female professionals Famous Female Crime Writers

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List of famous female crime writers, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female crime writers list contains the most prominent and top females known for being crime writers. There are thousand of females working as crime writers in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic crime writers have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a crime writer then the people below should give you inspiration.

List is made up of many different people, including Meg Gardiner and Martina Cole. Featuring murder mystery authors and more, this list has it all.  

While this isn't a list of all female crime writers, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female crime writers?" and "Who are the best female crime writers?"
Agatha Christie is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Female Crime Writers
Photo: Freebase/GNU Free Documentation License

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE was an English crime novelist, short story writer, and playwright. She also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best known for the 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections she wrote under her own name, most of which revolve ...more

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Age: Died at 86 (1890-1976)

Birthplace: Torquay, United Kingdom

Profession: Poet, Novelist, Screenwriter, Writer Playwright

Credits: Witness for the Prosecution, Agatha Christie: Poirot, And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie's Marple

Also Ranked

#5 on The Best Female Authors of All Time

#24 on The Best Novelists of All Time

#40 on The Best Short Story Writers of All Time

#3 on The Greatest Female Novelists Ever

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Patricia Cornwell is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Female Crime Writers
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Patricia Cornwell is a contemporary American crime writer. She is widely known for writing a popular series of novels featuring the heroine Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a medical examiner. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies. ...more

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Age: 60

Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States of America

Profession: Crime writer, Journalist, Novelist, Author Writer

Credits: At Risk, The Front, A.T.F.

Also Ranked

#49 on The Best Female Authors of All Time

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Patricia Highsmith is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Female Crime Writers
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Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist and short story writer, most widely known for her psychological thrillers, which led to more than two dozen film adaptations. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, has been adapted for stage and screen numerous times, notably by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. ...more

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Age: Died at 74 (1921-1995)

Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America

Profession: Crime writer, Novelist, Cartoonist, Author Writer

Credits: Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley's Game, The American Friend Purple Noon, + more

Also Ranked

#23 on The Best Female Authors of All Time

#72 on The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models

#52 on The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers

#13 on The Best Gay Authors

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Lynda La Plante is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Female Crime Writers
Photo: Chris Jones/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Lynda LaPlante is a 1993 Edgar Award winning screenwriter. ...more

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Age: 74

Birthplace: Liverpool, United Kingdom

Profession: Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Writer

Credits: Prime Suspect, Prime Suspect, Above Suspicion, Rentaghost Widows, + more

Also Ranked

#70 on Celebrities You Feel Like You Know

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Ann Rule is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Female Crime Writers
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Ann Rule is an American true crime writer of such works as The Stranger Beside Me, about serial killer and former Samaritans co-worker Ted Bundy, and Small Sacrifices, about child murderer Diane Downs. ...more

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Age: 86

Birthplace: Lowell, Michigan, United States of America

Profession: Crime writer, Author

Credits: And Never Let Her Go, Too Late to Say Goodbye, The Hunt for the I-5 Killer, Small Sacrifices Ann Rule Presents: The Stranger Beside Me, + more

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Ruth Rendell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Female Crime Writers
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Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, is an English author of thrillers and psychological murder mysteries. Rendell's best-known creation, Chief Inspector Wexford, is the hero of many popular police stories, some of them successfully adapted for TV. But Rendell has also generated a ...more

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Age: 87

Birthplace: London, England

Profession: Crime writer, Politician, Novelist

Credits: Live Flesh, The Bridesmaid, La Cérémonie, Alias Betty The New Girlfriend

Also Ranked

#53 on The Best Female Authors of All Time

#31 on The Best Mystery Authors

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Kathy Reichs is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Female Crime Writers
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Kathleen Joan Toelle "Kathy" Reichs is an American crime writer, forensic anthropologist and academic. She is a professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; as of 2013 she is on indefinite leave. She divides her work time between the Laboratoire des Sciences ...more

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Age: 68

Birthplace: Chicago metropolitan area, Illinois, Chicago, United States of America United States, + more

Profession: Crime writer, Author

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Val McDermid is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Female Crime Writers
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Val McDermid is a Scottish crime writer, best known for a series of suspense novels featuring Dr. Tony Hill. ...more

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Age: 61

Birthplace: Kirkcaldy, United Kingdom

Profession: Crime writer, Author, Writer

Also Ranked

#35 on The Best Mystery Authors

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