Inspector Elizabeth "Beth" Lestrade

 Lestrade in uniform.

You know what a lone wolf she is.
-- Chief Inspector Grayson, "The Adventure of the Deranged Detective"
Ah, but nothing can withstand our Lestrade. She's a force of nature unto herself.
-- Holmes, "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire Lot"

Beth Lestrade, a descendant of the Inspector G. Lestrade of Holmes' day, is living one of her wildest dreams and worst nightmares. As a dedicated student of detection and Sherlock Holmes, she is in the position of being able to personally learn from the Master. But as a New Scotland Yard detective and supervising officer to Holmes, she is going slowly nuts trying to predict what the great detective will do next!

Standing Lestrade from the poster Beth looking concerned

Lestrade combines the persistence of the police detective (and her ancestor) with the lone wolf tradition of the American private eye. If there's an obstacle, she prefers to go straight through it. But though Holmes regularly beats her to solutions, she's far from stupid. If she wasn't solving cases, she never would have made Inspector -- and she would have been fired by now, especially given her wilder escapades! She has plenty of imagination and is not afraid to stand by her own ideas, even against Holmes. She is also something of a bibliophile; in FALL and DERA, we saw that in an age of handhelds, she has a bookcase full of books in her flat. Even in her madness, she avoided setting fire either to her bookcase or Watson's journals -- though both would have made wonderful tinder.

Lestrade's respect for Holmes is immense. She persuaded Sir Evan Hargreaves to bring Holmes back to life because she believed that only Holmes could defeat Moriarty, and blackmailed Greyson into accepting Holmes' aid in FALL. She is perfectly willing to argue with Holmes when she disagrees with him, but she never denigrates his ideas in front of Greyson or other outsiders. In fact, she even argued Inspector Fairlie of the Lunar Police (offscreen) into giving Holmes another hearing in SIGN2. Meanwhile, Lestrade's respect for Watson is perhaps best shown in that she treats him just like everyone else.

Lestrade's accent clearly marks her as one of the many American or Canadian emigres in London. Her background is unknown. She appears to have little personal life, preferring to dedicate her time to investigations (although for all we know, she could be out partying every night). Holmes and Watson seem to be her closest associates, though in "The Creeping Man" she attended the wedding of Alice Murphy, her college friend and roommate, to Professor Presbury, the father of her other college friend and roommate, Edith Presbury. Lestrade's attitude toward the Irregulars changed over time. Originally she objected to their presence on cases, but eventually she came to value them as sources of information (though she still felt they should not be placed in danger). She is very fond of donuts (MAZA2) and cookies (CREE2).

From Fox's press releases:

Righteous, impetuous and volatile, Beth Lestrade is the super-cop of the 22nd Century. Her tendency is to react first, ask questions later, which results in conflict with Holmes and the handling of many cases. Her philosophy is, "If you let them get away with the little things, they're not going to stop at the big things." Beth's ancestor was a Scotland Yard inspector who interacted with Holmes on many occasions, and his bulldog tenacity was passed on to Beth. She never gives up and always gets what she is after.

From the poster:

Inspector Elizabeth (Beth) Lestrade
Lestrade is impetuous and volatile, the exact opposite of Holmes. The two often clash over how to handle cases. Lestrade's ancestor was a Scotland Yard inspector who worked with Holmes on many cases in the 19th century. A fierce intensity was passed on to her, so she just never gives up. Lestrade often locks horns with her New Scotland Yard boss, Chief Inspector Grayson, who grows impatient with her impulsive ways. Lestrade is Holmes and Watson's guide to the London of the future, the manners and mores of the time, and the technology that has changed the face of crime and the fight against it.

I like Beth Lestrade. As the original Watson's story "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor" describes another American woman:
She is what we call in England a tomboy, with a strong nature, wild and free, unfettered by any sort of traditions. She is impetuous -- volcanic, I was about to say. She is swift in making up her mind and fearless in carrying out her bottom a noble woman. I believe that she is capable of heroic self-sacrifice and that anything dishonourable would be repugnant to her.

More essays:

Whatever Remains, the page which asks the question whether Beth Lestrade, who always gets what she is after, is going after Holmes.

Related pages:

Scotland Yard's official webpage includes useful stuff for fans to know, like the Rank structure of the Metropolitan Police and Metfacts.

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