Whenever anyone called me “young lady” as a kid, I knew I was in trouble. Mostly for not acting like a lady—whatever that meant.
From what I understood, ladies smiled a lot and never interrupted. They wore pearls and perfume and little black dresses. They kept their legs crossed at the ankles and ate a lot of salad. It also helped if they were dead ringers for Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly.
Luckily, I fell in love with mysteries. That’s how I met a few perfect ladies—of all ages—who helped clear things up for me. They don’t always chew with their mouths closed or call the toilet a powder room, but these lady sleuths always bring their perps to justice. Cross them if you dare:
Champion eavesdropper. Likes to knit. Annoys her neighbors in St. Mary Mead with long, boring stories.
Renaissance teen. Perfect clothes, perfect boyfriend, cool car, unlimited funds. Always polite. She’s just better than you.
Jessica Fletcher (aka J.B. Fletcher)
Named “most prolific sleuth” by Guinness World records. Moved from a Royal typewriter to Windows 3.1. Deadly allergic to radishes.
Cute, snarky, kick-butt vigilante. Worshipped by marshmallows. Was originally written as a guy.
Hermione Granger (honorary sleuth)
Clever, gutsy overachiever. Trivia queen. Can be bossy. Last name was almost Puckle.
No. Just no.
The Ladies Smythe & Westin
Odd-couple sleuth team. Impulsive party girl, 20-something, and feisty widow, 78. Base of operations: Hibiscus Pointe Senior Living Community, Milano, FL. Always give photogs the slip. Beware attack cat.
So…who’s your fave lady sleuth? Nominate her (or a few more) in the comments below!
(Note: A version of this post appeared at CarinaPress.com on November 3, 2015.)