Pym Disposes. Benediction Classics. ISBN 9781849024341. 
  21. ^ Scoppettone, Sandra (27 June 2006). This Dame for Hire (Faye Quick #1). Ballantine. ISBN 9780345478115. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ 'Trial by Fire (1999)' IMDb
  24. ^ The Helen West Casebook
  25. ^ Wagner, Rudolf G. "Tian Han's Peking Opera Xie Yaohuan (1961)" in The Contemporary Chinese Historical Drama: Four Studies, pp. 80 ff. University of California Press (Berkeley), 1990.