This is easy, almost too easy…
1. Hercule Poirot (Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie)
It is shocking to think the little Belgian detective has overtaken the Grand Dame of Crime but he’s just so cool and he knows it, and he makes sure you know it to!
2. Jane Marple (Miss Marple by Agatha Christie)
3. Arthur Bryant (Bryant & May by Christopher Fowler)
Edged in above his partner John May, Arthur Bryant is the quintessential English eccentric who just happens to have a brain the size of Kentish Town. A mad genius no less, Arthur needs about five minutes, a lemon sherbet and a book on famous English doorknobs to solve almost any crime. I just wish he could come round to mine for tea.
4. Sherlock Holmes (The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle)
Slightly alarmed it’s taken me to number 4 to add the inestimable Sherlock. What was I thinking… Not sure I was thinking.
5. Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg (Commissaire Adamsberg by Fred Vargas)
I’ve only read no.6 in this series and the character of Adamsberg is as fresh in my mind as the day I read it.
6. Clarice Starling (Silence Of The Lambs by Thomas Harris)
The original independent and completely awesome heroine. I seem to have picked lots of damaged women continuing on to…
7. Camille Preaker (Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn)
Camille is much easier to like than Flynn’s cast in Gone Girl. She’s damaged, conflicted but has a commendable strength of character. Her situation is unique and so is she.
8. Lacey Flint (Now You See Me by S. J. Bolton)
Like Camille, Lacey is damaged, conflicted and completely brilliant at getting to the heart of the humanity in the horror of what’s usually happening on her doorstep (literally her doorstep, the woman needs to move!)
9. Will Trent (Georgia Series by Karin Slaughter)
I’ve only read one Karin Slaughter but I loved the character she created in Will Trent.
10. Peter Grant (Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch)
This is a bit of a cheat. Ben Aaronovitch’s novels are fantasy as well as crime but as a London Police Officer I couldn’t discount Peter Grant. He’s quirky, funny and always ready to try even if things are looking on the doomed side. Gotta love a tryer.
Wow. That was done in under five minutes and I have lots more I could add, such as the amazing duo Rizzoli and Isles in Tess Gerritsen’s novels as well as the utterly slick Jack Reacher created by Lee Child. Louise Penny is brilliant as is Julia Crouch, Wilkie Collins and Laurie King. I might need to take this list to twenty!
(ahhhhh I forgot du Maurier!!!)