Miss Irene Adler is the pivotal character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Scandal in Bohemia, in which she outwits Sherlock Holmes. It is a favorite Holmes story among Female Rhinos. (Ms. Adler was an opera singer before the tale begins, which should tell you a lot about toughness.)
Happily, Mr. Holmes comes to admire her for her cunning and moral fiber.
Mr. Conan Doyle (b.1859) always offers a good read, if only We could.