Satisfying our primitive drive for curiosity, there’s nothing quite like a good mystery to keep us on our toes, and iconic characters like Sherlock Holmes, August Dupin and Sam Spade were all unparalleled detectives that withstood the test of time, still dominating our culture and jumping from pages to script to screens and keeping us hooked in on the charming whodunit crime chase. On the other end of the spectrum, we got classics that embodies independence, pluck, intelligence and everything that girls wanted to be such as Miss Marple, Kay Scarpetta and of course, one of the most well-loved Nancy Drew to rival against men’s sharp wit, and provide girls a space to join in on the hunt. As Anne Holt once wrote, if the great male detectives are archetypically loners, female detectives are doubly so, and seeing women endure men’s condescension through outwitting them proves how they are just as capable to get down with the murkiness of criminal detection.
So if you’re looking to scratch an unsolved itch, read on because we’re got our best girls on the case. – CASA BIANCA
The Strange Case Of The Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
One of the latest literary mishmash based off of some of literature’s most iconic horror and sci-fi classics, The Strange Case Of The Alchemist’s Daughter is a swashbuckling adventure that isn’t shockingly original, but can stand strong in it’s own right. Following Mary Jekyll, she comes together with an unlikely group of women to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders along with the help of famous names like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to answer the luminous question of the murders’ origins.
The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka
Revolving on a small town mystery with diverse characters taking the lead on a small case that’s slowly spiraling out of control the more you dig through the story. Getting an insight on our protagonist, Roxanne finds herself drawn into the story of the local victim’s vanishing act, reeling us into the charm of her private life, dry wit, mysteries and speedy plot.
Still Midnight by Denise Mina
Painting a scene of a perfectly normal Pakistani family living in a respectable Glasgow suburb, one supposedly quiet Sunday night is abruptly curtailed when two gunmen burst into their home where an elderly was taken hostage. Calling in the protagonist of the story, detective sergeant Alex Morrow breaks the cookie-cutter format of the thriller genre by tackling both her personal problems along with her. Derived from a real-life kidnapping, Mina parleys this into something richer and stranger than non-fiction.
Pirate King by Laurie R. King
Zooming in on a woman with 21st century sensibilities, Mary Russell acts as a femme-fatal of Sherlock Holmes – naturally, it’s only fitting that she’s also the wife of the famous detective, one that is flesh and blood versus the myth everyone believed him to be. Not letting his shadow overpower her, Mary Russell is a strong character of her own – a brilliant linguist with a quick hand at various martial arts, the protagonist travels to Portugal to solve a link between a film production company and criminal activities thematically linked to the release of the company’s films.
Trail Of Echoes by Rachel Howzell Hall
Following a riveting tale about a mystery drama humbled to fit the rules of the real world, we see through the gripping perspective of homicide detective Lou, a humorous character that holds her own bars with her sharp wit and intelligence alongside her unseasoned partner, Colin Taggert. Dealing with a story that frames around the hunt for the serial killer of teen females, the problem thickens as she realizes that the victims come from the same subsidised housing where Lou also grew up.