The female detective in literature and film

Course Dates: 15/06/20 - 20/07/20
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

This course looks at the development in fiction and, more recently, on film, of the female detective. Detective fiction has always featured female writers and an increasing number of female investigators. This course will look at some of them in both their fictional and screen incarnations.


What is the course about?

We will look at a selection of novels featuring female detectives (both professionals and ‘gifted amateurs’), as well as some television women detectives.

What will we cover?

Over the course, we will consider why detective fiction has been relatively receptive for female writers and key characters; we will plot the changes in the female detective over the decades; and consider the impact of different types of female detective on the genre and on the public imagination.
Writers covered will include: Kathy Reichs; Linda Fairstein; Janet Evanovich; Sue Grafton; Agatha Christie; Dorothy L. Sayers; Patricia Cornwell; Nicola Upson; Jill Paton Walsh. Other names will be added to this list. TV shows discussed will include Cagney and Lacey; Scott and Bailey, Happy Valley; The Gentle Touch; Juliet Bravo; Vera; Barbara Havers in the Inspector Lynley Mysteries. We will also look at the screen versions of some favourite female detectives, such as Miss Marple, Harriet Vane and Temperance Brennan.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Understand more fully the development of the female detective as a literary and screen figure and have a wider knowledge of the genre of crime fiction in general.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

An interest in detective fiction, women writers and women characters is important.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Classes will be a mixture of lectures, discussion and audio-visual material. The only work outside the class is reading the novels in advance.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Copies of the texts to be discussed. A list will be given in September 2019.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Look for other Literature courses under History, Culture and Writing at

Tutor Biographies
Siv Jansson

Dr Siv Jansson has worked at a range of institutions in the UK and overseas, including Imperial College, The Open University, Royal Holloway (University of London), the University of Greenwich, and Middlesex University, and the University of Auckland. Siv's specialism is English literature, where she has extensive teaching, research and publication experience. She was Literary Advisor on the BBC drama, 'To Walk Invisible' (2016).

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HLT169

Mon, day, 15 Jun - 20 Jul '20

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Full fee: £119.00
Senior fee: £95.00
Concession: £52.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.