Top 20 Crime & Thriller Detectives as Voted for by You

Top 20 Crime & Thriller Detectives as Voted for by You

#20 Jane Rizzoli

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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#3 Poirot


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

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

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.

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