These fictional detectives know how to solve puzzling crimes using their instincts, idiosyncrasies, and wits. If you haven’t already, then get to know these top 10 detectives in literature.
1. Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
“Elementary, my dear Watson.” A “consulting detective,” Sherlock Holmes is known for his proficiency with observation, deduction, forensic science, and logical reasoning that borders on the fantastic.
2. Hercule Poirot created by Agatha Christie
This Belgian detective has appeared in 33 novels, 2 plays, and more than 50 short stories by Agatha Christie.
3. Miss Marple from Miss Marple Mysteries by Agatha Christie
Another Agatha Christie creation, Jane Marple is an elderly amateur consulting detective. Her first appearance in a full-length novel was in The Murder at the Vicarage in 1930, and her last appearance was in Sleeping Murder in 1976.
4. Sam Spade from The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
This private detective has a keen eye for detail and a detached demeanor.
5. Philip Marlowe from Philip Marlowe series by Raymond Chandler
This whiskey- and brandy-drinking bachelor detective is originally from Santa Rosa, California, and was inspired by another fictional detective, Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade.
6. Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins from Easy Rawlins series by Walter Mosley
A private investigator in the 1940s-1960s, Ezekiel “Easy” Porterhouse Rawlins lives in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.
7. Perry Mason from Perry Mason Series by Erle Stanley Gardner
This American criminal defense lawyer is featured in 82 novels, 4 short stories, and was inspired by famed Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Earl Rogers.
8. Nero Wolfe from A Nero Wolfe Mystery series by Rex Stout
This heavyset, Montenegro-born armchair detective lives in a luxurious brownstone on West 35th Street in New York City where he reads books, tends orchids, and eats gourmet meals.
9. Clarice Starling from Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris
FBI agent Clarice Starling must seek the help of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer, in order to stop another serial killer, Buffalo Bill.
10. Lisbeth Salander from Millennium series by Stieg Larsson and David Lagercrantz
Described as “a pale, androgynous young woman who has hair as short as a fuse, and a pierced nose and eyebrows,” Lisbeth Salander hacks into computers, has a large dragon tattoo on her back, and works with journalist Mikael Blomkvist to solve murders.
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