Book Trailer for Pilikia

Friday, April 06, 2007

Tough Dames

Here is a list of women protagonists in mystery or spy stories written by men. Some of the women are partners, but most are detectives in their own right. If first appearance was in a novel, the title of the novel is bold-face, if in a short story, the title is in quotes. Unless otherwise indicated, first appearance is as a protagonist. In some cases, the character appeared in an earlier work as a secondary character.

Alison Gordon by Walter Wager. First appearance: Blue Leader 1979 -- Great book, wish I could find another copy.
Amelia Watson by Michael Mallory. First appearance: "The Adventure of the Ripper's Scrawl" 1996, Murder In The Bath 2003
Andi Holmes by Ivan Van Laningham. First appearance: "The Working Girls Go By" 2001
Angel And The Ape (Beatrix O’Day And Sam Simeon) by E. Bridwell, Howie Post And Bob Oksner. First appearance: "The case of the going, going, gone go-go girls" 1969 (comic)
Angela Harpe by James D. Lawrence. First appearance: The Dream Girl Caper, 1975
Bertha Cool & Donald Lam by A.A. Fair (Erle Stanley Gardner). First appearance: The Bigger They Come, 1939
Bridgett Logan by Greg Rucka: First appearance: Keeper, 1996 as Atticus Kodiak's girlfriend. First appearance on her own: Shooting at Midnight, 1999. Logan is one hell of a woman and Shooting is a hell of a book.
Candi & Simone Covington by Peter Inchbald First appearance: Mama Stalks the Past 1997.
Carol Starkey by Robert Crais First appearance: Demolition Angel 2000. Like Bridgett Logan, Carol Starkey is a hell of a woman. I want to see more of her.
Carrie Cashin by Theodore Tinsley. First appearance: "White Elephant," 1937
Cassidy Black by Michael Connelly. First appearance: Void Moon 2004. Another tough woman I'd like to see more of.
Charity Bay by Arthur Kaplan
Christine Bennett by Lee Harris (Pseud. Of Syrell Rogovin Leahy) The Good Friday Murder, 1992.
•Dan Kearney & Associates (Dan Kearney, O.B., Larry Ballard, Bart Heslip, Gisele Marc, Etc...) by Joe Gores Dead Skip 1872 was the first DKA novel. I don't know when Gisele appeared.
Diane Fletcher by Sean Stewart Passion Play, 1992.
Dol Bonner by Rex Stout. Stout created Theolinda "Dol" Bonner before Nero Wolfe. Her only solo novel was The Hand In The Glove 1937, but she makes an appearance in some of the Wolfe stories.
Dora Conti by Lawrence Sanders The Seventh Commandment 1991
Eli Donovan by James L. Rubel
Elle Dupin by Jack Todd "Nameless Dread, An Ineractive Mystery," the Montreal Gazzette, 2001
Ellen Patrick, The Domino Lady by Lars Anderson
Filomena Buscarsela by K.J.A. Wishnia
Flora Hogg by Austin Lee Sheep's Clothing 1955
Friday by Robert A. Heinlein
Gale Gallagher by Gale Gallagher (Will Oursler And Margaret Scott) I found Him Dead 1947
Grace Culver by Roswell Brown, "Scoop," The Shadow Magazine, 1934
•Harry Garnish & Sister Bridget O'Toole by Frank Mc Connell
•Hobart Lindsey & Marvia Plum by Richard A. Lupoff (Pseudonym: Del Marston)
Honey West by G.G. Fickling
Isabel Dalhousie by Alexander McCall-Smith
Jackie Daniels by J.A. Konrath
Jessica Jones by Brian Michael Bendis
Jessie Bales by Jay Bonansinga
Karen Cisco by Elmore Leonard
Kate Blanchard by J.F. Freedman
Kate McKinnon by Jonathan Santlofer
Kerri Kane by Dick Briefer
•Leo Bloodworth & Serendipity Dahlquist by Dick Lochte
Lucy Trimble by Eric Wright
Madge Hatchett by Lee Mcgraw
Martha Chainey by Gary Phillips
Mary Lou "Dunk" Bateson by Lawrence Sanders
Mavis Seidlitz by Carter Brown
•Mick Axbrewder & Ginny Fistoulari by Reed Stephens (Pseud. Of Stephen R. Donaldson)
Micki Garrity by J. Michael Blue
Modesty Blaise by Peter O’Donnell
Ms. Tree by Max Allan Collins And Terry Beatty
•Nick And Nora Charles by Dashiell Hammett
Nina Zero by Robert Evarsz
•Patrick Kenzie & Angela Gennaro by Dennis Lehane
Peggy O’Neill by M.D. Lake
•Phil Beaumont & Jane Tanner by Walter Satterthwait
Precious Ramotswe by Alexander McCall-Smith
Rachel Gold by Michael A. Kahn
Rachel Walling by Michael Connelly
Rowena Grant by Maurice Gagnon
Sally Colt by Rex Stout
•Sam & Brandy Horowitz by Jack L. Chalker
Sarah Watson by D.B. Mccandless
Sunny Childs by Ruth Birmingham (Pseudonym Of Walter Sorrells)
Sunny Randal by Robert B. Parker
Sunset Jones by Joe R. Lansdale
Susan Chase by Steve Brown
Tamara Knight by Patrick Brown
Tara Chase by Greg Rucka
Torchy Blane by Frederick Nebel
Trixie Meehan & Mike Harris by T.T. Flynn (Thomas Theodore Flynn)
Val Lyon by Mark Troy, First appearance: "Drop Dead Zone," 1998, Pilikia Is My Business 2001
Velda Bellinghausen by Ron Miller
Violet Mcdade & Nevada Alvarado by Cleve F. Adams


  1. Calvin said...

    Mark, I absolutely love your list of Tough Dames, and I'm being picky for somewhat personal reasons (that I sometimes write stories with strong female leads), but I would also liked to see the name of the book (rather than just the name of the female character), the author, and a rating of sorts--maybe a star rating, say, best out of five. In this way, I can get a feel for which books to read first.

    Thanks again for the list,