I just saw online today the cover and the release date for: 100 Greatest Literary Detectives ed. by Eric Sandberg. This is especially exciting news as I was lucky enough to be able to contribute to this work, writing a piece on Juanita Sheridan’s Lily Wu.
This is the blurb on Amazon:
Crime fiction is one of the most popular literary genres today, and has been so for more than a century. At the heart of almost all forms of mysteries, from the Golden Age puzzler to the contemporary police procedural, from hardboiled to the Japanese timetable mystery, is the investigator. He–or, increasingly, she–can be a private eye, a police officer, or a general busybody. The detective is, in fact, the key element in crime fiction; while criminals and their crimes come and go, with a few notable exceptions, the primary interest in crime novels is focused on investigators, those fascinating characters who exist at the intersection of so many different literary and social roles. 100 Greatest Literary Detectives offers a selection of the most influential, most important, and most intriguing fictional sleuths–amateur or professional–from around the world. From Sherlock Holmes to Jules Maigret, the detectives profiled here will give readers a broader picture of the many faces of these essential characters in one of fiction’s most popular genres. Each entry summarizes the distinctive features of a notable investigator and their approach to crime, provides a brief outline of major features of their fictional careers, and makes a case for their greatness based on factors such as literary-historical importance, novelty, uniqueness, aesthetic quality, or cultural resonance. The characters profiled here include Lew Archer, Father Brown, Brother Cadfael, Adam Dalgliesh, Stephanie Delacour, Mike Hammer, Miss Jane Marple, Kinsey Millhone, Hercule Poirot, Ellery Queen, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, Kay Scarpetta, Sam Spade, Phillip Trent, V. I. Warshawski, Lord Peter Wimsey, and Nero Wolfe. Whether seasoned fans or new to the genre, readers will find some of their favorite detectives here, learn more about their literary and cultural significance, and will expand their reading world into uncharted territory as they discover great detectives old and new, local and international. 100 Greatest Literary Detectives offers a fascinating look into some of the most intriguing fictional characters of all time.
I am anticipating this to be an interesting and thought provoking read. I only know about a few of the detectives, (modern and vintage), who made the cut, so I am excited to see who else made the list. I am also looking forward to seeing how these 100 are justified their positions, as I imagine people have different criteria for this aspect.
Hopefully more will be appearing on the blog about the book nearer the time. Copies are available for pre-order now from Amazon and at the moment seems like it will be released on the 15th April in the UK at least. Not sure about America.
So the big question is who do you think should be on the list? (Not that I am expecting to give me a Top 100 list or anything, though if you have the time or need an excuse to procrastinate do feel free to do so!)