Top 10 Female TV Detectives Who Can Solve Any Case

Crime shows have captivated audiences around the world for many decades. Their success hinges on the quality of the scripts and the detective running the business. These two factors determine whether fans will tune in week after week or drop out shortly after the premiere.

RELATED: Olivia Benson’s Most Intense ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Moments, According to NBCWomen have been the stars of these kinds of shows for many years. From detectives-turned-captains to crime-scene investigators and FBI agents, they’ve captured some of the most terrifying suspects in television history.


Olivia Benson

Since 1999, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) was the people’s detective on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. As a sex crimes detective, Benson was able to thrive and build a career that saw her lead the unit as a captain.

Over the years, viewers have gotten to watch Benson grow not just as a professional, but as a person. Becoming Captain Benson and mom, fulfilling some of her biggest dreams. Getting over the loss of his partner, showing the rope to newbies and welcoming his partner back after a decade, whatever Benson can do.

Amanda Rollin

Kelli Giddish did the impossible and joined an established TV show in its 12th season, Law and Order: SVU. Although the task was difficult, Detective Amanda Rollins stole everyone’s heart and became a fan-favorite Georgia peach.

Giddish will be leaving the show after twelve seasons when Season 24 premieres. It will be hard to see her go, but there are plenty of memories to remember her from. Rollins grew up as a woman, overcoming a gambling addiction, becoming a better detective, having children and finding the love of her life.

RELATED: Ranking Every “Law & Order: SVU” ADA

Jo Danville

Jo Danville (Neighborhood Sela) made its grand entrance – corpse and all – in the seventh season of CSI: NY. Although the team was already established, Danville’s southern charm appealed to everyone, including tough boss Mac Taylor (Gary Sinis). It didn’t take long for the audience to join the rest of the crime lab, falling in love with the former FBI agent.

For three seasons, Jo Danville was the best in the game, putting her expertise to use on every case. She was charming and loving, yet extremely talented and full of knowledge. Her personal life (her children and her past) has made her more accessible to the public.

Lindsay Messer

Some detectives are great at their jobs because of personal experiences they’ve had to overcome, and that was the case with Lindsay Messer (Anna Belknap). Her successful career was in part due to surviving a massacre, encouraging her to seek justice for the victims of every case she was a part of.

As a crime scene investigator, Lindsay Messer spent half her time in the field and the other half in the lab analyzing evidence. It is the combination of the two activities that has made her an excellent member of the team. Her journey as a mother and wife showed audiences her caring side, making them fall in love with her.

Kate Beckett

Although the show was named Castle and many may think it was primarily Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion), it would never have been what it was without Kate Beckett (Stana Katic). The chemistry between the couple definitely had fans coming back every week and celebrating when the two tied the knot.

Beckett went from homicide detective to captain of the NYPD’s 12th Precinct. Fans of the show got to watch her grow in her professional life and get a happy ending in her personal life.

Natalia Boa Vista

Horatio Cain (David Caruso) is probably one of the most beloved characters in the CSI universe, but he wouldn’t have been able to solve as many cases as he did without the help of his team. Full member of Expert: Miami was Natalia Boa Vista (Eva LaRue), who joined the show in Season 4.

At first, it was believed that she was an informant trying to bring down the lab. However, as Season 4 progressed, they realized that Natalia was only sharing positive information, trying to make the team look good. After this setback, she became a valued member of the team and loved by the public.

Amy Santiago

Few detective shows rely on comedy, but Brooklyn nine-nine proved that it was possible. Alongside an array of sleuths with different talents, they featured Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) to the world, making fans fall in love with a smart, brave and funny character.

Although Santiago ended the series as a leader, she spent the majority of seasons looking for a mentor. His admiration for Captain Holt (André Braugher) created one of the best dynamics in the series. Her competitive streak led to her incredible marriage to Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), a fan-favorite ship.

Dana Scully

There certainly wouldn’t be so many FBI investigations if it weren’t for X filesand those who love the show know it wouldn’t have been the same without Gillian Andersonthe portrait of Dana Scully. Although she is an FBI agent and a doctor with a background in the hard sciences, she is considered one of the best detectives in television history.

Anderson’s talent and Scully’s chemistry with Mulder (David Duchovny) are what made her a character everyone is talking about decades after the series premiered. She became such an iconic character that of course she had to be included in the other 10 episodes they released for season 11.

Catherine Willows

Those who know the CSI universe know that it all started on ITUC in 2000 with Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) as one of the tracks. For 12 seasons, fans fell in love with Willows’ manner, talent, knowledge, and caring nature. They saw her become a night supervisor, always working with strong male personalities, but never letting that get her down.

After Season 12, Willows appeared in Season 14, leaving fans wanting more. Luckily for those who haven’t stopped loving her character, Helgenberger will return as Willows for season 2 of Expert: Vegas.

Sara Sidle

Jorja Fox joined Helgenberger as one of the members of the ITUC crew. Her character, Sara Sidle, was an assistant supervisor until she left in Season 8 to be with her husband Gil Grissom (William Peterson). She later returned during Season 10 while in a long distance relationship with her husband.

Her character development has always gone hand in hand with her relationship with Grissom, making it one of the greatest love stories in the CSI universe. However, Sidle was a fan favorite as an individual character as well as for her strength and resourcefulness.

NEXT: Ranking ‘Criminal Minds’ Agents From Worst To Best

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