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Top 3 female detectives
Activity 4

Top 3 female detectives

Text A
Text A

Antoinette Conway

About The Secret Place and The Trespasser by Tana French...

A Dublin murder squad detective with a massive working-class chip on her shoulder, Antoinette is cynical, blunt1, perceptive, and tenacious - and nobody likes her. At least not most of her colleagues, and because of the exact same qualities that make her good at her job. Constantly at odds2 with her squadmates and assuming they’re all waiting for her to fail3, Antoinette’s obsession proving them wrong verges on paranoia at times.

“Top Ten Female Detectives In Fiction”, Kristen Lepionka, The Guardian, 2017.

1. frank 2. in conflict 3. opposite of succeed
Text B
Text B

Kinsey Millhone

About The Alphabet series by Sue Grafton...

Kinsey was one of the pioneering female private investigators in the 80s, and while we’ve followed her through 2 alphabetised mysteries so far, Kinsey’s cases have all been conducted in that decade, so all of her adventures take place in a period of a few years. She is smart and pragmatic1 - decidedly not reckless2 like many fictional detectives (my own included) - and quite rightly hugely popular.

“Top Ten Female Detectives In Fiction”, Kristen Lepionka, The Guardian, 2017.

1. logical 2. careless and wild
Text C
Text C

Anna Lee

About Under Contract, Backland and four other novels by Liza Cody...

Preceding Kinsey Millhone, London’s Anna Lee, who first appeared in 1980’s Dupe isn’t especially well known in the US, but she should be. Smart, sly1, exceedingly competent, Anna has a deliciously droll2 voice, as she deals expertly with sexism from her co-workers at Brierly Security - including the only other woman in the office, her boss’s secretary.

“Top Ten Female Detectives In Fiction”, Kristen Lepionka, The Guardian, 2017.

1. ingenious 2. ingenious


  • prejudiced / biased /ˈbaɪəst/ ≠ unbiased (adj.)
  • male / female character /ˈkærɪktə/ (n.)
  • issues /ˈɪʃuːz/ (problems) (n.)
  • prove her worth → prove she is competent (v.)
  • succeed in / manage /ˈmænɪdʒ/ to (v.)
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You are in charge of one text.

Gather information about the main character to introduce her.
Workbook p. 75

How is she similar to or different from Sherlock Holmes?

Prepare questions to learn more about the other main characters.

Useful vocabulary: The main character is... The scene is set / takes place in... She is + adjectives

Let's talk this out!

Voir les réponses

Share your findings with your classmates and learn about the other detectives.

What are the similarities and differences between them?

Which is your favourite character? Why?

Useful vocabulary: My favourite character is... Among the characters, my favourite one is... ... are alike ≠ different

Over to you!

Write a wiki article on a female detective (120 words)

Let’s use what you have learnt in and / or !

Select a female detective of your choice or invent one. Gather or make up information to write the first paragraph of a wiki article about her. You can include quotations from the novel and a picture.

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