It’s been almost three years since we first met Jessica Jones (played by Krysten Ritter)—a liquor-guzzling private investigator from Hell’s Kitchen with super-human strength and a mean streak that would put the fear of God into some of the toughest gangsters of New York City’s streets. Since the first season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Jones appeared in The Defenders and joined a vigilante team of her supernaturally-gifted ilk—including a blind ninja with heightened senses, a bulletproof bartender with a calling for activism, and an NYC heir with an iron fist.
We’re so excited to meet up with Jessica Jones for the second season of the Netflix series, but her life has completely changed! After the catastrophic events of The Defenders, the loss of a dear friend, and a new worldview, Jones is attempting to get back to her PI business, which she may find difficult. Because Jones is one of my favorite TV PIs, I’d like to offer her some inspiration from my very own bookshelf. Here are my favorite literary sleuths of whom Jessica Jones would certainly approve.
As the star of Jessica Jones, Krysten Ritter knows a thing or two about sleuthing. In Ritter’s debut thriller BONFIRE, Abby Williams has detective skills that would certainly impress Jessica. Abby returns to the small town life she left behind years ago to investigate Optimal Plastics, the town’s most high-profile company and economic heart. When she begins to find strange connections to her hometown’s biggest scandal from more than a decade ago, Abby is swept up into a mess of a mystery—unearthing secrets, reliving troubling memories, and exposing a darkness that may consume her.
Like Jessica, Detective Elouise “Lou” Norton is the kind of detective whose relentless pursuit of the truth often lands in her in a heap of trouble. In the first of the Detective Elouise Norton series, Lou is not buying the suspicious suicide of a 17-year-old girl and suspects foul play. Things get personal when Lou thinks the man who may have murdered her missing sister, Tori, 30 years ago, is at it again. Finding undeniable links between the two cases, Lou is gets closer and closer to uncovering the truth…and becoming the next victim.
Jessica’s best friend Trish Walker, former child star turned successful radio talk show host, finds herself in danger due to the controversial things she says on air. For fans of Trish, ARE YOU SLEEPING is the perfect mystery to dive into. This Serial-esque novel centers on Josie Burhman, whose quiet life is turned upside down when a wildly popular podcast reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder. Reunited with her estranged twin sister, and once again swept up in the lies and terrors of her past, Josie finds herself at the center of a national obsession.
When a reputation-damaging story on a business tycoon leaks at the “Baltimore Beacon-Light,” PI Tess Monaghan is called to investigate but soon, a possible murder is on the table. The business tycoon, Wink, is found dead of apparent suicide and Tess is convinced that someone with an axe to grind wanted him gone. Can Tess get to the bottom of this mystery before the killer comes for her? CHARM CITY is the perfect read for fans who love the noir-ish cityscape atmosphere of Jessica Jones.
Jessica Jones and Charlotte Holmes are both no-nonsense heroines hardened by the mean streets—Jessica in Hell’s Kitchen, Charlotte in Victorian-era London. Also like Jessica, Charlotte is a social pariah who can’t be bothered with the demureness expected of the “fairer sex.” When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her father and sister, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. It will be up to her, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.