Girl Detective Names: Trixie, Theolinda, Thursday and Tuppence
Hear the words ‘detective’ or ‘private eye,’ and you probably picture a tough guy like Mickey Spillane or a cooler customer like Sam Spade. But it turns out that mystery fiction also features a lot more female sleuths than you might think, dating back to Loveday Brooke in the 1890s and coming right up to today.
It’s interesting to note how many of these earlier crime-solvers were given “ladylike” professions as covers—either as antique dealers or esoteric academics –or the more modern wedding planners or pet sitters. It wasn’t—for the most part—till the TV era, that they would become career private or police investigators.
One thing that they do have in common though is some pretty fantastic first names, and here are some of the best.
Can you think of any other lady detectives with distinctive first names?
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on September 6th, 2012 at 12:11 am
Nancy Drew of course! She was my favorite growing up, I still have a bunch of Nancy Drew books
on September 6th, 2012 at 4:27 am
Love this list! There’s also the Maisie Dobbs series, set after World War I in England.
on September 6th, 2012 at 6:48 am
Cherry Ames was also a detective of sorts. She was a nurse who solved crimes. Love those books.
on September 6th, 2012 at 7:19 am
Theodosia is a girl detective from a young adult novel
on September 6th, 2012 at 8:57 am
Tuppence Beresford’s first name is actually Prudence. Tuppence is her nickname.
on September 6th, 2012 at 9:00 am
My current fave girl detective is eleven year old Flavia de Luce; heroine of 4 books by Alan Bradley.
on September 6th, 2012 at 9:25 am
Tess Monaghan in Laura Lippman novels, Stephanie Plum in Janet Evanovitich series,Daisy Dalrymple in Carola Dunn books, Lindsey Fox in Caroline Cousins trilogy,Gemma James in Deborah Crombie series, Cassie Maddox in Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad
on September 6th, 2012 at 9:39 am
I was going to say what @Pansy said. Tuppence can refer to two pence (or pennies) or coinage that is usually given to the poor as alms. Though there is an British Actress Tuppence Middleton who was born in 1987.
on September 6th, 2012 at 9:58 am
I loved Trixie Belden and Tuppence (although perhaps there’s something a teensy bit degrading in that one?) and of course Nancy Drew. I love the name Maisie, too. I went with Isobel Spice for my series heroine. I actual started with the last name, which I stole from a friend, and worked backwards!
on September 6th, 2012 at 10:00 am
Oh and don’t forget the wonderful Jane Marple, the creation of Agatha Christie and probably the most famous lady detective of them all!
author in writing Said
on September 6th, 2012 at 11:49 am
on September 6th, 2012 at 12:15 pm
Aurora Teagarden and Lily Bard, both from Charlaine Harris mystery novels, MacLaren Yarbrough in the Thoroughly Southern series by Patricia Sprinkle, Sister Frevisse and Fidelma of Cashel in novels by Margaret Frazer and Peter Tremayne, Mary Russell Holmes aka Mrs. Sherlock Holmes in Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series, Mary Minor Haristeen aka “Harry” in the Mrs. Murphy mysteries by Rita Mae Brown, Penelope Warren in the “Big Mike” mysteries by Garrison Allen, Ali Reynolds and Joanna Brady both from J.A. Jance.
Kyri Laina Said
on September 6th, 2012 at 3:19 pm
I’m thinking Veronica Mars from the TV show Veronica Mars that ran for three seasons. She’s one of the reasons I love the name Veronica.
on September 6th, 2012 at 6:24 pm
Some great ones here–thanks. I knew Tuppence was a nickname but I just couldn’t resist!
on September 6th, 2012 at 8:47 pm
I always loved the Sammy Keys series in middle school
on September 6th, 2012 at 10:32 pm
Georgia Fayne (otherwise known as George) Nancy Drew’s sidekick! and Bess too!
on September 7th, 2012 at 6:17 pm
Agatha Raisin is a delightful English sleuth with her own series of mysteries by M.C. Beaton, that is highly recommended for easy mindless reading.
Also, I’ve just read another mystery featuring the tales of a set of twin detectives, Honoria (F) and Deveraux (M), nicknamed Twinks and Blotto, set in the 1920’s. I personally love love love Honoria and the book, by Simon Brett, is hilarious!!!
on September 7th, 2012 at 6:42 pm
I like Harriet Vane from the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries by Dorothy Sayers. Strong character, great name!
Lucky Lindy Said
on September 8th, 2012 at 3:05 pm
I am thrilled to see the Thursday Next series listed! Name lovers, you are sure to get a giggle or two if you take time to read the series, the author knows how to have fun naming his characters!
on September 9th, 2012 at 5:56 pm
Never knew that there was a detective named Cordelia! Cordelia tops my list. I also have Violet for a middle name.
Jemima is one I would strongly discourage using.
on September 18th, 2012 at 8:02 pm
I remember seeing the word “Seychelles” on a map as a kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old, and thinking “Wow, that would be a pretty name!” 🙂 How funny to hear it considered that way on this list. I always enjoy the creative name categories you guys come up with.
on September 26th, 2012 at 9:35 am
Jessica Fletcher, of Murder She Wrote! I loved Murder She Wrote.
on October 23rd, 2012 at 2:14 pm
Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie of Glen Garry and Rannoch, in the Her Royal Spyness mysteries by Rhys Bowen!
on June 4th, 2013 at 9:50 pm
Eve Dallas of the In Death series by J.D. Robb
on September 21st, 2018 at 2:28 pm
I love the Trixie Beldon books!
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