Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Amber Royer’s Out of Temper! This is the third book in her Bean to Bar mystery series, and it is a delight to read. Y’all should go pick it up.
Today, Amber shares her top ten literary detectives with us. See what she’s got to share, and then scroll on down to enter the giveaway. Winning books AND chocolate?! Come on, what’s not to like?
Amber Royer’s Top Ten Literary Detectives
In Out of Temper, there’s a party on board the cruise ship where my characters show up as their favorite fictional detective. So I thought I’d share my top ten favorite fictional detectives of all time. I’m pulling this list from a variety of mediums, from books to anime. I’ve tried to stick to actual detectives instead of amateurs, even though this leaves off some great characters like Clare Cosi, James Mackintosh Qwilleran, and Richard Castle.
10. Laura Holt and Remington Steele (television series) – I happen to like a little romance in my mysteries. Remington has the more interesting story here, as Laura progressively starts to uncover a sympathetic man who has been overrun by life’s disappointments inside a person she initially takes for a callous conman. Plus, he’s played by Pierce Brosnan, so it’s nuanced.
9. Eddie Valiant (film) – Eddie is the comic equivalent of Sam Spade or Phillip Marlowe. He has a noir backstory – only the tragedy where he lost his brother/detective partner happened in toon town. Who Framed Roger Rabbit had some groundbreaking animation/live action effects – but Eddie himself is the heart of it, as he can only save the day once he learns to laugh again.
8. Stephanie Plum (book series and one movie) – Okay, technically she’s a bounty hunter, but she winds up solving mysteries in an official capacity, so it feels close enough. At the beginning of the series, Stephanie is a neophyte at her trade and her life is a mess, but over the course of the books she learns responsibility and gets better at catching bad guys. Who doesn’t love that story arc?
7. Thomas Magnum (especially the original television series) – Magnum always has a sense of humor, despite obvious pain in his past. That’s what makes him likeable, along with his secondary status on the gorgeous Hawaiian estate where he lives. Higgins, the estate caretaker, never lets Magnum forget he’s an employee, and Higgins’ authority is backed up by two Dobermans. Without that, it would have been easy for Magnum to be too competent or arrogant for the story to work.
6. Shawn Spencer (television series) – I love goofball héroes when said goofball has a good heart. That is definitely true of Shawn. He is brilliantly smart, but refuses to take life seriously, which allows for a lot of room for growth across the series. In some of the season-finale episodes, Shawn displays a more serious side, and depth as he faces real threats to people he cares about.
5. Nick and Nora Charles (book, but especially the film series) – This is my favorite husband/wife detective team, played perfectly by William Powell and Myrna Loy in black and white in the 1930s. (Okay TECHNICALLY only Nick is actually a detective, but I still think they fit on this list.) I love the way they banter, and yet still care deeply for one another. This risk adds to the element of danger they face in the various films.
4. Shinichi Kudo (anime and manga series, plus feature films) – Shinichi is a teenage detective, who is poisoned with an experimental drug and turned into a six-year-old kid – with the mind of a sleuth. Shinichi is a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, and also good with clues involving chess. His story is compelling enough to have lasted over 1,000 anime episodes – despite lots of filler episodes.
3. Precious Ramotswe (book series, BBC/HBO series, and radio show) — It would be hard to find a more down-to-earth detective than Precious. She inherits a detective business from her father in Botswana, and solves cases with intuition and dry wit. I love a detective with compassion and heart.
2. Lieutenant Columbo (television series) – I love the unassuming detective trope, and Peter Falk gave the type a depth that was unexpected. You could practically see Columbo’s mind working on the screen. And the clues always made sense.
1. Hercule Poirot (stories and books, but especially the BBC series) – I don’t know. Maybe it’s the way David Suchet plays Christi’s fastidious detective to perfection. But I love seeing him apply logic to any situation, while dealing with his need for peace and routine. The stories are classics and remain true to the source material.
Having compiled this list, I can see a lot of these influences coming across in the Bean to Bar Mysteries, beyond Arlo’s obsession with Columbo. In each of Felicity’s adventures, she comes across a book that adds something to her understanding of the plot. And Out of Temper is all about mystery writers. It probably isn’t a coincidence that the book I picked this time is one of Poirot’s adventures.
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Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Amber-Royer/e/B00PFV4CGM
Oh my gosh! I love this list and some of my favorites are here. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for letting me share my list! This was a fun one to put together. I always love talking about my favorite characters.
I enjoyed reading about your favorite characters! There are so many good fictional detectives out there, it’s hard to choose.