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The BEST Female Detective (In Fiction) Is....

Updated on May 30, 2014

Kinsey Millhone!

Kinsey is the best female detective in fiction-land because each Sue Grafton "Alphabet" novel that she appears in has gotten better and thicker (more pages = more great writing to read)!

I also love the concept that all of her adventures take place in the '70s and pretty much happen together. Although it has taken many, many years for Ms. Grafton to write the Kinsey books, Kinsey's stories only cover a few years of her life.

With each novel, we discover more about Ms. Millhone. We learn about her failed relationships and jobs; we learn about her community; we learn to understand her motivations.

Kinsey is living her life in a larger way with each addition to the series!

So far, Kinsey still makes bad choices when it comes to boyfriends, but she is great at choosing her men friends. For example, her baking landlord/neighbor.

She is also becoming more successful all around! She goes from being an employee to being a business owner. Kinsey, for the most part, accomplishes what she sets out to do.

What one characteristic do I admire the most in Kinsey? Her organization.

She documents all of her findings for each case on postcards - one fact per card. Her method reminds me of the way I studied for tests in college. I took copious notes in class. I read over those notes and highlighted the important facts, then I copied each of those highlighted facts on a postcard. It helped me understand what the class was about and helped me remember.

If you do not agree, don't hold your tongue. Tell me who you think is the best female detective in fiction.

Image here can be purchased from by clicking Vintage Detective Art

(page edited on May 30, 2014)

The best fictional female detective is Kinsey Millhone!

Introduce your children who read to this 12 year old female detective! - Young readers love mysteries!

I recently (May 2014) discovered a fictional character who will one day be just as good at detecting as Kinsey! Her name is Summer McPhee. I invite you to share the books in this series with your children. The author, Douglas Quinn, has written a truly impressive series that teaches good values to young readers while telling them a good story.

Kinsey's Biography - Kinsey's fictional life so far.

I am providing a link for you to Kinsey Millhone's Biography. It is written by her creator, Sue Grafton. Since I am not as talented as Ms. Grafton, I decided to send traffic to her.

Read and Enjoy!

Father of the Mystery Genre:

Edgar Allan Poe

1841-Fiction's 1st fictional detective, Auguste C. Dupin, appears in Edgar Allan Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales

Mother of the Detective Fiction:

1878- Anna Katherine Green becomes the 1st woman to write a detective novel. It was: The Leavenworth Case

Would You Make a Good Detective? - Try these Brain Teasers with a mysterious slant:

Visit this absolutely teasingly informative and FUN website to exercise your "little gray cells".

Discover a new female detective: - Kinsey Millhone books are easy to find.

I challenge you to find new authors. If you have not read Sue Grafton, I urge you to read these wonderful novels. I am reading V right now and find it the best ever. Sue Grafton gets better and better with each novel. Oh yes she does.

Baltimore Blues: A Tess Monaghan Novel
Baltimore Blues: A Tess Monaghan Novel

I just love Laura Lippman books. Not all of her novels feature my second favorite female detective, Tess Monaghan. If you like Sue Grafton, give Ms. Lippman a try. FYI: Kinsey novels are set in California in the '70s; Ms. Lippman usually has Maryland as her setting.


1st Fictional Female Amateur Sleuth

Ms. Green created the 1st feminist detective, Amelia Butterworth, in 1897 in That Affair Next Door (Large Print Edition)

Let me know who (must be a female) you like to read. Just because I adore Sue Grafton and Laura Lippman and their female detectives, it does not mean that I am not on the prowl for a new mystery book to read.

Sign In, Please. - Do not keep us in suspense!

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    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @eightieschild: I hear you! I will be so sad when "Z" rolls around for Kinsey Millhone.

    • eightieschild profile image

      eightieschild 5 years ago

      Kinsey is such a fun, well-rounded character. Have never managed yet to pick up one of Grafton's books without reading it cover-to-cover in a single sitting. Can't wait for the "W" book. :)

    • profile image

      EstherGCole91 5 years ago

      For me, it Kinsey. I love how her character develops through the series.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 6 years ago

      @KarenHC: You will not be sorry! I need to try Lisa Gardner.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 6 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: Maybe she will start "AA is for......"! I do love Kinsey. Since the series is set in the 80's, maybe she will start a series with Kinsey in the present! Kinsey would be in her 60's!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      I've read everything in Sue Grafton's alphabet series. Enjoy her earlier books the most. Always look forward to a new release. Too bad the alphabet isn't longer!

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 7 years ago from U.S.

      I love reading crime fiction/mysteries! Right now I'm reading some of Lisa Gardner's books. Currently I'm reading, "The Neighbor" with female detective D.D. Warren. I actually haven't read any Kinsey Millhone novels yet (what was I thinking!), but will probably start reading them.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      I read a little of everything.

    • SparkleNZ profile image

      SparkleNZ 8 years ago

      Great lens, I was hoping someone would make one on Kinsey!

    • profile image

      DUMC 8 years ago

      What fun reading! I must take the Brain Teasers!

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 8 years ago from Minnesota

      A very fun lens! Girl detectives rock!

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 8 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I guess Wilkie Collins still gets the prize for first female detective with The Law and the Lady published in 1875 but it's a close run thing. Nice lens.

    • profile image

      Mountainside-Crochet 8 years ago

      Favorite female mystery/suspense writers - Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell, Catherine Coulter's FBI series, Linda Fairstein's Alex Cooper mystery series, Lisa Gardner, Julie Garwood, Tess Gerritson, Tami Hoag, Faye Kellerman, Iris Johansen, Elizabeth Linington (also wrote under Dell Shannon & Leslie Eagan), T.J.MacGregor (mother & daughter writing team), Margaret Maron, Kathy Reichs, Mariah Stewart, and Kate Wilhelm's Barbara Holloway series.... to name a few :).

      I also have quite a long list of favorite male authors, but that's for another time.... another place.

      Enjoyed your debate, I love Kinsey. I DO wish Sue Grafton wrote faster .... brought her books out at least once a year, instead of her every other year routine. I get impatient waiting for the next 'chapter' in the life & times of Kinsey & friends.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 8 years ago

      Nice ***** debate