Tessa Vance

Tessa Vance

Senior Detective Tessa Vance is a fictional character from a detective series by Jennifer Rowe and TV show Murder Call.


Born in February 1971, Tessa grew up as a single child in an occasional tense environment. Her father was Doug Vance, a renowned homicide Detective Senior Sergeant who was kidnapped and killed in 1985, when Tessa was 14. After his death, the relationship between mother and daughter became strained, enforced when Tessa later on decided to walk in her father’s foot steps. Little more is known about Tessa’s mother, except that she’s married to a man named Guy and lives interstate.

According to the TV-show, Tessa went to an all girls high school near Sydney. There, she was included in a small band of friends and called by the acronym GERT by a fifth member (Poppy). GERT stood for Geraldine, Emma, Roxanne and Tessa.

While at the university, Tessa met and fell in love with Ezra Simms, who later became a journalist. (Note: In the first episode of the TV-show, Tessa and Ezra reunite in a murder case involving his colleague.) The relationship between the two friends did, according to Tessa, ultimately destroy their friendship, and do presently overshadow her feelings for Steve Hayden.

Post-graduation from the university, Tessa went to Europe for a year, just travelling, before returning to Sydney and taking up a waitressing job. This lasted only about a few months, as Tessa met her godfather, Superintendent Bob Murray, who convinced her to join the police force. She went through Academy with her friend Bridget Murphy, who joined the rape squad later on, and while in uniform Tessa arrested a man called Bradley Mumm for breaking and entering, but stood alone in the view of seeing his potential for further violence.

She pushed quickly through the ranks, and after two years working at a suburban homicide division, she filed for a transfer and came to Central Homicide. Being the youngest detective at 26, Tessa faced the challenge of fitting in with her new, more experienced partner, Steve Hayden, and the two of them travelled along a rocky road in their first cases together. But they have gotten closer, and should we interpret Jennifer Rowe’s Something Wicked novel, then there might be a possible future for the two of them together…


Tessa is hyperactive, tense, emotional, volatile, a workaholic, a lateral thinker. In the books she is also seen as extremely untidy and with a very near-obsession with the cases that generally leaves her with insomnia.

Likes: Rock-climbing, singing, playing the piano, reading
Dislikes: Cooking, report-writing, rats, confined spaces, the nights

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