The Spanish female detective: a study of Petra Delicado and the evolution of a professional sleuth



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


Female Spanish Detective Fiction is a growing literary genre which offers unique variations upon and subversions of traditional detective formulas. Alicia Giménez Bartlett’s sleuth, Petra Delicado, portrays variations on the police procedural formula. Because she works within a machista organization, Delicado, as a woman, represents the marginalized. Yet, as a member of the police force, she is expected to adapt to traditionally masculine roles and act within the Postfeminist economy. This balancing act of marginalization and acceptance creates a unique opportunity for an in-depth character study of a female detective and, due to the length of the series, an analysis of the character’s evolution. My study analyzes Petra Delicado’s formulaic and subversive tendencies as they develop in the six current novels of the series looking to explain these tendencies and offer a more complete picture of the sleuth herself.