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Updated by Lire Books on Feb 04, 2014
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Sherlock Holmes & then some...

Best Fictional Detectives

1

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes, a creation by Arthur Conan Doyle, remains the archetypal detective who solves mysteries by logical reasoning.

2

The Hardy Boys

The Hardy Boys

The Hardy Boys, Frank and Joe Hardy, are fictional characters who appear in various mystery series for children and teens.

The characters were created by Edward Stratemeyer, the founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, a book-packaging firm, and the books have been written by many different ghostwriters over the years. The books are published under the collective pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon.

3

Miss Marple

Miss Marple

Jane Marple, usually referred to as Miss Marple, is a fictional character appearing in 12 of Agatha Christie's crime novels and in 20 short stories.

4

Philip Marlowe

Philip Marlowe

Arguably one of the most significant figures in the ‘hardboiled crime fiction’ genre, Marlowe was first created by Raymond Chandler in 1939 for The Big Sleep.

5

Jessica Fletcher

Jessica Fletcher

Jessica Fletcher (born Jessica Beatrice MacGill, known as J.B. Fletcher when writing) is a character and the protagonist portrayed by veteran Tony-winning actress Angela Lansbury on the American television series Murder, She Wrote. Fletcher is a best-selling author of mystery novels.

6

Sam Spade

Sam Spade

Though not as widely appearing as some of his peers on this list, Sam Spade nevertheless left an indelible mark upon the detective genre. Famously portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in one of the movie adaptations of his book, The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade is not at all a gentlemen detective.

7

Hercule Poirot

Hercule Poirot

Hercule Poirot appears for the first time in Agatha Christie’s “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, published in 1920. He is a retired Belgian police officer who came to England during World War I as a refugee.

8

Columbo

Columbo

A homicide detective for the LAPD, Peter Falk is a gregarious, slightly rumpled detective who manages to get the job done in part because most of his targets underestimate him.

9

Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew

Much like theHardy Boys, Nancy Drew has been inspiring girls since the 30s. The character was even the brainchild of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, the same group responsible for the Hardy Boys. Nancy was an immediate hit and has seen continued popularity ever since.

10

Perry Mason

Perry Mason

Mason is one of the most famous and prolific figures in recent detective fiction. Featured in close to 100 novels, a radio series, two television series, and over 30 made-for-TV movies.

11

Adrian Monk

Adrian Monk

Portrayed by actor Tony Shalhoub, Adrian Monk is a neurotic mess. Once a successful detective, the death of his wife due to a car bomb possibly intended for him exacerbated his obsessive compulsive disorder and various phobias to the point that he could no longer function on the force.

12

Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy

The world of Dick Tracy is a dark one inspired by the feel of Chicago in the 1930s, full of grotesque and cruel villains, backstabbing, and the hopelessness of the fight against crime.

13

The Rockford Files

The Rockford Files

The Rockford Files is an American television drama series starring James Garner. Garner portrays Los Angeles-based private investigator Jim Rockford with Noah Beery, Jr. in the supporting role of his father, a retired truck driver nicknamed "Rocky."