Watching the Detectives

Who are your favourite literary sleuths? Sherlock Holmes is a perennial favourite, but after that the field opens right up. The Guardian has come up with its top 10 literary sleuths. The list is sure to provoke debate among crime fiction’s loyal fans. Compare it to some others and you begin to appreciate how broad the field is. If lists aren’t your thing, try this alphabet.

Taken broadly, this most ancient of genres arguably traces its origins as far back as the Bible, but the first undisputed tale of detection is found in the Arabian Nights, in a story called ‘The Three Apples’. The genre’s Golden Age is considered to be the early 20th century, although it still boasts some remarkable writers, including one of the genre’s foremost contemporary practitioners, Henning Mankell. Earlier this year, Andrew Nette took us on a tour of Australian pulp detective and crime fiction.

Learn more about the genre here.

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