Reading


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.

  1. Rupert the Bear (for the preschool set; Rupert was always tracking down some mystery or other)
  2. Freddy the Detective
  3. Nancy Drew
  4. Beverly Gray
  5. Miss Pickerell
  6. Lewis Barnavelt
  7. Matthew Looney
  8. Judge Dee
  9. Gideon of Scotland Yard
  10. James Bond

Edgar-worthy juvenile mysteries are listed here.

My list of detectives from my adult years is:

  1. Anne Beddingfeld (the main character in my favorite Christie story, The Man in the Brown Suit)
  2. Amelia Peabody
  3. Inspector Clouseau (the Peter Sellers Clouseau)
  4. Dalziel and Pascoe (can’t have one without the other)
  5. Morse and Lewis (not cheating very much)
  6. Spencer and Hawk (still not cheating much)
  7. Cordelia Gray
  8. Kurt Wallender
  9. Harry Hole
  10. 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.

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Update:  Runners-up

From my DVD collection: Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle with his sidekicks, Samantha “Sam” Stewart and Detective Sergeant Paul Milner.

From Mysteristas:

  • Lady Georgiana
  • Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane
  • from the comments section: Brother Cadfael

From DorothyL:

  • 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

A blog for EQMM!  Something Is Going to Happen

In years past, my routine fix of EQMM arrived (eventually) in the mail via the Army APO system.  Those of us who spent many years overseas were resigned to all of the American magazines to which we subscribed appearing in our boxes at the mailroom long past the same magazine’s arrival in the Stars & Stripes bookstore.  Periodicals in the U.S. are not priority mail and are sent to overseas subscribers in bulk.  Those shipments can sit for a while, depending on the available transport space.  Still, those of us who subscribed to magazines kept our subscriptions in order to receive all of the issues (or at least most of them) and not just the ones we happened on when we visited the bookstore.

Fast-forward a few decades and now all we have to do for a quick fix is click a link.  Ain’t technology (usually) grand!

Hat tip for the information to Terrie M. at Women of Mystery.

The title of this entry comes from one of my favorite cartoons.  If you don’t want to click, it’s a drawing of a man lying in a hammock holding a flyswatter and smacking away at books flying up at him like pesky insects.  The caption is this entry’s title.

When I was a kid, I remember finishing our Air Force base library’s stock of Nancy Drew books and wanting more.  A year later I whipped through outer space with all the Robert Heinlein books our school library owned and mourned being earthbound again when I’d read them all.  Dad snapped this picture when I discovered Judge Dee.  Later I passed the hours overseas with the collections of Agatha Christie from various Army libraries.  I was always on a search for new titles and would read slowly to make the books last longer because once I finished a collection at the library, that was it.

Nowadays, I can’t keep up.  Goodreads notifies me about good reads by email, as does Bas Bleu.  The DorothyL list is a virtual avalanche of titles.  I Love A Mystery just called to say that Jo Nesbø’s latest book is in the store, and the library emailed me that my online requests have arrived and are waiting to be picked up.  I haven’t yet clicked “buy” on my latest cartful at Amazon.   Then there are the books on the shelves here at home that cry at me about how they are neglected.

I have to wonder if Johnnie Gutenberg had any idea about what he was unleashing.

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