Mystery Mooks and Mavens : Which Detective Would You Be?

Which sleuth would you want to be, if you had the option?

The cool intellect of Holmes? The slothful indulgence of Nero Wolfe? The fiestiness of Miss Marple? The refinement of Hercule Poirot?

I want to be Nick Charles. Or William Powell, at least. I’ve got the banter down, I just need the rich wife and the drinking habit…

Judge Dee has appeal.
As does Holmes.

And Garret.

Andrew Vachss’s Burke

**Bosda[/BN] took mine. I’d wanna be Djien Djieh Dee or Holmes.

Lacking those, I’ll take weary ex-carny Ambrose Hunter from Fredric Brown’s stories.

I’d be happy as either Philip Marlowe or Mike Hammer. Marlowe is cooler, but Hammer gets laid way more often. Ideally, I’d want to get knocked unconscious by blows to the head far less often than either of them.

Wolfe, no contest. The food, the books the beer, Archie and Saul to take care of the rough stuff – what a life.

If I had to pick a detective who had some slight connection to plausibility, Hammett’s Continental Op. Fat, world-weary, but tough and a real believer in gettin’ out there and doin’ your job, cause what else are you gonna do.

Not being a big reader of this format, I have a limited number of choices. That being said, Holmes is just too cool not to want to be him, and, as noted earlier, Mke Hammer gets laid way too much not to want to be him.

Can I be both?

I’ll take Elvis Cole, because he’s cool, he’s got a cool name, and he’s got the badass Joe Pike to watch his back.

Could it get better than Carter Dickson’s (John Dickson Carr’s) Sir Henry Merrivale?

He’s a baronet, holder of one of the oldest titles in Britain. He knows everybody. He’s rich. He’s a doctor and a lawyer. He’s head of MI5, the spy department. He’s the Old Man. In fact, he’s the Old Man that crankyasanoldman is as cranky as. His only worry in life is being placed into the House of Lords. And he gets to solve impossible crimes.

That’s the life for me.

Since Marlowe seems to be taken, I’d choose to be Robert B Parker’s Spenser.
Tough, sophisticated, Shrink for a girlfriend. Very interesting character.

If that’s the criteria . . . and I’m not saying it shouldn’t be . . . then I’d prefer to be Travis Mcgee. Live on a houseboat, get tons of Florida tail, hang out with economists. Ah, the life!

…all that, and economists, too! I, for one, am convinced.

Well, I could choose Stephanie Plum, but then I might be forced to decide between Joe and Ranger. Tricky.

Instead, I’ll be Amelia Peabody. Woo!

Sherlock Holmes. No question.

You’re brilliant and insightful, cool and witty. You have Dr. John H. Watson, a brave, stalwart companion who’ll always be there for you, and who makes you look good in print. You’ve got an unending parade of interesting people who bring their problems to you, eager for your help. Friends in high places (including Her Majesty the Queen, it’s strongly implied). A brilliant but profoundly lethargic older brother, Mycroft, who belongs to a mysterious club. Tea by gaslight. Dinners at Simpson’s. Violin concerts by Sarasate. Mocking Lestrade and the dimwits of Scotland Yard. All of Victorian London to explore. What’s not to like?

I’d pass on the cocaine, though…

I have no idea who Travis McGee is, what books he’s appeared in, who’s written them, or whether they’re any good.

But I want to be him, too.

Probably for me, Charlie Chan.

He lives in Hawaii, but travels a great deal. And clearly, by the number of children he has, he enjoys his private time with his wife.

And if anything goes wrong you can blame it on whichever son happens to be hanging around at the time.

And to be able to say things like: “A diplomat is much like a drag queen…He is most effective when he is abroad.” That would be so cool.

OK, OK that one wasn’t so great, but I did that one…if I were Charlie Chan, they would be much more intelligent adages, obviously.

Written by John D. MacDonald. Look for any title with a color in the title in the mystery section of your favorite bookstore. *The Empty Copper Sea *is probably my favorite of his novels.

I haven’t read all of 'em, but from what I have read, I wouldn’t mind being Peter Wimsey.

Good point, given the wealth, power, wine, manservanat, etc, but;

  1. He served in WWI, which did quite a number on him emotionally.

  2. His love interest is the insufferable Harriet Vane.

Me, I’d want to be Archie Goodwin. He’s the second smartest detective in NY, has the ability to crack wise no matter what the situation, he can dance brilliantly and fight bravely, can boast a memory like a tape recorder, has a healthy but balanced ego, appreciates the finest food Fritz can serve while still enjoying greasy chili, gets to hang with cool friends like Lon, Fred and Saul, drives a new car every year that he doesn’t have to pay for, and has “playful but well-heeled” ladies falling for him in every case. Oh, and in addition to being a wonderful writer, he gets to vent about and snark on his boss in published accounts that are read worldwide – all without recrimination.

Coolest guy in 'tec fic.