FP Staff Picks: Watching the Detectives


In Sarah Schulman's "precise, insightful, heartbreaking, and page turning" new novel, readers meet Maggie Terry, a former police detective whose addictions jeopardize a murder case. Inspired by an iconic writer and a soon-to-be iconic character, team FP collab'd on a list of our most beloved detectives from books, movies, TV, and beyond. From Dale Cooper to Mma Precious Ramotswe, here are the people we'd want on the case.

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DCI John Luther


Luther is a brilliant but emotionally impulsive detective who is tormented by the dark side of humanity while hunting down murderers. Once the self-destructive detective knows the killer's identity, it becomes a psychological duel between predator and prey.


Stacey McGill

Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook

To a New York City girl like Stacey, the fact that an old—supposedly haunted—house in Stoneybrook is being torn down is no big deal. But then her friend Kristy discovers the house was built on a graveyard, and when Stacey sees a horrible face in one of the windows, she wonders if the house really could be haunted!

Mma Precious Ramotswe

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

In this series, Mma Ramotswe—with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi—navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea.

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Dale Cooper

Twin Peaks

An eccentric FBI agent, Dale Cooper, arrives in Twin Peaks in 1989 to investigate the brutal murder of popular high school student Laura Palmer.

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If I Were A Boy

You know Detective Beyoncé leaves no case unsolved.


Agent Dana Scully

The X-Files

FBI special agents investigate unexplained, mind-bending cases known as "X-Files." Though the government is convinced that the outlandish reports are false, conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and realist Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) stop at nothing to prove that "the truth is out there."

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Stella Gibson

The Fall

The psychological thriller examines the lives of two hunters—one is a serial killer who preys on victims in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland, and the other is a female detective drafted from the London Metropolitan Police to catch him. The local authorities have no suspects and no experience with cases involving sexually motivated serial killers; DSI Stella Gibson has.



James Bond

We're trying to manifest something here folks.


Kima Greggs

The Wire

Set in Baltimore, this show centers around the city's inner-city drug scene. It starts as mid-level drug dealer, D'Angelo Barksdale beats a murder rap. After a conversation with a judge, Det. James McNulty has been assigned to lead a joint homicide and narcotics team, in order to bring down drug kingpin Avon Barksdale.


Philip Marlowe

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

A dying millionaire hires private eye Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, and Marlowe finds himself involved in more than extortion. Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in.


John Blacksad

Blacksad by Juan Díaz Canales, illustrated by Juanjo Guarnido

Rendered in a film noir style, these stories are set in late 1950s United States. All of the characters are anthropomorphic animals. The comic attempts to reflect a dirty, realist outlook and a dark cinematic style through fairly clean, realistic lines.


Sidney Chambers


Sidney Chambers is a charming clergyman who turns into an investigator when one of his parishioners dies under suspicious circumstances in this drama set in 1953. He partners up with gruff, down-to-earth police inspector Geordie Keating. The two partners—who bring different insights into the crimes they start to unravel—form a true friendship as they work together.


Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones


Name a more iconic duo than Bughead.


Sherlock Holmes

From the books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Holmes is known for his proficiency with observation, forensic science, and logical reasoning that borders on the fantastic, which he employs when investigating cases for a wide variety of clients, including Scotland Yard.


D.C. (Darn Cat)

That Darn Cat!

The Randall sisters, Patti (Hayley Mills) and Ingrid (Dorothy Provine), never have a dull moment, thanks to the antics of D.C., their trouble-making Siamese cat. When D.C. wanders into an apartment where bank teller Margaret Miller (Grayson Hall) is being held hostage, the clever captive writes "help" on her watchband and attaches it to the cat. Upon finding the message, Patti and Ingrid contact the FBI, and soon agent Zeke Kelso (Dean Jones) is there to investigate.


Hercule Poirot

From the books by Agatha Christie

Poirot is one of Christie's most famous and long-lived characters, appearing in thirty-three novels, one play, and more than fifty short stories published between 1920 and 1975.

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Kalinda Sharma

The Good Wife

Alicia has been a good wife to her husband, a former state's attorney. After a very humiliating sex and corruption scandal, he is behind bars. In order to provide for her family, she returns to work as a litigator in a law firm Stern, Lockhart & Gardner, where Kalinda works as the in-house private investigator.


Doctor Who

Doctor Who

Doctor Who follows the adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer known as the Doctor, a Time Lord/Lady who can change appearance and gender by regenerating when near death.


The Dublin Murder Squad

From the books by Tana French

This series follows police detectives on the murder squad in Dublin, Ireland. Start with In the Woods.


Mrs. Murphy

From Rita Mae Brown's cozy mystery series

Rita Mae Brown and her feline coauthor Sneaky Pie Brown return to Albemarle County, Virgina, as tangled mysteries past and present converge in the best-selling Mrs. Murphy series.



Do you have some clues you want to share, aka detectives we forgot (like where the heck is Veronica Mars)? Tweet at us @FeministPress!

Lucia Brown