The Greatest Female Detectives

Perception, by Kim Harrington—which you can start reading here on Figment—features one of our favorite types of heroine. You know, the kick-ass kind.

Clarity (Clare, to her friends) is gifted with the ability to read an object’s history just by touching it. And you know what she does with her power? She freaking solves CRIMES. We love lady detectives almost as much as we hate the word lady. In honor of her locking-up-the-big-badittude, we thought we’d pay homage to some of our favorite fictional female detectives.


Cam Jansen
Have you ever been studying for a history quiz at one in the morning when you looked longingly at the page, blinked your eyes, and murmured, “Click.” Oh! Yeah, no. We’ve never done that, either.

Cam Jansen’s photographic memory meant no crumb, thumbprint, or mustard stain went unnoticed. She definitely has an edge in her crime-stopping, but on the other hand, she’s like 10.


Nancy Drew
We can’t mention crime-stopping chicks without giving the deepest of nods to the iconic Nancy Drew. I mean, pure numbers? She’s solved like, 80 crimes. Easy. Maybe even triple digits. She’s a crime-stopping beast.




Sally Lockhart
Sally probably had to face the most hardcore crimes. We’re talking murder, drug dens, and massive stolen diamonds. She also has a baby halfway through the series and STILL continues to take names like a registrar! Victorian-era Sally is definitely the darkest timeline version of Nancy Drew.



Harriet the Spy

Harriet’s my homegirl. You can’t talk about stakeouts and reporter’s notebooks without repping Harriet, the means-well ne’er-do-well. She inspired legions of young girls to lurk on fire escapes and spy on their creepy upstairs neighbors.




Velma Dinkley
Velma was the grease that kept the Mystery Inc. gang going. Also, she rocked knee-socks before the world was hip to the style. We love that the brains of the operation were tucked behind that classic brown bob. You show those boys (and dogs) how it’s done!

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5 thoughts on “The Greatest Female Detectives

  1. I would love to see a book about Cam Jansen all grown up and solving crimes. With a couple years on her I bet she could give the others a run for their money.

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