Today, Judith stops by the NOOK Blog to reveal her Top 5 Favorite Fictional Detectives:






Everybody has to start with Sherlock Holmes, surely? My father gave me his 2-volume complete stories when I was about 12, and I never looked back. Detective-stories aren’t about discovering who dunnit, they’re about taming the chaos of the world, and no one does that better than Sherlock. (And that I found a previously unknown source for his unusual first name when researching my Murder book made my inner 12-year-old so proud.)


I was thrilled to discover what I think might be the first female detective in English in a penny-dreadful from 1862 called Ruth the Betrayer, by Edward Ellis. Ruth Trail is ‘a sort of spy we use in the hanky-panky way when a man would be too clumsy,’ and she’s attached to ‘a notorious Secret Intelligence Office.’ Rather wonderfully, the office is so secret it has a brass plaque on the door: ‘Secret Agent,’ it reads. Who could resist?


When I’ve had a really terrible day, what I most want to do is slump on the sofa with a new Janet Evanovich. Stephanie Plum is the way I think a lot of us see ourselves – not competent, but doing our best. That she is fast and funny as well gives me the illusion that if only I could find the right phone booth I could rush in, change my clothes and emerge as – Jersey Girl!


I discovered Sharyn McCrumb because it was impossible for me not to buy a book called Bimbos of the Death Sun. But when I moved on to her novels set in Appalachia, I realized she was more than a great title. It’s not easy to write about ordinary people living ordinary lives and yet make the crime element seem integral, but she manages.


I recently reread Raymond Chandler for the first time since my teens. And wow, how the man could write: I’d completely forgotten. Philip Marlowe is the detective for all us sentimentalists – noble, alone, and damaged. And, like all my favourites, he has a sharp tongue. In real life I’d want to slap him silly, but in a novel…



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by GlorySL on ‎07-24-2013 09:39 AM

The best fictional detective is Armand Gamarche......from author Louise Penny.  If you haven't read any of her books, rush to get them!  Unbelievably good.

by mmend on ‎07-24-2013 09:46 AM

Stone Barrington by Stuart Woods

by jburke on ‎07-24-2013 09:57 AM

I think you woalso like to add a few more authors to your list, Sue Grafton, Elizabeth George, Micheal Connelly, and Douglas Preston-Lincoln Child.  Their detectives - Kinsey Malone ( how could you resist a woman with an all purpose black dreams?), Inspector Lynley and Sargent Havers, Harry Bosch and FBI  Special Agent Pendergast are wonderful additions to the world murder detecton.  I too love to read the Stephanie Plum books, and I love books by Sharyn McCrumb.  Currently I have been reading a lot of Jo Nesbo books - he is a Norwegein writer and his detective is Harry Hole and his books are excellent.

by TarHeelGirl00 on ‎07-24-2013 10:06 AM

I would have to vote for Harry Bosch from the Michael Connelly series.  I also like Logan McRae from the Scottish series by Stuart MacBride. 


by RobinBVA on ‎07-24-2013 10:19 AM

Don't forget Adam Dagliesh (P.D. James) and Thomas Lynley (Elizabeth George).    I agree wholeheartedly that Garmache (Louise Penny)_is also in my top list...  I will also always be fond of Hercule Poirot!  

by dandydean29 on ‎07-24-2013 10:25 AM

Patricia Cornwell is great. love her great stories.

by mj8ch on ‎07-24-2013 11:10 AM

I love J.A. Jance books and J.P. Beaumont is one of my favorite detectives. That it is set in my home town of Seattle makes it all the better. I enjoy her Sheriff Joanna Brady series, set in Maricopa County, AZ as well. There is a third series that I haven't read as many of, but Jance's mysteries hold your attention!


I am a real fan of the cozy mysteries as well. Cozies are great for late night reading, as you don't usually have to worry about nightmares! Examples would be (to me) The Cat Who.... series by Braun, Diana Mott Davidson's cooking series, Carola Dunn mysteries set in the 20's. They go on and on! Love Janet Evonavich as well.


Cut my teeth on Agatha Cristie and Sherlock Holmes like so many others! 

by Jerseygator on ‎07-24-2013 11:59 AM

Sherlock Holmes, Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher), Luke Davenport, Virgil Flowers (both John Sanford's), Sandman Slim (Kadrey).  I like my detectives a bit on the supernatural side (except for Sanford). 

by dnatxn on ‎07-24-2013 12:30 PM

I like Dashiel Hammett's detectives best.

by Froide ‎07-24-2013 01:15 PM - edited ‎07-24-2013 01:20 PM

Love some of those listed above, but we must not omit these...


Alex Cross (by James Patterson)

Fearless Jones (by Walter Mosley)

Easy Rawlins (by Walter Mosley)

Violet Strange (by Anna Katharine Green)

Virgil Tibbs (by John Ball)

Nero Wolfe (by Rex Stout)

by JeremyCesarec on ‎07-24-2013 01:16 PM

Thanks for sharing your own favorites, everyone!

by KarenWilson on ‎07-24-2013 03:59 PM

Ruth Galloway is one of my favorites. I've read The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths and I'm reading The Janus Stone.

by HenryD on ‎07-24-2013 09:53 PM

Okay, I know I'm an adult now, but where's Frank & Joe Hardy, Rick Brant (science detective), Brett King (Cowboy Dectective), Ken Holt & his buddy Sandy Allen, or Nancy Drew on this list?

by AnnieMNH on ‎07-25-2013 09:07 AM

I'm currently reading Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series, very enjoyable! 

Also a fun read - Laurie R. King's Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series.