Top 10 fictional detectives of all time

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Updated on 29 Jan, 2013 at 1:47 pm


To be sure, the genre of private eye is widely adored by almost every book lover. However, it was a tough job to list up the in-depth characterisation of ten detectives working behind the curtains but eventually I followed my own taste. Check out this page of TopYaps to explore that whether your super spy makes this list or not.

10. Jim Rockford:

Jim Rockford is the principal character of “The Rockford Files,” an American television series which was aired on NBC between 1974 and 1980. The role, played by James Garner, is so far considered as one of the most phenomenal performances amid the stack of private eyes. Rockford was significantly supported by his close friend Dennis Becker, a sergeant in LAPD and Rockford’s most trustworthy informant. This spy domiciled near his father’s house and was involved in close relationships with many women.

9. Roderick Alleyn:

Lead character of Nagio Marsh’s 32 detective novels, Alleyn ranks dynamically high in the golden age of detective fiction. An Oxford graduate, Alleyn had served in World War I as well as in British Foreign Service, prior to his joining in the Metropolitan Police. He is widely adored in the made-up detective arena for his extreme strength and generous nature.

8. Jules Maigret:

Created by Georges Simenon, an eminent Belgian writer, Jules Maigret is the commissioner of Paris’ “Brigade Criminelle” and is better known for his unparalleled detective capabilities. Majorly adored by fans, Maigret is famous for his refined way of thinking like a culprit and arresting the killers by mind reading their lethal intentions.


7. Lieutenant Columbo:

Originally played by Peter Falk, Lieutenant Columbo is a famous Italian-American homicide detective of Columbo, an American crime fiction TV series. He has been characterized as a scuffling and rumpled-looking detective, working with the Los Angeles Police Department in an extremely twisted way. Initially, his approach seems unresponsive but eventually he solves his cases by punctilious thinking methodology.

6. Philip Marlowe:

Conceptualized by Raymond Chandler in his best selling novels “The Big Sleep” and “The Last Goodbye,” the character of Philip Marlowe is widely appreciated by the lovers of case-hardened crime fiction. A hardcore buff of poetry and chess, Marlowe is a drunk-philosophical detective who can go beyond the limits of certainty and approach almost everything to capture criminals.

5. Lord Peter Wimsey:

A fairly-headed bloke among British detectives, Wimsey is an imagination of notable crime writer Dorothy L. Sayers. Being a man of enormous talent, Lord Peter Wimsey’s rounded character encompasses silly behaviour and his vast pool of knowledge in classical music and male fashion. He is skilled in solving murder mysteries and possesses the ability to clamp down any life-threatening gang of hardcore criminals.

4. Hercule Poirot:

With his appearance in 33 novels and 51 short stories, Hercule Poirot is a legendary character, germinated by Agatha Christie, a top-notch British writer, better known for her detective novels. Poirot is an extremely schematic detective who capture criminals by implementing smoothest means of logic. His greatest weapon is his ideology which states that peculiar crimes are practiced by peculiar types of people.

3. Miss Marple:

Another conceptualization of Agatha Christie, Jane Marple, aka Miss Marple, is an old-timer sharp-minded detective. Miss Marple lives in the village of St. Mary Mead and acts as confused for most of the time. But it’s a matter of fact that she is master in solving mysteries which are generally a wild-goose-chase for the local “professionals.” Among the stack of fictional detectives, this lady of sheer determination is widely adored for her ability of understanding human nature by extreme oddities.

2. Sam Spade:

Considered as one of the most significant characters in the private eye genre, Sam Spade came to prominence after the grand success of Dashiell Hammett’s novel “The Maltese Falcon.” Spade, plays by his own rules and is well known for his unintimidated findings to accomplish his own justice.


1. Sherlock Holmes:

Morally justifiable, the character of this granddaddy of all fictional detectives has travelled a long path from penny comic stories to books and from books to movies. Renowned for his sharp and acute logical reasoning, Sherlock Holmes is an evergreen imagination of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a celebrated Scottish author. Famous for drafting large decisions from the smallest reflections and baffling cops by his superior conclusions, this legend will always fascinate audiences for his methodical approach in problem solving.

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