Great female detectives

02 March 2016

By Pan Macmillan

We’ve selected a few of our favourite female detectives both in print and on television.

DCI Vera Stanhope

We first met the uncoventional DCI Vera Stanhope in The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves. The quick witted, unconventional and fiendishly clever detective has been adapted for the ITV series Vera starring Brenda Blethyn.

‘I developed Vera because at the time there were few strong, believable female protagonists in crime fiction. I wanted someone true, real and relatable, so I created Vera Stanhope.’ – Ann Cleeves

Meet Vera in the first chapter of The Crow Trap

Miss Marple

From her debut in The Murder at the Vicarage, Miss Jane Marple is one of Agatha Christie’s most loved characters. The star of twelve novels and twenty short stories, the amateur detective has a remarkable ability to solve crimes that have the professionals baffled.
Listen to Joan Hickson read from The Murder at the Vicarage

Sarah Lund

Danish crime thriller The Killing revolves around jumper aficionado Detective Inspector Sarah Lund. The relentless, driven detective is so committed to her work, she’s willing to give up personal happiness for the terrifying dark world of Copenhagen. 

Read the first chapter of The Killing

Catherine Cawood

Sgt Cawood is the sister is a heroin addict, divorced, with to grown children – one who committed suicide and the other doesn’t speak to her. Despite her personal problems, the strong will police sergeant works tirelessly to keep her West Yorkshire community safe from criminals.

Watch the trailer for season two of Happy Valley

Kate Daniels

Kate Daniels is an enigmatic cop serving her community in the crime-ridden northeast She’s not afraid to fly solo, beneath the radar of professional standards. When her questionable tactics land her in trouble, as they invariably do, she shields her partner DS Hank Gormley from blame. Kate is a risk-taker by nature, a hardworking, ambitious DCI. But with dreams come sacrifices, and hers are personal...

Meet Kate Daniels in Killing for Keeps

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The Crow Trap
The Killing 1
Killing for Keeps