FORGOTTEN BOOKS #281: 100 GREAT DETECTIVES Edited by Maxim Jakubowski

100 great detectives
100 Great Detectives was published in 1991. Each essay discusses the detective and concludes with a bibliography of the detective’s work (of course, many of the bibliographies are incomplete as more books with some of the detectives were published after 1991). But the classic detectives–Holmes, Fell, Poirot, Campion–have complete bibliographies. I found the essays enlightening for the most part. If you’re looking for a directory of great detectives and their works, this volume will come in handy. How many of these great detectives are you familiar with?
Introduction By Maxim Jakubowski
1. Margaret Lewis on Ngaio Marsh’s RODERICK ALLEYN
2. Mark timlin on William Hjortsberg’s HARRY ANGEL
3. Aaron Elkins on Michael Innes’ SIR JOHN APPLEBY
4. Doughlas Wynn on Ross Macdonald’s LEW ARCHER
5. Ion Mills on Arthur Lyons’ JACOB ASCH
6. Rober Adey on Joseph Commings’ SENATOR BROOKS U. BANNER
7. Philip Kerr on Friedrich Durrenmatt’s INSPECTOR BARLACH
8. P. C. Doherty on Umberto Eco’s BROTHER WILLIAM BASKERVILLE
9. Scott Herbertson on Sjowall & Wahloo’s MARTIN BECK
10. Philip Harbotttle on John Russell Fearn’s “BLACK MARIA”
11. Colin Greenland on Charles Burns’ EL BORBAH
12. Victoria Nichols & Susan Thompson on Gladys Mitchell’s DAME ADELA LESTRANGE BRADLEY
13. Neil Gaiman on G. K. Chesterton’s FATHER BROWN
14. Wayne D. Dundee on Andrew Vachss’ BURKE
15. Iain Sinclair on WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS
16. Joe Gores on Michael Gilbert’ts MR. CALDER & MR. BEHRENS
17. Michael Moorcock on Margery Allingham’s ALBERT CAMPION
18. Mike Phillips on Ed McBain’s STEVE CARELLA
19. Jonathan Main on Nicholas Freeling’s CASTANG
20. Russell James on Peter Cheyney’s LEMMY CAUTION
21. Anthony Lejeune on Earl Derr Biggers’ CHARLIE CHAN
22. Socur Van Folly on Simon Smith’s THE CLEWSEYS
23. Richard A. Lupoff on Dashiell Hammett’s THE CONTINENTAL OP
24. Eric Wright on Howard Engel’s BENNY COOPERMAN
25. Paul Buck on Johnathan Latimer’s BILL CRANE
26. Mark Schorr on Thomas Harris’ JACK CRAWFORD
27. Barry Fantoni on Raymond Chandler’s JOHN DALMAS
28. John Malcolm on Reginald Hill’s DALZIEL & PASCOE
29. Ralph H. Peck on Brian Garfield’s CHARLIE DARK
30. Susan Dunlap on Joyce Porter’s CHIEF INSPECTOR WILFRED DOVER
31. Michael Eaton on Edgar Allan Poe’s C. AUGUSTE DUPIN
32. Michael Gilbert on Dorothy L. Sayers’ MONTAGUE EGG
33. Patricia Moyes on Elizabeth Peters’ AMELIA PEABODY EMERSON
34. Maxim Jakubowski on Marc Behm’s THE EYE
35. David Langford on John Dickson Carr’s DR. FELL
36. Susan Moody on Edmund Crispin’s GERVASE FEN
37. David Williams on Haughton Murphy’s REUBEN FROST
38. Gwendoline Bufler on Elizabeth Daly’s HENRY GAMADGE
39. James Melville on H. R. F. Keating’s INSPECTOR GHOTE
40. Jill McGown on Josphine Tey’s ALAN GRANT
41. Deborah Valentine on P. D. James’ CORDELIA GREY
42. Philip L. Scowcroft on A. E. W. Mason’s INSPECTOR HANAUD
43. John Conquest on P. B. Yuill’s HAZELL
44. H. R. F. Keating on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s SHERLOCK HOLMES
45. Scott A. Cupp on Fredric Brown’s ED AND AM HUNTER
46. Margaret Maron on Dorothy Dunnett’s JOHNSON JOHNSON
47. Cay Van Ash on Sax Rohmer’s MORIS KLAW
48. Benjamin M. Schutz on William McIlvanney’s LAIDLAW
49. Jim Huang on Sara Caudwell’s JULIA LARWOOD
50. Harold Adams on Seymour Shubin’s LIEUTENANT LaSALA
51. Bob Biderman on Tony Hillerman’s JOE LEAPHORN & JIM CHEE
52. Michael Z. Lewin on Liza Cody’s ANNA LEE
53. Reginald HIll on Anthony Trollope’s MACKINTOSH, BUNFIT AND GAGER
54. Peter Robinson on Georges Simenon’s INSPECTOR MAIGRET
55. Loren D. Estleman on Raymond Chandler’s PHILIP MARLOWE
56. Wendy M. Grossman on Agatha Christie’s MISS MARPLE
57. Celia Dale on Magdalen Nabb’s “THE MARSHAL”
58. Bill Pronzini on Marcia Muller’s SHARON MCCONE
59. Sharyn McCrumb on Carter Dickson’s SIR HENRY MERRIVALE
60. Adrian Wootton on James Crumbley’s MILO MILODRAGOVITCH
61. Simon Brett on Sue Grafton’s KINSEY MILLHONE
62. John Williams on Ed Lacy’s TOUSSAINT MARCUS MOORE
63. Ralph Spurrier on Clin Dexter’s INSPECTOR MORSE
64. Mike Ripley on Charles Willeford’s HOKE MOSELEY
65. Ed Gorman on Bill Pronzini’s NAMELESS DETECTIVE
67. Martin Edwards on Cyril Hare’s FRANCIS PETTIGREW
68. Anne Hart on Agatha Chritie’s HERCLULE POIROT
69. Barbara Wilson on Dorothy Gilman’s MRS. POLLIFAX
70. Nigel Algar on Loren D. Estleman’s RALPH POTEEET
71. Daniel P. King on Nigel Morlands MRS. PYM
72. Edward D. Hoch on Ellery Queen’s ELLERY QUEEN
73. Jerry Raine on James Lee Burke’s DAVE ROBICHEAUX
74. Jerry Kennealy on Edward Mathis’ DAN ROMAN
75. Stephen Gallagher on Leslie Charteris’ THE SAINT
76. Lesley Grant-Adamson on Julie Smith’s REBECCA SCHWARTZ
77. Barbara Mertz, Barbara Michaels & Elizabeth Peters on Charlotte MacLeod’s PETER SHANDY
78/79. Duncan Torrens on Anthony Berkeley’s ROGER SHERINGHAM and Philip MacDonald’s ANTHONY GETHRYN
80. Adam Barnett-Foster on Jerome Charyn’s ISAAC SIDEL
81. Marcel Berlins on Sarah Caudwell’s PROFESSOR HILARY TAMAR
82. B. J. Rahn on Patricia Wentworht’s MISS SILVER
83. Robert Wallace on John le Carre’s GEORGE SMILEY
84. Kim Newman on James Ellroy’s DUDLEY SMITH
85. Jack Adrian on Edgar Wallace’s THE SOOPER
86. Julian Symons on Dashiell Hammett’s SAME SPADE
87. Frederick Nolan on Robert B. Parker’s SPENSER
88. Catherine Aird on Emma Lathen’s JOHN PUTNAM THATCHER
89. Sarah Caudwell on Patricia Moyes’ HENRY AND EMMY TIBBETT
90. Robert Campbell on Robert Irvine’s MORONI TRAVELER
91. Alex Auswaks on David Williams’ MARK TREASURE
92. Haughton Murphy on Robert Barnard’s PERRY TRETHOWAN
93. Jan Bitsche Steffensen on Nicolas Freeling’s VAN DER VALK
94. Helen Esper Olmsted on Loren D. Estleman’s AMOS WALKER
95. Linda Semple on Sara Patetsky’s V. I. Warshawski
96. Melodie Johnson Howe & Catherine Kenney on Dorothy L. Sayers’ LORD PETER WIMSEY
97. Carolyn G. Hart on Phoebe Atwood Taylor’s LEONIDAS WITHERALL
98. Brian Stableford on M. P. Shiel’s PRINCE ZALESKI
100. Frances Fyfield on Michael Dibdin’s AURELIO ZEN
Notes on Contributors

21 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #281: 100 GREAT DETECTIVES Edited by Maxim Jakubowski

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    Looks like they certainly go beyond the usual obvious choices.

    I used to enjoy browsing through Jakubowski’s Murder One bookstore on London’s Charing Cross Road.

      1. Scott Cupp

        George – I’m glad you enjoyed it. The essay was fun to write, particularly since I got to read all the Ed and Am Hunter novels to do it. I just got around to seeing this today. I did score a copy of Brown’s Madball from Centipede Press the other day and really enjoyed reading it. Where is the Library of America Fredric Brown Mystery volume?

    1. george Post author

      Prashant, I hope Maxim Jakubowski someday publishes a sequel–ANOTHER 100 GREAT DETECTIVES perhaps–because you’re right: many great detectives are missing from this volume. But, there’s plenty of great detectives to enjoy in this volume!

  2. John

    Love books like this! I bought this book specifically for the article on John Russell Fearing’s Maria Black (aka “Black Maria”) when I stumbled across it at a library sale. Well worth the single dollar bill I handed over! :^D It’s the obscure that always attracts me. There are some great articles on lesser known characters by writers who deserve attention like Ed Lacy’s TOUSSAINT MARCUS MOORE (excellent books), Joseph Commings’ SENATOR BROOKS U. BANNER (would’ve been great to have at least one Banner novel, but Commings stuck to short stories), Phoebe Atwood Taylor’s LEONIDAS WITHERALL (the epitome of the screwball mystery, I think they’re a lot funnier than Craig Rice’s books). There are still many, many writers discussed in this book I have marked TBR but haven’t gotten to.

    1. george Post author

      John, great comment! I have the exact same reaction to 100 GREAT DETECTIVES. Exploring the more obscure detectives is a lot of fun. My favorite essay in this volume is Maxim Jakubowski’s on THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER by Marc Behm. It is a unique mystery that deserves a wider readership.

  3. Kent Morgan

    There were about 20 that I wasn’t familiar with including some that I don’t ever remember seeing. I did recognize all the writers. I’ve had that book for years and may have to pull it out of a stack of similiar type books and collections that I was ready to donate to a hospital book sale.

  4. TracyK

    I have this book and I appreciate it because it covers such a diverse group of fictional detectives. And the authors of each chapter are interesting too. I have a problem reading overviews of an author’s works when I have not yet read the books, because they give away some things, but now that I am getting older, these facts don’t stay in my brain that long anyway. So I should get back to this book.

    1. george Post author

      Tracy, I share your feelings about Spoilers! That’s why I rarely read movie reviews until I’ve seen the movie. Book reviewers are usually more careful about Spoilers, but not always.

  5. Jeff Meyerson

    Crippen & Landru published a collection of Joseph Commings’s Senator Banner stories in 2004 that is well worth seeking out.


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