#20 Jane Rizzoli
Kicking off your top 20 detectives is one half of Rizzoli and Isles. Jane Rizzolli is a stubborn but intuitive and confident detective who worked hard to earn her place in the force.
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#19 Nancy Drew
Teenage Nancy Drew first appeared in books in 1930, a wealthy and independent girl who excels in everything she does. She often stumbles across mysteries to solve, but she also takes cases from her attorney father.
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#18 Jack Reacher
A former army man, Reacher became a drifter after leaving the army and now uses his many skills to investigate suspicious circumstances. Off-beat and with little respect for authority, Reacher tends to end up in dangerous situations as he tracks down criminals.
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#17 Kay Scarpetta
Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta is a perfectionist and a diligent hard-worker, having worked as both a medical examiner and a forensic consultant. Like many other investigators, she tends to have more than her fair share of bad luck when it comes to her personal life.
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#16 Kurt Wallander
Kurt Wallander’s tendency to take crimes personally has a heavy impact on his personal life and well-being but it’s also the key trait that helps him get to the bottom of cases.
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#15 Charlie Parker
At #15 we have John Connolly’s tough and solid detective Charlie Parker, a trusted source of good against evil criminals, including some paranormal foes too.
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#14 Lord Peter Wimsey
Often considered the original gentleman detective, Lord Wimsey started solving crimes as a hobby rather than a profession, testing his intelligence and intuition for fun.
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#13 Harry Hole
Morally sound but troubled detective Harry Hole claims the #13 spot. Jo Nesbo has created a detective who can think on his feet and places him in dangerous and bustling environments to test him to the limit.
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#12 Inspector Alan Banks
The charming Alan Banks is next, using creativity rather than force to get the answers he needs. A working class man with little interest in material wealth, Peter Robinson’s character won our hearts with his moral and just stance.
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#11 Logan McRae
Stuart MacBride’s tough but smart detective Logan McRae deals with horrific crimes around Aberdeen, meeting danger and uncertainty head on.
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#10 Lorraine Hunt
Strong, gritty female detective Lorraine Hunt is the creation of Sheila Quigley, a tough character that isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to catch her criminal.
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#9 Tom Thorne
Mark Billingham’s lead detective Tom Thorne keeps us on our toes, a stubborn, dedicated character but as with many detectives he has his own flaws that often makes him his own worst enemy.
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#8 Harry Bosch
Relentless, just and unafraid to upset his superiors, Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch provides just the right amount of danger and recklessness to keep us on the edge of our seats.
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#7 Roy Grace
Peter James’s well-loved detective Roy Grace is intelligent and intuitive and fiercely stubborn when it comes to getting to the bottom of his cases. It’s the supernatural elements and the presence of Roy’s personal case to solve that makes his story so gripping.
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#6 Inspector Morse
One of the best know gentleman detectives in literature, Inspector Morse is a classic Brit with a taste for the ladies. Intelligent and with an eye for detail, Morse relies on his intuition and outstanding memory to solve crimes.
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#5 Alex Cross
As we enter the top 5, James Patterson’s psychologist turned FBI agent Alex Cross finally makes an appearance. A refreshingly realistic and rational character who defies some of those aging detective stereotypes, Alex Cross is intelligent, empathetic and a great father.
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#4 Miss Marple
It was only a matter of time before Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple appeared in our list. Claiming the #4 spot, this shrewd and intelligent lady lets nothing get past her, and has even been described as the female version of the gentleman detective.
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The ‘little grey cells’ of Monsieur Poirot have earned him the third spot on our list. Agatha Christie’s pint sized Belgian detective always stays one step ahead of the criminal whilst remaining neat, dignified and completely unflappable.
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#2 John Rebus
Ian Rankin’s dark and brooding detective John Rebus takes the runners up spot with his tough, old-fashioned male persona. Taking us into the bleak, dark corners of Edinburgh, Rebus takes on danger head on with little concern for his own well-being or the effects on his personal life.
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And the Best Detective as voted by you is…
#1 Sherlock Holmes
Was there ever any doubt? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous character Sherlock Holmes has won the title of best detective of all time. Although it’s his impeccable logical reasoning and a little help from science that solves the case, we love him for his eccentricity, showmanship and his habit of breaking the rules along the way.
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Not Everyone voted for made it into the top 20 of course. Here is the full top 75.
2. John Rebus
4. Miss Marple
5. Alex Cross
7. Roy Grace
8. Harry Bosch
9. Tom Thorne
10. Lorraine Hunt
11. Logan McRae
13. Harry Hole
15. Charlie Parker
16. Kurt Wallander
17. Kay Scarpetta
18. Jack Reacher
19. Nancy Drew
20. Jane Rizzoli
22. Agatha Raisin
23. Cormoran Strike
24. Will Trent
25. Dirk Gently
26. Lincoln Rhyme
27. Philip Marlowe
28. Robert Hunter
29. Eve Dallas
32. Adam Dalgleish
34. Sam Vimes
35. Jack Frost
36. Kate Daniels
38. Dexter Morgan
39. John Barnaby
41. Jack Caffery
43. Lindsay Boxer
44. Dave Robicheaux
46. Joona Linna
47. Father Brown
48. Jessica Daniel
49. Vera Stanhope
50. Mr Whicher
51. Pete Marino
53. Lacey Flint
54. Tony McLean
55. Bernie Gunther
56. Harry Dresden
57. Merrily Watkin
58. Steve Carella
59. Mike Bennett
60. Peter Grant
61. Kate Burrows
62. Tony Hill
63. Jackson Brodie
64. Matt Scudder
65. Flavia DeLuce
66. Hakim & Arnold
67. Elvis Cole
68. Jenny Cooper
69. Stephanie Plum
70. Jimmy Perez
71. Roderick Alleyn
73. Nikki Heat
74. Adrian Monk