In popular literature the figure of the female investigator has long been a staple,with Sara Paretsky’s V.I.Warshawski and Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta only two well-known recent examples from a line that extends back to the ‘golden age’ with Christie’s Miss Marple.1 Alongside a boom in feminist crime writing led partly by small publishing houses in the 1980s, feminist critics have reappraised crime fictions, greeting with some enthusiasm the move to the fore of female investigators across a range of independent and popular media. The development of the television crime series, from the 1970s’ success of Angie Dickinson in Policewoman or the glamorous investigators of Charlie’s Angels through to the more evidently ‘socially aware’ and award-winning Cagney and Lacey, can be read in terms of a popular response to feminist concerns and to the changing social position of women.2 The cinema success The Silence of the Lambs (1991) took its central character, Clarice Starling, from Harris’ best-selling book and, arguably, derived its repertoire of imagery-via an Oscar-winning performance from Jodie Foster-at least partially from the groundbreaking work of the television crime series.