I tend to seek out mystery novels with detectives who are, let’s say… probably not your grandmother’s detectives. Give me edgy. Give me interesting. Give me women kicking ass and taking names. If there’s a novel us a unique female detective—whether she has a badge or she’s an amateur—I am 99.9% likely to binge-read it in one sitting. Then I spend my non-reading time trying to get other people to read it so we can talk about it. Here are four awesome novels about women kicking ass and taking names.
Charlotte Holmes in:
An unmarried lady detective in the 1800s gallivanting about solving crimes—well, whatever do you mean? In her mid-twenties, Charlotte Holmes is the youngest of four sisters and is not here for London's patriarchy—so much so she explodes her life in order to avoid having to get married. Except, her plan backfires, and now she's ostracized. Whoops! But no worries. With a widower's help and Holmes's brains, she's certain to figure things out. While Charlotte's personality might seem a bit prickly and odd (like the famous Sherlock), Thomas has brilliantly written it as the character's response to society's treatment of women. This is a fun, smart, gender-swapped Sherlock—Charlotte is actually now my favorite Sherlock—with a great Watson and a second novel in the series that is even better than the first.
Luz needs to escape the awful life she has descended into and find the daughter she left behind years earlier—but she knows she may die trying. She takes only the clothes on her back, a Colt .45, and all the money in her husband’s safe. The corpses in the hallway weren’t part of her plan. Her husband is El Principe, a key player in a high-powered drug cartel, a business he runs with the same violence he has used to keep Luz his perfect, obedient wife.
Sarie Holland in:
When a Philly narcotics cop inadvertently sends honor-student-turned-confidential-informant Sarie Holland, into a drug gang's death trap, it turns out to be bad news for the police and the underworld—because when it comes to payback, CI #1373 turns out to be a very quick study.
Tess Hardy in:
When Tess Hardy's violent ex-husband mysteriously dies while working in Cambodia, she goes against her better judgment and travels there to investigate. At the same time, the circle of death begins to expand. Teenage mothers are disappearing from villages around the minefields, while others are being found mutilated and murdered, their babies abandoned. Everywhere there are whispers about the White Crocodile, a mythical beast that brings death to all who meet it, and Tess just may be its next victim.