The Most Famous Female Detective, Ranked

Choose the female detective you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 22, 2024 07:09
When mystery and intrigue unfold, the sharp minds and keen instincts of female detectives have long captivated audiences. A ranking of the most celebrated female detectives not only highlights the diverse characters that have shaped this beloved genre, but also gives fans a chance to support their favorites. This dynamic list reflects the changing opinions and new discoveries of these characters’ popularity and impact. By participating in the voting process, you contribute to a living snapshot of which detectives resonate most with contemporary audiences. Whether through novels, television, or films, these characters offer a lens into the complexities of investigation, wrapped in unique personalities and backgrounds. See how your top picks stack up against the global community as you engage with the list and cast your vote.

Who Is the Most Famous Female Detective?

  1. 1
    Miss Marple is created by Agatha Christie, Miss Marple is one of the most famous female detectives in literature and has been portrayed in numerous adaptations.
    Miss Marple in other rankings
  2. 2
    Nancy Drew - the teenage detective from the popular book series, Nancy Drew has been solving mysteries since 1930 and has inspired generations of young readers.
    Nancy Drew in other rankings
  3. 3

    Veronica Mars

    Rob Thomas
    Veronica Mars is a high school student turned private investigator, Veronica Mars was the protagonist of a popular TV series that ran from 2004 to 2007.
    Veronica Mars is a popular Hulu Original series that follows the story of Veronica Mars, a high school student who moonlights as a private detective in the town of Neptune, California. The show combines elements of teen drama, mystery, and crime-solving as Veronica navigates her way through complicated cases and uncovers dark secrets in her community.
    • Genre: Drama, Mystery, Crime
    • Streaming Platform: Hulu
    • Number of Seasons: 4
    • Number of Episodes: 72
    • Main Actress: Kristen Bell
    Veronica Mars in other rankings
  4. 4
    Jessica Fletcher is the mystery writer turned amateur sleuth from the TV series Murder, She Wrote, Jessica Fletcher has been solving crimes since 1984.
    Jessica Fletcher in other rankings
  5. 5
    Phryne Fisher is the stylish and daring detective from the Australian TV series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Phryne Fisher has a devoted following around the world.
  6. 6
    Kinsey Millhone - the private investigator from the popular book series by Sue Grafton, Kinsey Millhone is known for her toughness and independence.
    Kinsey Millhone in other rankings
  7. 7
    SVU, Olivia Benson has been solving crimes and advocating for victims of sexual assault since 1999.
  8. 8
    Temperance Brennan - the forensic anthropologist from the book series by Kathy Reichs and the TV series Bones, Temperance Brennan uses science to solve crimes.
  9. 9
    Sarah Lund - the detective from the Danish TV series The Killing, Sarah Lund is known for her persistence and attention to detail.
  10. 10
    Jane Tennison is the detective from the British TV series Prime Suspect, Jane Tennison was a groundbreaking character for her time and has been portrayed by Helen Mirren.

Missing your favorite female detective?


Ranking factors for famous female detective

  1. Popularity
    The detective should be well-known and recognized worldwide.
  2. Impact
    The detective should have had a significant impact on the genre of detective fiction and influenced future writers.
  3. Skills and abilities
    The detective should be portrayed as intelligent, logical, and skillful in solving complex cases.
  4. Range of work
    The detective's body of work should include multiple novels, short stories, and other adaptations.
  5. Timeless appeal
    The detective's fame and reputation should have stood the test of time and remain relevant today.
  6. Cultural significance
    The detective should have broken barriers, challenged stereotypes, and shattered glass ceilings related to gender, race, or other factors.
  7. Literary awards and accolades received
    The detective should be recognized through literary awards or accolades received for their work.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous female detective. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or detective is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 204 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each detective once every 24 hours. The rank of each detective is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous female detective

When it comes to famous female detectives, there are quite a few names that come to mind. From Agatha Christie's Miss Marple to Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars, these women have captured the hearts of readers and viewers alike. But who is the most famous of them all? One contender for the title is undoubtedly the iconic character of Sherlock Holmes' partner, Dr. Watson. However, for the purposes of this article, we'll be focusing solely on female detectives. So, who are some of the top contenders? Perhaps the most well-known is the brilliant and enigmatic Lisbeth Salander from Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy. Her hacking skills and intense personality have made her a fan favorite. Another popular choice is Kinsey Millhone, the private investigator created by Sue Grafton in her Alphabet series. Other notable female detectives include Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote, Temperance Brennan from the TV series Bones, and Olivia Benson from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Each of these women brings their own unique skills and personality to the table, making them beloved by fans around the world. Ultimately, the title of "most famous female detective" is subjective and open to interpretation. However, there is no denying that these women have left their mark on the world of literature and entertainment, inspiring a new generation of aspiring detectives and crime-solvers.

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