One question circulating on an email list is which fictional detectives are the list-members’ favorites. As a long-time reader of mystery/suspense stories, I do have my preferences, but it surprised me to see so many detectives whose names are new to me. If I jot them down, I’ll have an entirely new section for my Word.doc reading list. (I like keeping the list there as I can add things in alphabetical order, something that is difficult to do with a pen & paper list.)
Back to the inciting question for this entry (since the name of the blog game is frequently-added novel content), who are my favorite detectives, limiting them to 10 in number? I think I have two sets of favorites, one from my childhood and teen years, and one adult group. I don’t know if that’s ‘cheating’ on limiting the number to 10, but I find it difficult to exclude some favorite characters, and also hard to look at a list containing both Freddie the Pig and Andy Dalziel, although some people might see a similarity.
Without further nattering and fwiw, here are, in no particular order, my two top-10 lists.
- Rupert the Bear (for the preschool set; Rupert was always tracking down some mystery or other)
- Freddy the Detective
- Nancy Drew
- Beverly Gray
- Miss Pickerell
- Lewis Barnavelt
- Matthew Looney
- Judge Dee
- Gideon of Scotland Yard
- James Bond
Edgar-worthy juvenile mysteries are listed here.
My list of detectives from my adult years is:
- Anne Beddingfeld (the main character in my favorite Christie story, The Man in the Brown Suit)
- Amelia Peabody
- Inspector Clouseau (the Peter Sellers Clouseau)
- Dalziel and Pascoe (can’t have one without the other)
- Morse and Lewis (not cheating very much)
- Spencer and Hawk (still not cheating much)
- Cordelia Gray
- Kurt Wallender
- Harry Hole
- Recently rediscovered Honey West (if only because she was a pretty pioneering PI)
Ask me next month about my favorite detectives-for-grownups and I’ll probably have a different list.
From my DVD collection: Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle with his sidekicks, Samantha “Sam” Stewart and Detective Sergeant Paul Milner.
- Lady Georgiana
- Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane
- from the comments section: Brother Cadfael
- Perry Mason
- Adam Dalgliesh
- Hamish Macbeth
- John Rebus
- Christie: Tommy and Tuppence
- Sayers: Wimsey, but only with Harriet Vane-they complete each other
- Dorothy Gilman: Mrs. Pollifax
- Elizabeth Peters: Jacqueline Kirby
- RALPH McInerny’s Father Dowling is a parish priest
- Jim Qwilleran.
- Marcus Didius Falco
- Napoleon Bonaparte (Upfield)
- Guido Brunetti
- Sister Fidelma (Tremayne)
- Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee
- Walter Mosley! He’s probably best known for the Easy Rawlins
- Charlotte Macleod’s Peter Shandy
- Michael Bond’s M. Pamplemousse
- Peter Lovesey’s Bertie Prince of Wales