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Old 02-01-2010, 05:03 PM   #1
TC Beacham
Great Beach Reads!
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Who are your FAVORITE SLEUTHS?

For many years I read mainstream literary fiction and nonfiction. Then, a couple of years ago, I rediscovered mysteries and found that I love the ones with a lot of dialogue and not too much description - which inspired me to write the first Del Jakes mystery in a sleek fast-moving style.

I'm thrilled to have found Parker's Jesse Stone, Sunny Randall and Spenser, and Connelly's Harry Bosch - among others.

Who are your FAVORITE SLEUTHS?
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:12 PM   #2
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Travis McGhee. More of a Fixit man than a sleuth but still solve mysteries at times.

The most comedic has to be Stephanie Plum.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:00 PM   #3
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I'm a BIG fan of Patricia Cornwell. Really like all of her Kay Scarpetta books.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
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By far, the Continental Op. Philip Marlowe #2.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:07 PM   #5
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Jeffery Deavers' 'Lincoln Rhyme,' John Sandford's 'Lucas Davenport,' and Ian Rankin's 'Inspector Rebus.'

Oops! I forgot Faye Kellerman's wonderful pair, 'Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus.'

All these have long running series with on-going character developent, so if you like them, you can watch them evolve!

Stitchawl

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Old 02-01-2010, 06:43 PM   #6
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Of course, the great classics, Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, or the Continental Op. Among living writers, my favorite is Montalbano, the main character of Andrea Camilleri's mystery novels. He is a police inspector who lives in Sicily, the land of the Mafia. I bet everybody is going to recommend excellent sleuths from writers who write in English; Camilleri writes in Italian. Give him a chance, he is going to show you a different world.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
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i love a lot of the classics and some recent ones as well : Marlowe, Nestor Burma, Nick Charles (from "the thin man" by Dashiell Hammett), Maigret, Miss Marple, Lord Peter Wimsey, Sam Spade, Dr. Gideon Fell, Philo Vance, and i'm liking Dr. Thorndyke so far... also M. Wens by S.A. Steeman, Donald Lam, Perry Mason, Fred Vargas' Inspector Adamsberg (although i wish she would give a bit more time to the "three evangelists" who have been sorely neglected for several years now), Elliot Finch, Morse, Thursday Next (does she count ?). i liked Toby Peters (by Stuart Kaminsky) when i read some of his books a few years ago, Lynley Thomas, Napoleon "Boney" Bonaparte by Arthur Upfield, Inspector Rebus from what i've read of him, and i'm planning to look into Harry Bosch and Spenser very soon. (and more who are escaping my memory, including an italian living in Venice, and 2 dutch ones working together...).

also, there is a new bookstore in my neighborhood, selling only mysteries ; i had a long conversation with the owner when i discovered it the other evening and came out with a book about Lincoln Perry and Joe Pritchard by Michael Koryta (in paper, alas), who according to him is on his way to being the new master of the genre. i haven't read it yet but it comes highly recommended by someone who knows what he's talking about, so i have high hopes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitchawl View Post
Jeffery Deavers' 'Lincoln Rhyme,' John Sandford's 'Lucas Davenport,' and Ian Rankin's 'Inspector Rebus.'

Oops! I forgot Faye Kellerman's wonderful pair, 'Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus.'

All these have long running series with on-going character developent, so if you like them, you can watch them evolve!

Stitchawl
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andanzas View Post
Of course, the great classics, Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, or the Continental Op. Among living writers, my favorite is Montalbano, the main character of Andrea Camilleri's mystery novels. He is a police inspector who lives in Sicily, the land of the Mafia. I bet everybody is going to recommend excellent sleuths from writers who write in English; Camilleri writes in Italian. Give him a chance, he is going to show you a different world.
/zelda thinks all these look great and adds them to her list of books to read.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:20 PM   #8
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Sherlock Holmes. Miss Marple.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:25 PM   #9
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Sara Paretsky and Dennis Lehane are very good.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:40 AM   #10
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I may be rather "old-school", but I still really like Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes and Tommy & Tuppence. Also, Dorothy Gilman's old-lady spy (can't remember her name as I haven't read any of the Gilman mysteries for quite a while).

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Old 02-02-2010, 06:11 AM   #11
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It wasn't until zelda_pinwheel mentioned Perry Mason that I even thought of him for some reason, perhaps because television has conditioned me to think of him in association with "courtroom drama" rather that as a first class sleuth.

I love the Perry Mason stories, and despite how good how good a job Raymond Burr and company did with the TV show, the books are far superior. In them, Erle Stanley Gardner's creation did things he could never have gotten away with on TV; especially in the earlier stories. Mason always had a keen sense of justice, but his strict adherence to legal niceties insofar as his clients' interests were concerned was often, shall we say, somewhat flexible. In at least one instance (The Case of the Counterfeit Eye), he even intentionally planted fabricated evidence to help his client, only to have it blow up in his face.

In a Doonsbury strip, Al Gore once asked then sitting president Bill Clinton, "Why don't people like me?" Clinton told Gore it was because he was too intelligent. When Gore replied that Clinton was also intelligent but that people liked him, Clinton replied, "Yes, but I do stupid things!"

In the books, there were almost always two mysteries to solve. One, of course, was "Who is the murderer?" The other was how Mason was going to get out of the hole he had dug for himself by pulling some bonehead maneuver that put him at risk of being disbarred while in pursuit of that murderer.

Perry Mason. One of the greats!

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Old 02-02-2010, 06:52 AM   #12
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J. D. Robb's Eve Dallas. I have lots as audiobooks and my husband enjoys listening to them too.

I second Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books - they always make me laugh out loud.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
It wasn't until zelda_pinwheel mentioned Perry Mason that I even thought of him for some reason, perhaps because television has conditioned me to think of him in association with "courtroom drama" rather that as a first class sleuth.

I love the Perry Mason stories, and despite how good how good a job Raymond Burr and company did with the TV show, the books are far superior. In them, Erle Stanley Gardner's creation did things he could never have gotten away with on TV, especially in the earlier stories. Mason always had a keen sense of justice, but his strict adherence to legal niceties insofar as his clients' interests were concerned was often, shall we say, somewhat flexible. In at least one instance (The Case of the Counterfeit Eye), he even intentionally planted fabricated evidence to help his client, only to have it blow up in his face.

In a Doonsbury strip, Al Gore once asked then sitting president Bill Clinton, "Why don't people like me?" Clinton told Gore it was because he was too intelligent. When Gore replied that Clinton was also intelligent but that people liked him, Clinton replied, "Yes, but I do stupid things."

In the books, there were almost always two mysteries to solve. One, of course, was "Who is the murderer?" The other was how Mason was going to get out of the hole he had dug for himself by pulling some bonehead maneuver that put him at risk of being disbarred while in pursuit of that murderer.

Perry Mason. One of the greats!
if you like perry mason you should definitely try the Donald Lam mysteries by "A.A. Fair" ; that's actually an ESG pseudonym. different detective, but similar "creative" approach to problem solving, and similar "how is he going to get himself out of this one" secondary mystery in each book. they're often really funny, too.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:22 AM   #14
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:31 AM   #15
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Many already mentioned, but also Anne Perry's 'Inspector Monk'; and Michael Bond's 'Monsieur Pamplemousse' and his faithful bloodhound, Pommes Frites.

I've never been able to get on with Simenon's 'Maigret'.
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