All time favorite story detectives?

I will start with the classics and throw out Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, and Hercule Poirot. I will then flash forward to the semi-present and add Murder She Wrote, Cadfael, Lord Peter Wimsy, and Inspector Alleyn. I have not read the books for any of the last ones, but I have enjoyed them immensely.


From Agatha Christie, I most enjoy the Tommy and Tuppence mysteries.

But I suppose Spenser is my favorite (or at least Robert B Parker is my favorite mystery author)


I have to go all the way back to the beginning. Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden started my love of mystery solving, reading the same books that my grandmother had bought used for my mother (so printed as early as the 1920s!).

Yes, Poirot, Marple, Holmes, and Fletcher followed, but they are my OGs.

Trixie is not as well known, so for those interested:


The Lord Peter Wimsey series began their life in 1923, I do not know that I would consider them semi-present - that’s 100 years ago.

I enjoyed Jonathan Gash’s Lovejoy novels but the first of the The Judas Pair was published in 1977. Read them as much for the antiques background as the stories.

Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus debuted in 1987 and I have enjoyed many of them. I read others of his books as well.

Enjoyed Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse first published in 1975.

I read a lot of the English authors who provided the basis for TV series which eventually were aired on PBS.

Some like the Ruth Rendell mysteries I preferred on TV than on paper.

I guess my reading based on PBS shows may have started with Wilkie Collins’ Women in White, which if I remember properly was late 19th century.

I read other mystery authors who write primarily for kindle like Benedict Brown.

Back in the US, I have enjoyed authors like Mickey Spillane, John D MacDonald, Raymond Chandler, Robert Craig and the hack’s hack Elmore Leonard.

Mysteries are my preferred recreational reading.

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Love a good mystery! The classics mentioned are great. Unfortunately, there are so many out there now, most of which are (IMHO) poorly written, formula-based drivel that I have pretty much given up. On a recommendation from a friend (who knows my love of books), am currently trying to get through “Booked to Die” by John Dunning. I am enjoying the unique book collector theme, but cringing at the poor, formulaic cop/detective story writing. Call me picky!
Hopefully this thread will unearth some new options for me! Thanks in advance for all who contribute their thoughts here.


There are many authors out there that take the same approach, lace the book with interesting tangential information, be it an activity or interesting characters or the geography to deflect from the formulaic main plot. Certainly a valid criticism of even the Lovejoy series. There are an assortment of authors building mysteries around New Orleans who manage to create interesting books.

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With all due respect, where it’s due:

:musical_score: :musical_keyboard: :drum: :notes: :musical_note:

I got the ways and means

To New Orleans

I’m going down by The River

Where it’s warm and green

I’m gonna have a drink, and

Walk around

I gotta lot to talk about, oh yeah

Oh, yeah…

:musical_note: :notes:


Speaking of Dame Agatha

In spite of specifics provided on which episode is based on which book, this series is hard to relate to the books

Its Les Petits Meurtres d’Agatha Christie (2006-) a French Series on Acorn, Hoopla and Mhz with subtitles.


Travis McGee never gets any respect.


The John Dunning series is great fun, especially for the booksellers in the crowd.

Colin Dexter is a favorite, and I’m a big fan of the TV adaptations.

For current authors, I follow J. K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series. I think she does a good job, as a civilian, writing about the disabled vet’s wartime experiences in Afghanistan.

Robert B. Parker and I were in the English department at Boston University at the same time. Spenser will never be supplanted as my #1 detective.


Of course Agatha Christie, she was the first author that I “glommed onto” when in my teens. I still re-read them once in a while.

Inspector Banks series by Peter Robinson.

I also enjoyed the Denzie and Gennaro novels by Dennis Lehane. They were unpredictable enough to keep me reading. Shutter Island by him was good too, but only the book, not the movie.


I enjoy Ann Cleeves ‘Vera’ series, partly because the books are set in the area I grew up in and I like wallowing in nostagia :slight_smile:

Reginald Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe police procedurals are also favorites.


Tracer Bullet is the best detective. Hands down.

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It is a shame that the last series of Vera was cancelled in mid-season, and no one knows when or where the remaining episodes will be shown.

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Norville “Shaggy” Rogers :face_with_monocle:


From Book Tour: At home with Stephen King:

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