Detective fiction has been a traditionally male-dominated space, so we are loving all of the fierce female detectives that can be found in books these days, whether they’re amateur sleuths or professionals. Women often bring a special eye to solving crime, and these police procedurals are richer for a different perspective. Here are ten of our favorite books starring female detectives that we think you should read.
by David Ellis
Emmy Dockery is an FBI researcher who has a hunch that many think is ridiculous. She's convinced that hundreds of unsolved cases are actually linked to one perpetrator, but when her theories are too far out for her superiors, she's forced to take a leave of absence. Then, she finally uncovers one piece of evidence that no one, not even her field agent boyfriend, can ignore. This one piece of evidence could be the key Emmy is searching for...and it could get her killed.
Manon Bradshaw is a dedicated and talented detective with the Cambridgeshire police, but what she lacks (and longs for) is a life beyond work. When she's called into a case involving a missing Cambridge University student, Edith, Manon quickly realizes that this case has the potential to blow up in a huge way...and it'll take everything she has to stay on top of it.
Marie is a young Black woman trying to work her way up the FBI ranks, but she's going nowhere fast in this good ole boys club. When the CIA asks her to work for them, shadowing the president of Burkina Faso, she agrees reluctantly. But it's not long before she finds herself entangled with and admiring her mark's politics, even as she's caught up in her own country's meddling.
by Candice Fox
Harriet Blue is a dedicated police officer with an impeccable track record...until now. One man named Regan Banks has killed the only person that Harriet cares about, and now that she's started down a path for revenge, there's no going back. Harriet quickly becomes a fugitive herself as she becomes bent on justice.
by Denise Mina
Anna is a Scottish mother of two who is stunned when her husband informs her he's leaving her...for her best friend. Gutted, she turns to true crime podcasts, her obsession, for distraction. But she gets a second shock when she realizes she knows the victims in this case, and she's convinced the host has it all wrong. Ignoring her heartbreak, Anna sets off on a trip across Europe to set the record straight, and confront her own secret past.
Detective Betty Rhyzyk is a tough-as-nails Brooklyn cop who has relocated to Dallas to be with her girlfriend, and she's still recovering from a traumatic case that nearly got her—and her partner—killed. She's back to work, but something isn't quite right. Confidential informants seem to be dying left and right, and Betty suspects corruption. But there's not much she can do about it...unless she goes rogue.
Shana Merchant is a police officer trying to forget about a traumatic case she barely solved in New York City. Now she's engaged, living in a small town upstate, and happy with her quiet caseload. But when she and her new partner are called out to a missing person case on a private island in the boundary waters between New York and Canada, Shana's instincts go on high alert. Is the man they're seeking missing, or is he dead? Shana is convinced it's murder, but before they can call for back up, a storm has her stuck on the island, possibly with a murderer.
Related: When Murder Is In The Family
Detective Erika Foster is called to a puzzling scene one hot summer night—a doctor is murdered in his bed, suffocated. As she begins to dig into the case, it's not long before another man is found dead. Slowly, she realizes that the victims are connected. All are single men with secrets and quiet lives. But who wants them dead, and why?
Dayna Anderson doesn't set out to solve a murder. All the semifamous, mega-broke actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. So after witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she pursues the fifteen grand reward. But Dayna soon finds herself doing a full-on investigation, wanting more than just money—she wants justice for the victim. She chases down leads at paparazzi hot spots, celeb homes, and movie premieres, loving every second of it—until someone tries to kill her. And there are no second takes in real life.
The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used as an undercover cop. Suddenly, Cassie is back undercover, to find out not only who killed this young woman, but, more importantly, who she was.
Related: Where To Start With Tana French
What to Read Next