WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE DETECTIVE?
When I discovered Nancy Drew at an early age, I not only fell in love with reading mysteries, but also became addicted to watching them on TV. Some early favorites were 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, Honey West, and The Avengers.
Yes, I am really dating myself here. But I picked up some excellent karate moves from Emma Peel!
In writing my newest mystery, BIRTHDAYS ARE MURDER, there’s a moment when Sierra Sullivan, my protagonist, is about to be interviewed by the police. She tries to buck up her flagging spirits by pretending she’s playing the role of her favorite on-screen kick-ass detective.
When I tried to type the name into my manuscript, I realized I had so many favorites that I simply could not choose.
Since I love hearing from mystery readers, I decided it would be fun to find out who your favorite female TV/movie detectives are.
Everyone who leaves a comment by January 10th will be entered in a giveaway to receive a signed edition of BIRTHDAYS ARE MURDER and an acknowledgement in the book.
Thanks so much for the help!
My fav detective is Emma Peele of the Avengers TV show. She rocked the Catsuit!
I think she invented the catsuit! After watching that show, I wanted to complete my college P.E. requirement in fencing. But it was so popular the class was all booked. So I ended up in a bowling class. Definitely not as appealing!
That is too funny! I’ve always wanted to learn how to fence. Now I remember it was because Emma inspired me!
I have so many favorite detectives….lately I have been watching some shows set in the early 20th century; my favorite of late are The Frankie Drake mysteries set in Toronto after WWI ( I think) , during prohibition at a time when women were still expected to stay home cook, clean and have babies.
I personally have been loving Vera from the British mystery TV series, Vera. She is dectective chief inspector who is nobody’s fool and keeps pushing until the answers pop up.
Brenda Blethyn is fantastic as Vera. It’s an amazing production. Love her hat! I’m almost up to the current season 11.
Agatha Raisin…she blunders into crime solving and she is, of course, English, which is one of my very favorite genres!
I love the actors on the TV version. And the scenery is to die for!
My favorite TV detective is Laura Holt, the classy and brilliant puppet master, who was brought to life by the gorgeous and cool Stephanie Zimbalist on Remington Steele.
I loved loved loved that show. Great choice, Pat!
Cindy asking who’s your favorite detective is a lot like asking who is your favorite child? No matter what the answer, I’m bound to leave many out. I’m going to cheat a bit and say Elizabeth George’s Tommy Lynley and Barbara Havers. They’re both so good in their own right, but the interplay between man/woman, title/commoner, wealthy/poor adds interest and challenge, both to their solving skills and their living skills
A very complex mystery series. I’ve read the books but now I need to check it out on BritBox.
Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone. She got me hooked on first-person female sleuths–which I now write!
I read that her family inked a deal to put Kinsey on the screen. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.
Travis McGhee from the old John D. MacDonald series. If you haven’t read them, it’s time!
I think I own all of his colorful books!
Dee Dee McCall from the tv show. Hunter
That’s a show from the past. Forgot about that one. Thanks, Deborah for the reminder.
I enjoy Frankie Drake Mysteries- her best friend and partner also works with her in her detective agency, female morality officer helps out and female also works at coroner’s office- it’s set in the 1920s in Toronto
That’s a fun series. Plus informative about that time period.
So hard to pick just one – fond of Jessica in Murder She Wrote to Maddie in Moonlighting but I’ve always admired the resourcefulness of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum!
All wonderful selections. I would love to watch those old Moonlighting episodes again.
The police detectives on The Closer were hard to beat–successively, Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Lee Johnson and Mary McDonnell as Sharon Raydor–for a total of seven years. Just the right combination of heart and no-nonsense, get-the-job-done strength. A more recent favorite is Kate Winslet as Mare in Mare of Easttown. She was able to push through all kinds of dangerous situations, even though many times they affected her personally in a heart-rending way. And as someone who was born and spent my first 20 years living in the Philadelphia suburbs, I can confirm that her Philly accent was totally authentic–pretty good for a Brit, right?
I love several—Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Guido Brunetti (Author Donna Leon), The Thursday Murder Club, and many more.
So many wonderful choices!
I really enjoyed the camaraderie of The Closer and Major Crimes. I think Kate Winslet is an amazing actress in any accent!
There are so many, Jessica Fletcher, Pepper Anderson, Rizzoli, Kate Beckett
There are way too many favorites. I love all the ones you named!
Maisie Dobbs is my favorite detective. She is a fascinating and intriguing woman of her time. A knowing and sensitive soul.
Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine
That’s such a funny show. She’s a great character!
There are so many but Marge Gunderson played by Frances McDormand in Fargo. Great acting & that accent!
Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. Creepy but effective & again great acting. Miss Marple, of course.
Just saw your comment. Some good choices there. Wonderful acting.
Mariska Hargitay who plays Olivia on Law and Order. If you’re using book characters, I have to agree with Miss Marple.
Miss Marple is mentioned a few times in the book, but in this case I’m looking for a small or big screen female detective. Olivia on Law and Order is a great suggestion, Louise.
Ruth Galloway is a unique and captivating, larger than life woman whose detective skills are amazing.
I adore Ruth. Elly Griffiths’ books are fabulous.
Holly Hunter as a detective Grace Hanadarko on Saving Grace! Loved her character and all her flaws! I just watched it all again on Hulu.
That’s a good one. I just subscribed to Hulu. It’s time to watch her in action again.
I haven’t read them yet, but I’ve heard great comments on her series.
My favorite detective is Nancy Drew
Who doesn’t love Nancy Drew?
I like many of the British detectives. Father Brown is one of my favorites. As a child I really liked reading Encyclopedia Brown.
Two great series.
Detective Rizzoli on TV. She is smart and strong. Love her.
Truly one of my favorites.
My favorite tv detective is Jessica Fletcher (Murder She Wrote), my favorite literary detective is Hercule Poirot. However, I really just love mysteries 😃
Great choices. I love them too!
Vera Stanhope in the series Vera is my favorite by far. Utterly incredible and smart.
Great series. Brenda’s an amazing actress. She really embodies the Vera character.
I love Kate Beckett of tv’s Castle series.
I miss that show! It ended way too soon.
Absolutely agree with Kate Beckett. Currently binge watching Castle again right now. Love reading all of these responses. So many take me back and make me want to rewatch some old series. Loved Mariska Hargitay (Olivia – L & O SUV) and even farther back, Stephanie Zimbalist in Remmington Steele. Who didn’t love her interaction with Pierce Brosnan? As well as her father Efrem? And going back farther, The Avengers with Emma Peel. There are simply too many good women, as well as teams, out there to mention them all (MacMillan & Wife & Hart to Hart also come to mind).
My favorite detective is Columbo
What a character!
My gosh all the great detectives mentioned here! I would have to say my favorite female detective is Jessica Fletcher. What a great actress! My second choice is Veronica Mars with a third choice going to Nancy Drew.
Great choices. I need to watch Veronica Mars again. It’s been a while. I’ve probably seen the Murder She Wrote episodes at least five times each!
My favorite female detective is Jessica Fletcher. Love her. She’s observant and picks up on things that don’t add up. My second favorite is Nancy Drew. Like you, I have so many favorites.
Please enter me
Hope I Win
You picked two very popular detectives, Crystal!
OH my goodness, so many great choices! If I have to choose, it would either be Jane Rizzoli as the kickass detective or Tempe Brennan (Bones) as the learning to be kickass scientific geek detective. Beyond that the choices are endless and that’s before we get to the ones who aren’t on-screen…yet!
I almost forgot about Tempe Brennan. She’s a kickass forensic anthropologist for sure!
My favorite detective is Stavros .He was one of the detectives on Kojak.
Oh, gosh. That takes me back. Great memory.
Female would be Miss Marple portrayed by Joan Hickson. But, my favorite screen detective is hands -down Charlie Chan portrayed by Sidney Toler. Thanks for asking!
I feel like I’m going back in time with these wonderful suggestions. Oldies but goodies.
Move over Nancy Drew, I read every Trixie Belden as a young girl!
Of course, yes to Kinsey Milhone, Kate Beckett, and Emma Peele.
Have fun deciding.
It’s going to be a difficult decision!
Columbo. Thank you for this chance!
You’re very welcome. Loved that old show.
There are so many good ones! Of course I like Murder She Wrote’s Jessica Fletcher, Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone and Castle’s Kate Beckett! Currently I like Miss Scarlet and the Duke on PBS!
Miss Scarlet and the Duke is a good one. Interesting times!
My favorites are Dex Parios, Kinsey Milhone or Maisie Dobbs.
Dex in Stumptown was such a great character. I was so disappointed it wasn’t renewed.
Columbo was my man. He was great.
He is certainly popular on this post! What a character.
I like Magnum PI but that’s just because I always liked Tom Selleck, I’m sure. And one I’m sure you’re not familiar with, Sam Overstreet (He’s the detective in my mystery series).
You’ve gotten lots of good responses!
I just binged my way through all the original Magnum PI episodes. I also like the new version that’s out. I need to check out Sam Overstreet now!
I too have so many favourites, but Jessica Fletcher is one of the greats as is Miss Marple.
You can’t beat Jessica. So elegant and so astute!
I love Olivia Benson from Law & Order SUV.
You’re not alone!
Laura Holt! Classy, smart, and would run circles around Remington Steele
The classiest! Loved her and that show.
Are you looking for someone from the past? Laura Holt or Chris Cagney from Cagney and Lacey come to mind. If you are looking for someone more current, Kate Beckett would be the good choice for kick ass detective. Great question Cindy.
Any series detective. I forgot about Cagney and Lacey. Is there still a way to watch that series? Laura Holt and Kate Beckett both are favorites of mine and this group so far. Thanks for the comment, Cathy.
About to be telling my age here but my favorite tv detectives were Charlies Angels.
Ha ha. The original Charlies Angels. Fun show. Excellent suggestion, Margie.
One of my many faves is Phryne Fisher, ( the Australian series “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”). She’s a feisty, adventurous gal who always solves the mystery, dresses sassily, gets the criminals and flaunts convention but I also love Miss Marple and many others.
Guess you just might have to put everyone’s suggestions into a hat (cloche, of course)and draw out a name.
So many choices. I recently discovered Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I love her wardrobe. And I’m sure I have a cloche hat in my closet somewhere!
One of my favorite female detectives is Alexa Crowe (Lucy Lawless) in My Life is Murder. Series comes out of Australia and New Zealand. Then Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, also Aussie, and Castle’s Kate Beckett.
Thanks for mentioning Alexa. I’ve been savoring the second season because I don’t want it to end. I love the New Zealand scenery too!
Olivia Benson from the early days of Law and Order when she was a detective. (We still love that show!)
Olivia is a popular one!
It is a hard choise but Frankie Drake and her team. Especially the coroner.
I love the coroner. That’s such a great show. What a team!
Right now, my favorites are the Bourne girls from Barbara Collins’s Trash ‘n’ Treasures series. All time would be Honey West!
I loved Honey West when I was a kid. Thanks for the Trash ‘n’ Treasures suggestion.
Cagney and Lacey! Yes both… she considers them as one, and secretly calls herself Cagney and Lacey!:)
I just started watching them. Found Season 1 on some new channel. Sure takes me back!