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Top 10 famous detectives from books

With Tennison being our October Book Club pick (save an extra 10% by using code Jane10), we thought now was the perfect time to take a look at ten of our favourite detectives from the world of fiction.


Cracking cases and constantly in peril, being a crime detective is a job laced with danger. This list finds some of those that we’ve fallen in love with over the years while reading about the crimes they try so hard to solve.


Jane Tennison

Prime Suspect Books DCI Jane Tennison Helen Mirren

Lynda La Plante’s books have long been favourites with readers all over the world. Inspiring the TV series adaptation of Prime Suspect, one of the great British crime dramas, her books focused on DCI Jane Tennison – one of the most tenacious and inspiring detectives to have been put to page.


Agatha Raisin

M. C. Beaton books Agatha Raisin detective books cosy crime

You may have seen the recent TV adaptation of Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, but Book People customers have long been fans of the detective’s charms. M. C. Beaton’s books are big favourites and Agatha may be unlucky in love but she has enough wits to solve all the murders that build up in her quaint town.


Dr. Brennan

Temperance Brennan Kathy Reichs Books detective Emily Deschanel

Dr. Temperance Brennan is the lead character in Kathy Reichs’ books that inspired the hit US crime drama Bones. Played by Emily Deschanel in the show, Dr. Brennan is a forensic anthropologist who values the importance of setting up crime scenes correctly.


Kurt Wallander

Detective Kurt Wallander books

Solving mysteries in and around the town of Ystad near Malmo in Sweden, Kurt Wallander is a troubled and socially awkward policeman who eats junk food, drinks too much alcohol and has anger issues – but has an incredible intellect. Written quite brilliantly by the late Henning Mankell, you follow Wallander as he becomes disillusioned with his career throughout these gripping books.


Detective Lindsay Boxer

James Patterson Maxine Paetro Detective Lindsay Boxer Women's Murder Club books

The lead character in James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series, Lindsay Boxer is quite brilliant at her job. Based in San Francisco, she succeeds even when circumstances conspire against her.


Richard Castle

Richard Castle books fiction crime detective

Starting as a TV character expertly played by cult favourite Nathan Fillion, Richard Castle is not only an expert at cracking complex crime cases but also a bestselling author in his own right! His books are based around Derrick Storm and Nikki Heat – and their adventures might just be inspired by some of his own experiences…


Hercule Poirot

Hercule Poirot best detective Agatha Christie books short stories play

One of the most beloved characters in fiction, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot was the star of 33 Agatha Christie Books, one play and over 50 short stories. Brought to the screen by the likes of Albert Finney, Alfred Molina and, perhaps most famously, David Suchet, Poirot was famed for his twirly moustache and eccentricities.


Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes detective inspector Sherlock Holmes Robert Downey Jr books Sir Arhtur Conan Doyle

Where do we start with Sherlock Holmes? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation is surely one of the most famous detectives and has long been regarded as a classic character. With a recent resurgence inspired by the films starring Robert Downey Jr. and the worldwide phenomenon with Benedict Cumberbatch, the consulting detective continues to wow. The way he uses logical reasoning and the laws of science makes him stand out from the crowd.


Detective Inspector Jack Frost

Detective Inspector Jack Frost books David Jason fiction

He may be arrogant, unorganised and terrible when it comes to paperwork, but Detective Inspector Jack Frost is a master at solving mysteries. Created by R. D. Wingfield, Frost was memorably brought to life by David Jason in the ITV series, A Touch of Frost.


Harry Hole

Jo Nesbo Harry Hole The Snowman Norway Oslo Police detective inspector

One of the stars of Nordic crime fiction, Harry Hole is an unorthodox yet brilliant detective in the Oslo Crime Squad of the Norwegian police force. A loose cannon, he is brilliantly brought to life by the bestselling author Jo Nesbo – especially in the unforgettable The Snowman.

Book People Book Club October Pick: Tennison by Lynda La Plante

Are you a fan of Prime Suspect?


Then you’ll want to know just how Jane Tennison worked her way up to becoming one of the most-respected DCIs…

The case that inspired her career is covered in the new prequel from author Lynda La Plante – Tennison. And as it’s this month’s Book Club Pick, you can save an extra 10% on the already unbelievable Book People price by simply using code JANE10.

This book takes us back to 1973 and an East London where Jane has just graduated from Hendon Police College. As soon as she joins the force she is stuck straight onto a probationary exercise on the mean seats of Hackney. Just 22 years old, Tennison soon proves her worth on the beat, but when she is invited into the station she has to prove herself once more in a male-dominated industry where chauvinism is running wild.

Tennison is tasked with investigating the brutal and savage killing of a young girl. It’s from this horrific experience that she realises she has what it takes to reach the top.

Chilling, fascinating and very revealing about how Jane Tennison became one of fiction and TV’s favourite detectives (where she was so memorably brought to life by Helen Mirren), this is another fine Book People Book Club Pick – and we can’t wait to discuss it with you all. Watch our book trailer below to find out more:

Early Christmas gift ideas from Book People

Although it’s still September (just about), we believe it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas. We know the most wonderful time of the year doesn’t officially start until the Coca Cola advert is aired – or is it John Lewis now? – but Book People has books and gifts that are certain to bring a smile to the face of everyone you love come Christmas morning.

Gifts you can enjoy again and again

In Book People’s Christmas Shop, you can get your shopping wrapped up early and find something for all the family. Everyone knows books make great presents – they’ll transport people to another world; can teach new skills; and, very importantly, are oh-so-easy to wrap.

You’ll find top Christmas gifts at unbelievable prices including box sets featuring Harry Potter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the Mr. Men. You’ll also be able to get your hands on bestsellers from Philippa Gregory, the Great British Bake Off and Ruth Rendell.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without an annual and we have great stocking-fillers ranging from The Simpsons and Guinness World Records to the goal-den Match annual 2016.

Book People Book Club September Pick: The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory

We hope you enjoyed Paper Towns last month and know that many of you are looking forward to our next Book Club pick. We’re delighted to now announce that Philippa Gregory’s latest bestseller The Taming of the Queen is the book we’ll be discussing with you all throughout September.

Philippa Gregory author The Taming of the Queen Book People Book Club Cousins War

Firstly, our edition of this book is simply beautiful. Hardback and with gorgeous designs and maps included, it tells the story of King Henry VIII’s final wife Kateryn Parr and asks just who she really was. Was she a loyal royal wife and stately queen or a disloyal citizen who just longed for passion and power?

She knows marrying Henry is laced with danger but just can’t resist the temptation… As their relationship grows and Henry shows compassion for her, Kateryn (and it is spelt this way) finds herself drawn to the tyrant king. But can she keep safe?

Full of the historical accuracy that we have come to expect from Philippa after her Cousins War series, this is a book you’ll be keen to devour over the next month. Available for only £4.99, you can save a further 10% with code KING10.

Book People Book Club

*Terms and Conditions apply. Code can be applied a maximum of five times per customer. Offer code valid from 4 September 2015 and expires midnight on 30 September 2015. Book People reserves the right to amend and/or withdraw this offer at any time.

Top 10 Booker Prize winners

Launched in 1969, The Man Booker Prize has long been regarded as one of the most important awards in the literary calendar. With its aim to promote the finest fiction written in English, the winner not only receives £52,500 and a designer-bound copy of their book, but also a sharp increase in sales.

With excitement building around the unveiling of 2015’s Man Booker Shortlist on Tuesday 15 September, here at Book People we thought it would be a good time to look back over 10 of our favourite previous Man Booker Prize winners.


Salman RushdieMidnight’s Children

Salman Rushdie Midnight's Children Man Booker Prize winner 1981


Thomas KeneallySchindler’s Ark

Thomas Keneally Schindler's Ark Man Booker Prize winner 1983


Penelope LivelyMoon Tiger

Penelope Lively Moon Tiger Man Booker Prize winner 1987


Kazuo IshiguroThe Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro The Remains of the Day Man Booker Prize winner 1989

1992 (shared)

Michael OndaatjeThe English Patient

Michael Ondaatje The English Patient Man Booker Prize winner 1992


Pat BarkerThe Ghost Road

Pat Barker The Ghost Road Man Booker Prize winner 1995


Margaret AtwoodThe Blind Assassin

Margaret Atwood The Blind Assassin Man Booker Prize winner 2000


Yann MartelLife of Pi

Yann Martel Life of Pi Man Booker Prize winner 2002


Hilary MantelWolf Hall

Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall Man Booker Prize winner 2009


Julian BarnesThe Sense of an Ending

Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending Man Booker Prize winner 2011

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