Female Detective Books

Instructor: Kimberly Elliott

Kimberly teaches college humanities and has a master's degree in humanities.

While the first woman police officer was not hired until the turn of 20th century, the female sleuth in fiction has been around since the mid 19th century. Since then, many authors have introduced female detectives, both professional and amateur, to an awaiting public.

Miss Marple

Seen as a grandmotherly matron, Miss Marple was first introduced by her creator, Agatha Christie, in a short story called The Tuesday Night Club in 1927. Known for her love of knitting and gardening, Miss Marple's primary talent comes from her ability to hide in plain view while acquiring the essential information to solve complex cases. Throughout her career as an amateur detective, Miss Marple played the lead in twelve novels and twenty short stories.

If you are interested in learning more about the mystery genre, offers a lesson called Mystery Genre: Definition, Characteristics, and Elements that highlights the key features of this popular genre.

Kinsey Millhone

Kinsey Millhone is a fictional private detective created by Sue Grafton, who introduced us to Kinsey in 1982's A is for Alibi. A divorced thirty-something, Kinsey lives in the seaside town of Santa Teresa, California, where she is often hired to investigate arson, burglary, and wrongful death, especially when the accused disagree with the police department's investigation. Grafton is currently up to X, released in 2015, and expects to have the entire alphabet completed by 2019.

To learn more about the history of detective fiction, check out our lesson Detective Fiction: Definition, History, and Authors.

Stephanie Plum

After losing her job, Stephanie Plum lands a gig as a bond enforcement officer in Trenton, NJ. Together with a rival bond enforcement agent named Ranger, a hooker named Lula, and her feisty Grandma Mazur, she investigates crime and helps to put the criminals away. Author Janet Evanovich brought Stephanie to life in One for the Money, first released in 1994, and readers can follow her misadventures through twenty-five additional books, including four non-sequential holiday books. The series' latest book, Tricky Twenty-Two, was published in 2015.

Crime Fiction: Definition, Books and Authors offers details on famous crime books beloved by readers and the authors who created them.

Precious Ramotswe

Precious Ramotswe started the The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Gabarone, Botswana, at the young age of twenty-two. With no formal private detective training, Romotswe uses a friendly, common sense method in solving mysteries from runaway children to marital infidelity. Author Alexander McCall Smith brought us the first book in the series in 1998 and is currently up to sixteen books total.

For more titles and writers within the mystery genre, visit our lesson called Mystery Fiction: Definition, Books & Authors

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