Famous fictional detectives
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Famous fictional detectives or Great detectives are often referred to as the fictional character in detective fiction, as opposed to real life detectives. Famous fictional detectives rely on powers of deduction/rationalization and educated thought to solve crimes. These characters have long been a staple of detective mystery crime fiction, particularly in detective novels and short stories set in Britain in the Golden Age.
The first great Detective in fiction was Edgar Allan Poe's C. Auguste Dupin. Later, the Dupin model was further codified by Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, the most famous example or icon to this day. A great detective will often (but not always) be accompanied by a Dr. Watson-like assistant or story narrator.
Some great detectives include amateurs, private investigators and professional policemen. They are often popularized as individual characters, rather than parts of the fictional work which they appeared in. Stories involving individual detectives are well-suited to dramatic presentation, resulting in many memorable theater, television and movie characters.
Fictional detectives are generally applicable to one of four archetypes:
- the amateur detective (Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher, Peter Wimsey);
- the private investigator (Dupin, Holmes, Marlowe, Cross, Spade, Garret & The Dead Man, Poirot, Magnum, Simon & Simon);
- the police detective (Dalgliesh, Kojak, Morse, Columbo, Frost, Barnaby, Clouseau);
- the forensic specialist (Scarpetta, Quincy, Cracker, CSI, John Thorndyke);
Notable fictional detectives and their creators include:
- Father Brown – Created by English novelist G. K. Chesterton, who stars in 51 detective short stories (and two framing vignettes), most of which were later compiled in five books.
- Jonathan Creek – The main character featured in British mystery series produced by the BBC and written by David Renwick.
- C. Auguste Dupin – a fictional detective character created by Edgar Allan Poe. Dupin made his first appearance in Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841), widely considered the first detective fiction story.
- Gideon Fell – John Dickson Carr
- Jessica Fletcher – Created by William Link and Richard Levinson for Murder, She Wrote (TV 1984-96)
- Patrick Jane - Created by Bruno Heller for The Mentalist TV series (2008- )
- L Lawliet - Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
- Miss Marple – Agatha Christie
- Dr. Lancelot Priestly – John Rhode
- Ellery Queen – Ellery Queen
- Dr. Thorndyke – R. Austin Freeman
- Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen - Jacques Futrelle
- The Continental Op – Dashiell Hammett
- Mike Hammer - Mickey Spillaine
- Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Joe Mannix - Created by Richard Levinson and William Link for Mannix TV series (1967–75)
- Philip Marlowe - Raymond Chandler
- Adrian Monk – Created by Andy Breckman for Monk (TV series) (2002–09)
- Hercule Poirot – Agatha Christie
- Jim Rockford – Created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell for The Rockford Files TV series (1974–80)
- Sam Spade – Dashiell Hammett
- Shawn Spencer – Created by Steve Franks for Psych (TV series) (2006- )
- Nero Wolfe - Rex Stout
- Spenser - Robert B. Parker
- Phryne Fisher - Created by Kerry Greenwood
- 87th Precinct detectives - Ed McBain
- Charlie Chan – Earl Derr Biggers
- Inspector Clouseau – The Pink Panther
- Columbo – From the American detective mystery television film series Columbo, created by William Link and Richard Levinson, starring Peter Falk as Columbo.
- Inspector French – Freeman Wills Crofts
- Inspector Japp – Agatha Christie
- Lt. Theo Kojak – Kojak (played by Telly Savalas)
- Inspector Lestrade – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Steve McGarrett - Hawaii Five-O
- Inspector Morse – Colin Dexter
- Temperance Brennan – Bones
- Catherine Willows - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
- Gil Grissom – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
- Raymond Langston – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
- Donald "Ducky" Mallard – N.C.I.S.
- Abby Sciuto - N.C.I.S.
- Quincy – Quincy, M.E.
- Elizabeth Rodgers – Law & Order
- Kay Scarpetta – Patricia Cornwell
- Mac Taylor – CSI: NY
- Stella Bonasera - CSI: NY
- Jo Danville - CSI: NY
- Calleigh Duquesne - CSI: Miami
- Horatio Caine - CSI: Miami
- Dr. Thorndyke – R. Austin Freeman
- Dexter Morgan – Dexter (TV series)
Anime and Manga
- Hajime Kindaichi – Character from the manga and anime series Kindaichi Case Files.
- Shinichi Kudo/Conan Edogawa – The protagonist of Gosho Aoyama's series Case Closed, which is known in Japan as Meitantei Conan.
- Sou Touma – The main character of the Q.E.D. series created and produced by Motohiro Katou.
- L Lawliet – Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
Note：Up to this date, Kindaichi Case Files and Q.E.D. are the only two Japanese mystery manga which had won the Kodansha Manga Award. Case Closed had won the Shogakukan Manga Award. These three work are known in Japan as the "Three Mystery Manga".
In pop culture
- "The Great Detectives" is a story from the Hakuna Matata magazine, a series of magazine stories telling adventures of Simba.
- Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple is an anime television series that adapted several Agatha Christie stories about Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.
- Crime fiction
- List of fictional private investigators
- List of fictional police detectives
- List of male detective characters
- List of female detective characters
- List of fictional historical detectives
- List of fictional detective teams
- List of fictional detectives for younger readers
- List of fictional science fiction and fantasy detectives
- List of detectives, constables, and agents in Sherlock Holmes
- The Great Detectives: Seven Original Investigations，BY Julian Symons，1981，ISBN 0810909782
- Silverman,Kenneth (1991). Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance. New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-092331-8.
- "Definition of Sherlock in Oxford Dictionaries (British & World English)". oxforddictionaries.com. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- Silverman 1991, p. 171
- "Best fictional detectives". latimes. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Natalie Haynes's guide to TV detectives: #1 – Columbo". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Clued In: The Top 10 Television Detectives". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "〈ｂｅランキング〉心に残る名探偵". 朝日新聞. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Kindaichi Case Files 2008 New Anime" (in Japanese). Tokyo MX. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "Case Closed FAQ". Funimation. Archived from the original on March 27, 2004. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
- "講談社漫画賞 (過去の受賞者一覧)". kodansha.co.jp. Retrieved 2007-08-21.