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.
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.
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. 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.
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
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.
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…
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.
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
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.
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.