Book List, Books, Crime & Mystery

A Glimpse of The World with Detectives

In the previous post, The World of Crime Fiction, I talked briefly about the origins of crime fiction. In this post I present you a list of detectives around the world.

Ian Rankin’s John Rebus books set in Edinburgh are engrossing tales of a misanthropic policeman who solves crime ordinarily or extraordinarily committed.

Set in Reykjavik,  Arnaldur Indridason’s Inspector Erlendur novels have the bleak setting, social realism and gentle pacing associated with Scandinavian noir.

Ann Cleeves’ Raven Black, the first in Shetland Quartet. It’s an inspired location, with its bleak landscape and close-knit community for detective Jimmy Perez to unpick.

Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone is revered as much for its sophisticated plot as for its status as the first British detective story. But the setting – a remote country house in Yorkshire – is a big part of its appeal.

Inspector Morse is really the last of a type, the glum intellectual copper, happier solving murders over a pint than in a forensics lab. Colin Dexter’s novels revel in their donnish Oxford setting.

Donna Leon Commissario Brunetti series is based in the city of Venice and is an amazing perspective on the darker side of this city and of course he may be the only detective who doesn’t own a car but travel through gondolas.

Caleb Carr’s The Alienist is based in New York City. Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian’s exactitude, a different image of New York during an age when questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences.


11 thoughts on “A Glimpse of The World with Detectives”

  1. If you like Scottish detectives you should try Stuart MacBride (if you haven’t already). I’m also a big fan of Tana French who has a series set in Ireland. They tend to be more character driven than your typical murder investigation and there is a lot of social commentary.


  2. You gotta read Arthur Upfield’s Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte series (dozens of them!), set in Australia–everywhere in Australia. He covers the whole continent. These are about as good as it gets, and I’m not kidding.


  3. I love this entry! Mysteries are one of my top two favorite genres (true crime being the second). Have you read The Italian Secretary? It is another book by Caleb Carr, and is his take on a Sherlock Holmes story.


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