The 100 Greatest Literary Detectives



Sleuths, Private Eyes, and Policemen: An International Compendium of the 100 Greatest Literary Detectives

 Edited by Eric Sandberg (University of Oulu)


Contributors are sought for of a new reference work, titled Sleuths, Private Eyes, and Policemen: An International Compendium of the 100 Greatest Literary Detectives. The Volume is under contract with Rowman & Littlefield for publication in late 2017.

This collection will focus on the investigators who lie at the heart of crime fiction (and who appear with surprising frequency in other genres), and will offer academics and general readers a rigorous, opinionated, and entertaining survey of the key figures in one of our richest literary traditions. The hundred entries will offer broad historical and international coverage, but must be based on books available in English.

Each entry will be approximately 1000 words in length, and will contain 1) an initial ‘characteristic’ quotation, 2) an essay summarizing the distinctive features of the investigator, outlining major features of their fictional careers, and making the case for their ‘greatness’ based on factors such as literary-historical importance, uniqueness, literary quality, and cultural resonance, and 3) a bibliography of key works in which the investigator appears. A sample entry will be available for contributors.


Possible entries include the characters listed below, but proposals for entries on other investigators are most welcome, as are multiple entries by single contributors.


Please submit a 100-word rationale for the inclusion of your selected character, along with a short (50 word) bio, and a short list of any relevant publication or teaching experience by 15 March 2016 to Complete entries will be due 30 July 2016.


Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie

Miss Marple, Agatha Christie

Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Lord Peter Wimsey, Dorothy L. Sayers

Inspector Bucket, Charles Dickens

Adam Dalgliesh, P. D. James

Cordelia Gray, P. D. James

Father Brown, G.K. Chesterton

Inspectors Morse and Lewis, Colin Dexter

Inspectors Dalziel and Pascoe, Reginald Hill

Inspector Trent, E. C. Bentley

Albert Campion, Margery Allingham

Sir John Appleby, Michael Innes

Inspector Allan Grant, Josephine Tey

Philo Vance, S. S. Van Dyne

D.I. Tom Thorne, Mark Billingham

Inspector Ghote, H. F. R. Keating

Mr. Peters, Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Vish Puri and Mama Ji, Tarquin Hall

Mrs Lestrange Bradley, Gladys Mitchell

Sexton Blake, Various Authors

Bulldog Drummond, Sapper

Mr Peters, Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Bernie Gunther, Philip Kerr

Inspector Rebus, Ian Rankin

Mma Precious Ramotswe, Alexander McCall Smith

Quint Dalrymple, Paul Johnston

Jack Laidlaw, William McIlvanney

Kate Brannigan, Val McDermid

Lindsay Gordon, Val McDermid

Maureen O’Donnell, Denise Mina

Paddy Meehan, Denise Mina

Jackson Brodie, Kate Atkinson

Quirke, Benjamin Black (John Banville)

Roderick Alleyn, Ngaio Marsh

Eberhard Mock, Marek Krajewski

Teodor Szacki, Zygmunt Miloszewski

Inspector Boruvka, Josef Škvorecký

Erast Fandorin, Boris Akunin

Anastazja Kamienska, Aleksandra Marinina

Mei Wang, Diane Wei Lang


Inspector Erlendur Sveinsson, Arnaldur Indridason

Harry Hole, Jo Nesbø

Inspector Harjunpaa, Matti Joensuu

Maria Kallio, Leena Lehtolainen

Martin Beck, Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

Inspector Kurt Wallander, Henning Mankell

Erika Falck and Patrik Hedström, Camilla Läckberg

Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler

The Continental Op, Dashiell Hammett

Bernie Rhodenbarr, Lawrence Block

Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly

Richard Jury and Melrose Plant, Martha Grimes

C. Auguste Dupin, Edgar Allan Poe

Nero Wolfe, Rex Stout

P. I. Spenser, Robert B. Parker

Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, Walter Mosley

Kemal Pasha, Jenny White

Doc Sportello, Thomas Pynchon

Alex Delaware, Jonathan Kellerman

Steve Carella, Ed McBain

Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones, Chester Himes

Virginia Kelley, Nikki Baker

Kate Fansler, Amanda Cross

Sharon McCone, Marcia Muller

Pam Nilsen, Barbara Wilsen

Mario Conde, Leonardo Padura

Inspector Maigret, Georges Simenon

Chief Inspector Adamsberg, Fred Vargas

Camille Verhoeven, Pierre Lemaitre

Arsène Lupin, Maurice Leblanc

Michele Ferrara, Michele Giuttari

Salvo Montalbano, Andrea Camilleri

Commissario Soneri, Valerio Varesi

Pepe Carvalho, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán

Detective Leo Caldas, Domingo Villar

Sergeant Jakob Studer, Friedrich Glauser

Inspector Bärlach, Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Kemal Kayankaya, Jakob Arjouni

Emil, Erich Kästner

Inspector Imanishi, Seicho Matsumoto

Detective Mitarai, Soji Shimada

Detective Benny Griessel, Deon Mayer



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