Top 10 Female Detectives in Literature


10 Maud Silver

Miss Maud Silver was a detective invented by British author Patricia Wentworth who first featured in the novel Grey Mask in 1928. Silver is a retired governess who began working as a private investigator. Jane Marple from Agatha Christie’s novels has a lot in common with her. Most people underestimate her since she is an elderly woman, which works in her favour. Silver appeared in 32 books between 1959 and 1961.

9 Barbara Havers

Barbara Havers is one of the main characters in the Inspector Lynley series, created by American mystery writer Elizabeth George. She works for Scotland Yard as a sergeant and is the aide of Inspector Thomas Lynley. She is frequently at odds with her supervisor, which results in her receiving punished. Despite the fact that she is not the protagonist of the novels like most of the others on this list, Havers is an important figure in the history of female detectives.

8 Modesty Blaise

In 1963, author Peter O’Donnell developed the comic strip Modesty Blaise. She was actually an unnamed girl who was given a name by a refugee who took her in. Modesty spends her early years as a criminal boss with her sidekick Willie Garvin before becoming an investigator. After the comics and a film, the novels involving her were released. She appears in 11 books as well as a couple of short pieces.

7 Lisbeth Salander

Lisbeth Salander, the heroine of Swedish novelist Steig Larsson’s award-winning Millennium trilogy, first appears in the 2005 novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was released after the author’s death. She works with Milton Security as a reputed hacker and private investigator. She is a multifaceted character who had a less-than-ideal childhood and has had a difficult life. She is described as a thin young woman who is an introvert with few friends.

6 Precious Ramotswe

Precious Ramotswe is one of the few Black female detectives in literature, created by Scottish novelist Alexander McCall Smith. She is the heroine of the The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which began in 1998 with the publication of the novel of the same name. She is Botswana’s first female private investigator and the founder of a detective firm. She has been included in over 15 books that tell the storey of her exploits.

5 Mrs. Bradley

Gladys Mitchell created Mrs. Bradley, a fictional character based on Dr. Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley. She was 57 years old at the time of her first appearance and was described as unsightly and opinionated. In many of her endeavours, she is joined by her chauffeur George. Speedy Death, published in 1929, was the first novel to feature Mrs. Bradley. She has appeared in a total of 66 publications. In the stories, she is frequently characterised in reptile terms, and she even gets the moniker ‘Mrs. Crocodile’ later on.

4 Sharon McCone

Marcia Muller created Sharon McCone, a figure that went on to inspire a generation of female detectives. Her first novel, Edwin of the Iron Shoes, was published in 1977, and it was her first appearance. She’s appeared in 31 books and a collection of short tales. She works as an investigator for the All Souls agency and then establishes her own. McCone is often regarded as contemporary literature’s first autonomous female investigator.

3 Bertha Cool

Bertha Cool was a private investigator who first appeared in 1939. Erle Stanley Gardner, the same writer who gave us characters like Perry Mason and Della Street, invented her. Bertha was a widow who, following the death of her husband, established a detective firm. Donald Lam, a lawyer, became a partner for her. Bertha was a ruthless and abrasive lady who was not afraid to engage in physical combat. She appears in 29 books, the most recent of which was published in 1970.

2 Miss Marple

Miss Jane Marple is one of the most well-known female investigators in literature, thanks to famed mystery author Agatha Christie’s invention. She originally appeared in the short tale The Tuesday Night Club in 1927, and thereafter in 12 books and 20 short pieces. Marple is not a licenced private investigator. She is little more than an elderly spinster who occasionally works as a consultant in the English community of St. Mary Mead. Despite her modest appearance, she is a sharp observer and boasts exceptional deductive abilities. Miss Marple is able to help her inquiry by gathering information from local gossip.

1 Nancy Drew

Publisher Edward Stratemeyer invented Nancy Drew, a teenage amateur detective. In 1930, she made her debut appearance. Under the collective moniker Carolyn Keene, a number of authors authored Nancy Drew tales. She started off as a 16-year-old, but has since featured at various ages in succeeding chapters. Due to developments in American society, the character has experienced several alterations since her inception.