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9 of the Most Famous Fictional Detectives of All Time

9 Most Famous Fictional Detectives Of All Time
Hunting for clues, solving crime, spoiling the plans of evil doers and putting them behind bars, all this in a day's work as a detective. Their skills and talents have not just made detectives famous but also the subject of many a fictional crime stories and novels.
Shruti Bhat
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Did You Know?
Holmes never uttered the now famous quote 'Elementary, my dear Watson'. However, he has said 'Elementary!' and 'my dear Watson' on several occasions, but has never mouthed the two together.
Most of our childhood memories are laced with the stories filled with thrills, spins, and excitement while reading Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew, or even watching cartoons and TV series of the same.
Skills of these amazing detectives never ceased to amaze us. Their keen eye for the minutest details, linking heaps of tiny evidences to one another, and deducing every word, expression, and clue to the most unexpected of people behind the crime, always awestruck us.
Most Famous Detective Characters
Sherlock Holmes
Creator: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant consulting detective, who is far above the rest when it comes to solving crimes, as he not only has exquisite logical reasoning, use of forensic sciences, and the ability to adopt a wide range of disguises, but he's a practical and a rational man of science, even though he does not believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed Holmes' character in 'The Final Problem' so that he could devote more time to his historical novels. However, due to public demand, he brought Homes back to life in 'The Adventure of the Empty House' a couple of years later.
Hardy Boys
Creator: Edward Stratemeyer (several ghostwriters wrote under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon).

Frank and Joe Hardy are two exceptional teenage brothers who have been solving crime since 1927. Their father is also a detective who often gets a little help from the boys at solving some cases, while their mother is a librarian who worries about her husband and their two children who keep getting in and out of dangerous predicaments. They are often seen involved in action-filled, thrilling adventures. Their bravery in the face of impending danger and a keen eye captivated the minds of their young readers.

These two extraordinary boys have solved many crimes such as auto theft, murder, drug peddling, kidnapping, smuggling, medical malpractice, espionage, etc., and have traveled to different parts of the country and the world.
Nancy Drew
Creator: Edward Stratemeyer (Several ghostwriters wrote under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene).

Nancy Drew is a 16-year-old high school graduate living with her father and their housekeeper Hannah Gruen, in a fictional town called River Heights. She is a supergirl, who not only attends school, but studies psychology, speaks French, run(s) a motor boat, swims, cooks, plays bridge, tennis, golf, etc. Nancy, like the Hardy boys, comes from a well-to-do family and is often seen traveling the country and around the world, solving crime. Nancy is often accompanied by her two closest friends George Fayne and Bess Marvin, and at times her boyfriend Ned Nickerson, in her wild mystery hunts.
Hercule Poirot
Creator: Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot is a retired Belgian police officer who taking refuge in England after World War I. Here, he solves mysteries along with his compadre Captain Arthur Hastings and Poirot's assistant Ms. Lemon. He has a strong preference for symmetry, systematic method and order, and is often seen using logical reasoning to solve crime.

Hercule Poirot has been solving crime since 1920 -1975. He first appeared in 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles', in 1920. He is the only fictional character to receive an obituary in the newspaper.
Miss Marple
Creator: Agatha Christie

Miss Marple is an elderly spinster who lives in a little village called St. Mary Mead. There she solves crimes to fill her time. Her study of human nature and analogies helps her to solve many criminal cases. She has a remarkable way of connecting every crime to a incident from her past.

Miss Marple was first introduced in short stories that the author wrote for a magazine, in the year 1927. The character's popularity later inspired several novels and many other short stories.The final Miss Marple novel was published in 1976.
Philip Marlowe
Creator: Raymond Chandler

Philip Marlowe is a tough and smart private detective with his own little practice in Los Angeles. His resilience, experience, and keen eye helps him in solving mysteries. Marlowe was first introduced in 'The Big Sleep', in the year 1939. The story has it that he was fired from the District Attorney's office for insubordination. However, his close acquaintance with the D.A's chief investigator, Bernie Ohls, helps him to get fresh information that he requires to solve a case.
Famous Five
Creator: Enid Blyton

This is not one but five detectives all rolled into one―five children and a dog to be precise―who solve crimes. The stories take place during vacations, when the protagonists―Anne, Dick, Julian, and Georgina (George)―return from their respective boarding schools and are reunited with their families, and of course, the fifth member of their group, their four-legged companion Timmy.

The children's innocence, curiosity, simplicity, and bravado gave a new freshness and perspective to detective stories of the time. It not only captivated young readers but also, Blyton. Though she intended to write six books in her series, their popularity and success, compelled her to wrote 21 full-length novels.
Shawn Spencer
Creator: Steve Franks

Shawn is a brilliant detective who marches to the beat of his own drum. His father, a police officer, trained him to be a top-notch detective from a very young age. This led him to score a hundred in the Police Academy exam, that too at the age of 15. However, his rebellious attitude towards any authority figures, especially his father, leads him to play the role of a psychic. This not only allows him to work with the police department, but also break every rule possible. Shawn is highly trained at every police training, to add to that he is hyper-observant, and has an eidetic tonal memory, which works to his best advantage while playing the role of a psychic.

He often gets his new clients at his 'psychic detective agency', called 'Psych'. And when his business is slow, he makes his way into the Santa Barbara Police Department and helps himself to a case. Though he often finds himself and his partner in crime, his childhood friend Gus, at the wrong end of the gun, he always manages to solve the crime.
Adrian Monk
Creator: Andy Breckman

Tony Shalhoub plays the neurotic detective Adrian Monk. Adrian was once a homicide detective at the San Francisco Police Department i.e. before the death of his wife due to a car bombing. This loss takes a toll on his Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and phobias and turns him into a highly difficult detective to work with. However, his compulsions help him focus on the little things that others miss, and make him a great detective. His need to find his wife's killer pulls him back into the force to work as a consultant, where he works his magic again at solving crime.
Famous Fictional Detectives
➤ Father Brown
➤ Nero Wolfe
➤ Inspector Gadget
➤ Inspector Clouseau
➤ V.I. Warshawski
➤ Nick and Nora Charles
➤ Sam Spades
➤ Hank Schrader
➤ Aaron Hotchner
➤ Charlie Parker