Twelve-year-old Bianca feels like the luckiest girl in Venice. She’s apprenticed to the most famous painter in the world – Annunzio di Lombardi – and gets to learn all the tricks of the trade. But when Lombardi is given a cup of poisoned wine at a party, Bianca has to use all of her pluck, courage and cunning to find out who tried to hurt her master.
To celebrate the release of THE DISAPPEARING DUCHESS, the first book in the LAST APPRENTICE series by Imogen Rossi, we have compiled a list of our favorite sleuthing girls in fiction.
1. Nancy Drew (Nancy Drew by Edward Stratemeyer)
Of course we had to start with Nancy Drew, everyone’s favourite girl detective. 18-year-old Nancy lives in the fictional town River Heights with her father and is assisted in her detective work by best friends Bess and George. Nancy has been around since 1930 and surely has inspired many girls to go on their own adventures.
2. Claudia Kincaid (From The Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankenweiler by E.L. Konigsburg)
Claudia has three younger brothers and she is the oldest of her siblings. She does really well in school, but doesn’t feel like she’s appreciated at home. Together with her brother Jamie she runs away to the Metropolitan Museum where they get to solve an art mystery about a mysterious marble statue of an angel.
3. Ruby Redfort (Ruby Redfort Series by Lauren Child)
She might look like an ordinary girl at first, but don’t be fooled. Ruby is a genius code-cracker, undercover agent and mystery solver and she’s only 13 years old! Fortunately she has her butler, Hitch, who helps her out whenever she’s in trouble with some villains.
4. Enola Holmes (The Enola Holmes Mysteries by Nancy Springer)
Enola Holmes is the 14-year-old sister of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. When her mother disappears on the day of her 14th birthday, Enola’s brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft, think their mother has left Enola for good and want to send her to a boarding school to become a proper lady. But Enola finds a secret message left by her mother and tries to escape to London.
5. Frankie Landau-Banks (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart)
This is the story of a gutsy and intelligent 15-year-old girl who’s attending a boarding school and is fed up with her boyfriend’s secrets. Once she sets her mind to finding out more about his all-male secret society, the real adventure begins. As an added bonus, this book comes with a big serving of pranks.
6. Ingrid Levin-Hill (Echo Falls Series by Peter Abrahams)
Ingrid has the same problems as other girls her age: schoolwork, rehearsing for a play and getting to soccer practice on time. But when she happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, she gets involved with a murder investigation and must solve the mystery before it is too late.
7. Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars by Rob Thomas)
The story of Veronica Mars started out as an idea for a YA novel with a male protagonist, but ended up being a TV series. And now, with a follow up movie being in production, a book series appears to be on the way. The story is set in the fictional town of Neptune, California, where Veronica tries to keep up the difficult task of being a high school student and a private investigator at the same time.
7. Ottoline Brown (Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell)
Ottoline’s parents like to go on trips to other countries, leaving a creature called Mr Munroe to take care of her. Ottaline is mainly interested in solving mysteries and keeping collections and she also has a diploma in disguising from a school named Who R U, which is quite useful when she’s on a mission! And to help with her disguises, she likes to change her hairstyle all the time.
8. Gilda Joyce (Gilda Jones: Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison)
Gilda thinks that being a normal 13-year-old girl is really boring and she often wears costumes to make life a little bit more interesting. One day, Gilda decides to become e a spy, an undercover reporter and psychic investigator and she keeps herself busy by solving mysteries of the supernatural.
9. Lady Grace Cavendish (The Lady Grace Mysteries by Grace Cavendish)
Lady Grace Cavendish is a maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth I and writes down her stories in a diary. Lady Grace is always trying to solve mysteries at the royal court, where a lot of her friends work as acrobats and maids. Of course she has to keep her investigations a secret, but sometimes she is helped by her companions Masou and Ellie.
10. Theodosia Throckmorton (Theodosia Series by R.L. LaFevers)
Theodosia is an 11-year-old with magical vision and the ability to sense curses. This smart girl has the difficult job of trying to undo curses at her father’s museum. With help from her vast knowledge of artifacts and her brother Henry, she tries to solve the mysteries of the Museum of Legends and Antiquities.
Finally there is an honourable mention for Ruby Skye PI, a mysterious web series about a haunted library. Ruby uses her power of deduction to find out who (or what!) is behind the haunting at the library. And of course every episode is filled with references to all your favorite books. You can watch the first episode – A Well-Read Polstergeist – below.
Did we forget any brilliant and sneaky girls? Let us know who you think should be on this list!