Fictional Detectives

Ellery Queen, Master of Mystery

Welcome to Masters of Mystery, an ongoing series which features a fictional detective and examines his or her unique contribution to mystery fiction.  This month: Ellery Queen Some interesting facts about Ellery Queen and his creators: 1. Ellery Queen is both the name of the fictional detective and the nom de plume for the writing(…)

The Hound of the Baskervilles: a must-read for mystery fans

  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901-02) has been regarded by current and contemporary Sherlockians as the best of the four Sherlock Holmes novels.  Since its publication, it has been adapted dozens of times for radio, film, and television.  It’s a mystery classic that I hope you’ll try! Here’s some background(…)

For Mystery Lovers: The Real Professor Moriarty, by Bruce Rosen

We have a real treat today for you mystery and history lovers: an exploration of one of the most famous fictional villains, Professor Moriarty.  He’s the nemesis of Sherlock Holmes, and bad boy of stage and screen, most recently rendered in the film Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. It’s particularly appropriate that Victorian scholar(…)

Fan Fri (for mystery lovers): “The Saint” by Leslie Charteris

  It’s Fan Friday for mystery lovers, when we take a look at a favorite detective or mystery-related subject.  Today’s detective: Leslie Charteris’ “The Saint” – Simon Templar   Some interesting facts about Leslie Charteris and The Saint series: 1.  Charteris was born to an English mother and Chinese father in Singapore in 1907.  (His(…)

Dr. Watson: narrator, buffoon, or crime-fighting partner?

Sherlock Holmes would be nothing without Dr. Watson.  Yes, John H. Watson – medical doctor, wounded veteran of the second Anglo-Afghan War, congenial companion, capable chronicler – the 19th century British Everyman.  He’s the ideal foil for the brilliance of Holmes, and tells the story in a way that Holmes never could.  He also makes the Great(…)

Mystery Monday: The Moonstone, “grandaddy” of classic detective novels

How far back do we need to go to find the first detective novel?  There are lots of examples of early stories from cultures around the world.  My post on Judge Dee, for example, discusses how Van Gulik based his work on fictional stories from the Ming Dynasty about magistrate Gong An. But in terms of(…)

Masters of Mystery Monday: Charlie Chan

Welcome to Masters of Mystery Monday, where each week we feature a fictional detective and examine his or her unique contribution to the mystery genre.  You are invited to challenge yourself with a short detective quiz, and see the answers to the previous week’s quiz. Today we’re revisiting a Master Detective from an earlier post:(…)

Mystery Monday: A Plot Wheel for Perry Mason

Early last month, Robert Downey, Jr. announced that he would produce and star in a new Perry Mason film: Click here for the entire Fandango article. For fans of Erle Stanley Gardner’s lawyer-detective Perry Mason, this can either be exciting or distressing news; it depends on how much of a purist you are.  Either way, a(…)