Monday, July 8, 2013
(Only three) Greatest Detectives of All Time
Who, in your opinion, is the greatest fictional detective of all time? Whatever you take greatest to mean. Top three if it’s too hard to decide.
by Meredith Cole
This is a tough question. The greatest detective? Ever? Impossible! Guess I could possibly limit it to three... Or at least try.
Okay--these are the first three that popped into my head (with apologies for anyone amazing and brilliant that I've left off).
1. Hercule Poirot
I know, I know. He's rather a caricature and can even be extremely silly at times. But I still enjoy going back and reading the books where he uses his "gray matter" to save the day. There is no twisted plot he can't unravel, or strange clue he won't uncover.
Agatha Christie gave me so much pleasure as a teenager and was the first mystery novelist I really loved, so Monsieur Poirot will always hold a special place in my heart.
2. Harry Bosch
The crooks in Los Angeles better watch out when Harry Bosch is on the job. He's a tortured soul who flashes back frequently to his time in Vietnam, but he never gives up on a case. Never. Michael Connelly does a great job creating a memorable character and showing a side of Los Angeles tourists rarely glimpse. This series is probably responsible for making me quite happy to stay safely on the East Coast.
Spenser is always cool under fire, the quintessential tough guy with "a heart of gold." He is relentless when someone innocent is in trouble, and can be as obsessed with his stomach as Hercule Poirot. Do not read this series while hungry! He's constantly going out to eat with his girlfriend Susan.
Robert Parker writes with an effortless style that makes me quite envious. He's a great one to study for pacing and for learning how to end a chapter with panache.
Wait--is that three already? But I'm not done! Okay, okay--tell me some of your favorites now...