Eve Dallas – In Death Series by JD Robb – Eve is one of, if not the, gold standard in this romantic suspense leading ladies. She’s a top-notch detective who likewise wrangles the guys around her, most formidably her husband, Roarke. She’s competent, lethal, but still has plenty of flaws and struggles to make her relatable, and to make her interesting enough for 50+ books!
Kate Beckett – Castle (ABC) – While Castle bordered on romantic suspense and romantic comedy, there’s no question that Homicide Detective Kate Beckett was the leading lady. And she always led with grace, beauty and brains. Juggling her team of Rick, Ryan and Esposito, they solved often-times dangerous cases, uncovered the truth behind Kate’s mother’s death, and formed a tight knit family that saw them through the best and worst of times.