Thursday 13 Great Literary Detectives


For this week’s Thursday Thirteen, I was going to list my favorite fictional detectives. But TV detectives would have captured a majority of the list. So, those will wait for another week.

13 of My Favorite Literary Detectives:

1. Sherlock Holmes – Of course, the most famous and wonderful professional detective, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

2. Hercule Poirot – Maybe the next most famous and beloved detective, created by the immortal Agatha Christie.

3. Miss Marple – Christie’s loveable murder-solving old spinster.

4. Batman – Have to include the greatest comic book detective!

5. Nancy Drew – Everyone’s favorite teenage detective. (Though some may argue the Hardy Boys.)

6. Mandie – A favorite series as a child, written by Lois Gladys Leppard. I had quite a few, but unfortunately my mother or I must have sold them in a garage sale years ago. I’m almost as sad about that as my lost Nancy Drew collection.

7. V.I. Warshawski – Written by Sara Paretsky, this tough but feminine detective is must-read. (And made a great movie starring Cathlene Turner as well!)

8. Fletch – Written by Gregory Mcdonald, is a sarcastically witty reporter and amatuer detective. (And also made it into a couple very funny movies starring Chevy Chase.)

9. Annja Creed – Archeologists have to be detectives of a sort. And mysteries always seem to surround her, written by a couple authors under the name Alex Archer.

10. John Taylor – This dark, mysterious and funny detective scours the Nightside, created by Simon R. Green.

11. Magdalena Yoder – A hilarious Mennonite, innkeeper and amateur sleuth created by Tamar Myers.

12. Amelia Peabody – Mysteries and Egyptology… two of my favorite things, written by Elizabeth Peters.

13. Harry Dresden – I’ve just about finished the first book in the series; and I’m already loving this character, penned by Jim Butcher.


62 thoughts on “Thursday 13 Great Literary Detectives”

  1. Sherlock is my all time favourite detective. I also really enjoy Nero Wolf. When I was a kid my favourite “kid” detective was Trixie Bleden. Read every single one. 🙂

  2. Ooh. This is a great list. You even introduced me to a few characters I haven’t heard of and would like to check out. The most recent sleuth I’ve read is Stephanie Plum (books 1-3). Some very laugh out loud moments in them.

    I’m not a Thursday Thirteen regular yet, but am really enjoying the variety of blogs I’ve come across.

  3. Great list! #1-5 are on my list of favourite detectives, as are Lindsey Davis’ Falco, and Lilian Jackson Braun’s KoKo. I’ll have to check out the books by Peters – Egyptology and mysteries are two favourites of mine as well!

    Happy T13. 🙂

  4. The first 5 are favorites & I saw the V.I. Warshawski movie, but the rest are new to me.

    The last literary sleuth I read was Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, but I wouldn’t recommend them unless you’re a cruciverbalist.

  5. Great list! I love Agatha Christie’s famous sleuths, and also Amelia Peabody. Harry Dresden and John Taylor are both on my must-check-out list. 🙂

  6. Yay! A new convert to the Dresden Files! Gotta love Harry. 🙂

    In fact, I love most of your list, except that I’ve never heard of Annja Creed. Since you’ve obviously got great taste in detectives, I’ll put Alex Archer’s books on my list to check out.

  7. I’ve never really been big on detective/mystery novels. I was the odd girl who never got into Nacy Drew. But I may have to start reading some of the genre. Great TT!

  8. I love Nancy Drew, V.I., John taylor, Amelia.

    Do you ever read the Anita Blake series?

    I am on the fence about Dresden. I may ahve to read some more of the books.

  9. Great list! I’m jealous you thought of it first!

    Have you seen Murder By Death? It’s one of my favorite comedies, and is a Neil Simon spoof on a bunch of famous literary detectives…you’d love it!

  10. I love the Dresden files. I just recently found out about the series coming out on the scifi channel. i can’t wait for it… hope they don’t ruin it though.

  11. I love VI Warshewski, and it was good to see Annja mentioned there!

    My hometown is the hometown of the author of the Hardy Boys. There was a school named after him and one of my bosses interviewed him for Whitby’s centennial when he was a lad. Very cool.

    I never read Hardy Boys, I’m more a Nancy Drew kind of girl.

  12. Thanks so much for this list. I’m always prowling the library for new mysteries. I got hooked on Dick Francis novels as a teen, and have read every single on multiple times, but alas, he only has one recurring character that I can recall, Sid Halley. If you haven’t tried them, give them a shot.

    Plus, you being SciFi Chick and all, I’ve been reading the Ringworld series by Larry Niven for the very first time. I’m in the second one and really liking them. Hugely imaginative.

  13. I’ve read most of Agatha Christie’s books. I really love good mysteries. I’ll have to check out Amelia
    Peabody. I’ve always been fascinted by Egyptology too.

    Happy TT!

  14. I’m dying to read Harry Dresden! I’ve heard awesome thinks about it. Gotta buy the first book and get started. I’ve always loved mysteries.

    Great TT!

  15. Nancy Drew is HAWT! There…I said it, and I feel better. She makes me purr like a motorboat!

    I have already made time in my TiVo for Mr. Dresden. I’m looking forward to watching the series after seeing all of the previews you posted.

    And who doesn’t like Batman? I always wished I could be his Robin, but that seems like an oxymoron to me: a cat playing a bird. Probably not the wisest casting decision ever.

  16. Most awesome list, though I might put Batman at number #2 behind the erstwhile Holmes, only because I am more of a Batman fan than Agatha Christie (btw, did you ever read Detective Comics… 400 I think with Sherlock Holmes and Batman… it might have been later, but it was a great story)

  17. I was always a big Holmes fan. I really like Caleb Carr’s latest, “The Italian Secretary.” He does a nice job. You might want to try H.R. Knight’s “Some Rough Beast” which is a paranormal mystery featuring Conan Doyle and Houdini investigating a paranormal crime.

    Outside my door right now are the first two Harry Dresden books. I can’t wait to read them.

  18. Did you every read The Three Investigators? They beat out Nancy Drew in my book. She was too girly for me!

  19. Amy – That’s very cool! I recently watched the first season of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew on DVD made back in the 70’s. It was very cute.

    John – I’ve heard of the Ringworld series, but haven’t read them yet. I’ll have to check those out too..

    Angela – I do! Angela Lansbury on Murder, She Wrote is one of my all-time favorites!

  20. Chris – I haven’t read that.. I wonder if it’s in TPB?

    Rene – Sounds very cool! I’m definitely going to check those out!.. Right now.

    Carrie – Don’t think I’ve heard of those. But then, I was (and am) extremely girly.. my scifi obsession is the exception. lol

  21. Great list! I loved Hercule Poirot as a teenager–haven’t read one in a while. But I never got around to Nancy Drew. I will need to remedy that one day. I personally like the Southern Sisters sleuths, created by Anne George.

  22. Wow, this brought back good memories! Don’t generally read detective novels these days but as a youngster, I loved Nancy Drew AND the Hardy Boys and during my teens, I loved Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.
    Funny, I don’t really see Batman as a detective – he’s a superhero, aint he? 😉

  23. I loved Trixie Belden as a kid and Nero Wolf as a adult. Does Magnum P.I. count? I loved him. Or maybe I just loved Tom Selleck. Hard to tell.

  24. I’m midway through the Dresden series and really like it as well. You know The Dresden Files is a new show on SciFi airing after Battlestar Gallactica on Sundays, starting the 21st! Woo hoo! Sci Fi Sundays!

Comments are closed.