The 30 Best Female Detectives and Amateur Sleuths in Mystery Fiction

These women thrill us with their sleuthing skills.

best female detectives

Miss Silver

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Grey Mask

By Patricia Wentworth

Amelia Peabody

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The Deeds of the Disturber

By Elizabeth Peters

Letitia "Tish" Carberry

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Tish Plays the Game

By Mary Roberts Rinehart

Charlotte Graham

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Murder at the Spa

By Stefanie Matteson

Arly Hanks

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Malice in Maggody

By Joan Hess

Harriet Vane

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Gaudy Night

By Dorothy L. Sayers

Miss Hildegard Withers

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The Penguin Pool Murder

By Stuart Palmer

Sarah Kelling

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The Family Vault

By Charlotte MacLeod

Patience McKenna

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Sweet, Savage Death

By Jane Haddam

Temperance Brennan

best female detectives

Déjà Dead

By Kathy Reichs

Kate Delafield

best female detectives

Amateur City

By Katherine V. Forrest

Nancy Drew

best female detectives

The Secret of the Old Clock

By Carolyn Keene

Maisie Dobbs

best female detectives

Maisie Dobbs

By Jacqueline Winspear

Phryne Fisher

best female detectives

Cocaine Blues

By Kerry Greenwood

Cordelia Gray

best female detectives

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman

By P.D. James

Lady Julia Grey

best female detectives

Silent in the Grave

By Deanna Raybourn

Tamara Hayle

best female detectives

When Death Comes Stealing

By Valerie Wilson Wesley

Mrs. Jeffries

best female detectives

The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries

By Emily Brightwell

Catherine LeVendeur

best female detectives

Death Comes As Epiphany

By Sharan Newman

Miss Marple

best female detectives

The Murder at the Vicarage

By Agatha Christie

Marti MacAlister

best female detectives

Dead Time

By Eleanor Taylor Bland

Paddy Meehan

best female detectives

Field of Blood

By Denise Mina

Kinsey Millhone

best female detectives

A is for Alibi

By Sue Grafton

Tess Monaghan

best female detectives

Baltimore Blues

By Laura Lippman

Molly Murphy

best female detectives

Murphy's Law

By Rhys Bowen

Elouise Norton

best female detectives

Land of Shadows

By Rachel Howzell Hall

Mrs. Emily Pollifax

best female detectives

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

By Dorothy Gilman

Vera Stanhope

best female detectives

The Crow Trap

By Ann Cleeves

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong

best female detectives

Murder is Bad Manners

By Robin Stevens

Blanche White

best female detectives

Blanche on the Lam

By Barbara Neely