The female detective has long literary antecedents but she has had to fight hard for a place at the top table of crime.

Each emerges from their time and social history dealing not only with the villainy they must confront but also with chauvinism, inequality even misogyny.

And so Jane Marple fools everyone because Christie’s gentle English spinster has a cool-eyed, analytical logic to draw upon.

If men are too blinkered to spot this then more fool them.

More recently Lynda La Plante’s Jane Tennison toughed it out with her male counterparts refusing to take a backward step in an environment created by and for men.

Then in 1996 there was Marge Gunderson, played by the wonderful Frances McDormand in the Cohen Brothers’ film, ‘Fargo’. 

She is another example of the extraordinary hiding within the ordinary. Heavily pregnant, disarmingly forthright and armed with the most astonishing Minnesotan accent, she cracks the case, hunts down the bad guys and shoots the murderer. All while wearing a Parka.

But perhaps the landscape is shifting, certainly the cultural contexts have become more varied.

Alexander McCall Smith’s Precious Ramotswe inhabits her Botswana with grace and dignity.

She is a force to be reckoned with because of the deep well-springs of humanity and kindness she possess.

And what will Scandi noir lovers do now The Bridge has ended? Saga Noren was such an original creation.

Tough, unflinching, flawed and yet somehow much more than anyone else around her.

The series had perhaps run its course, but Sofia Helin who played Saga brought to life a fascinating woman detective.

I will end by mentioning the latest female cop I have discovered, Sigrid Ødegård.

First seen in ‘ Norwegian by Night’  written by Derek B. Miller and published in 2013 she returned in ‘American By Day’ this year.

Miller won awards, accolades and I am sure many fans with that first spell-binding book and the second did not disappoint. 

It is just a handful I know, where is Clarice Starling, Vera Stanhope, Harriet Vane and the rest you might well ask?

Maybe next time, but meanwhile as always, do please nominate your own favourite women who sleuth in the comments…