Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ten of the best fictional detectives

Lucy Worsley is the author of The Art of the English Murder: From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock.

She tagged a ten best list of fictional detectives for Publishers Weekly, including:
Philip Marlowe (The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, 1938)

‘Cosy crime’ dominated the British publishing industry between the wars. Murders seemed to happen mainly in country house libraries, and the characters became clich├ęd. It all got a bit boring.

A breath of fresh air arrived in 1938 with Raymond Chandler’s amoral, laconic, ‘hard-boiled’ detective, Philip Marlowe. Although Chandler was educated at Dulwich College in London, he ended up on America’s west coast. His short, sharp novels brought violence back into crime fiction.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Big Sleep also appears on Becky Ferreira's list of seven of the best books set in Los Angeles, Ian Rankin's list of five perfect mysteries, Kathryn Williams's reading list on greed, Gigi Levangie Grazer's list of six favorite books that became movies, Megan Wasson's list of five top books on Los Angeles, Greil Marcus's six recommended books list, Barry Forshaw's critic's chart of six American noir masters, David Nicholls' list of favorite film adaptations, and the Guardian's list of ten of the best smokes in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue