Roll up! Roll up! Top Five Detectives

Rob Lloyd Jones
Have a look at the other
stops on his blog tour
 Please welcome Rob Lloyd Jones to the blog. 

Those of you that have read Wild Boy will know that this novel is set in Victorian London with a very special main character. Wild Boy uses his skills of observation to gather clues.

I loved, adored and even now try to practice this skill. You simply must read Wild Boy. To tided you over, here is Rob discussing his top five detectives as part of his blog tour. 

I see a correlation between interesting authors and fantastic books. Have a look at the About Rob below.*

Hello, and thanks for having me on the Moloney King blog!

             I am, however, feeling a little sheepish. I wanted to write about detective stories, which made sense seeing as I’ve written one (although my hero – Wild Boy – is a bit different to most detectives. He’s a performer in a freak show for starters). But here’s the thing; I don’t love all detective books. I love some of them, for sure. But too many, especially those from the 1920s and 30s (the ‘Golden Age’ of mystery writing) leave me cold. They’re all about the puzzle – usually some impossible crime – and not very interested in the character that solves it. Every detective story needs a fiendish mystery at its heart, but I prefer the ones that also have heroes we can really root for. So I thought I’d recommend my top five detectives, in no particular order… 

Emile and the Detectives (Emile and the Detectives by Erich Kästner)
There are actually 25 detectives in this wonderful tale of a gang of Berlin boys who team up to bust a gang of thieves. Their plan isn’t exactly ingenious, but it’s brilliantly organised and the gang’s downright love of the hunt is a joy to witness. This was the only one of Kästner’s stories to survive the Nazi book burnings. I like to think that even Hitler didn’t fancy taking on Emil and his pals.

Sally Lockhart (Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman)
Wanna make things really hard for your detective? Make her a woman in the 1800s. At the heart of Pullman’s twisting and fantastically melodramatic mystery is a detective we care about deeply – smashing down social boundaries in her quest for justice.

Claudia and Jamie Kincaid (From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg)
Every detective must be good at sneaking and hiding. Few, though, have hidden as well as Claudia and Jamie Kincaid, after they run away from home and take up residence in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. At night they roam the empty museum and become entangled in a mystery surrounding one of the exhibits. They could easily give up and head home, but keep going for the sheer thrill of the puzzle.

Inspector G. Lestrade (created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
You can’t talk about detectives without mentioning Sherlock Holmes. But I’d rather give a nod to the downtrodden Lestrade, the bulldog inspector who comes barking whenever Holmes calls. While Holmes only accepts cases that challenge his intellect, Lestrade is presumably solving the others – those murders, kidnaps, and boring old burglaries that the famous consulting detective deems beneath him. Poor Lestrade – no one ever raised a statue of him on Baker Street.

Miss Marple (created by Dame Agatha Christie)
For me, Miss Marple is the queen of the Golden Age of mystery stories. That said, I’ve always been suspicious of the kindly old detective. The body count in her village, St Mary Mead, is staggeringly high. And beside each fresh corpse, there is Miss Marple, waggling a wrinkled finger at somebody else.

*About Rob
Rob Lloyd Jones was born in San Francisco but grew up in London. He studied Egyptology at University where he learnt hieroglyphics, and often goes on digs with the Egypt Exploration Society. He is a senior editor at Usborne, for whom he has written over thirty books – mostly historical non-fiction, but also adaptations of classics such as JEKYLL AND HYDE and THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. Rob is also a volunteer reading helper at a primary school in Clerkenwell and wrote episodes of the children’s TV show ‘Bernard’s Watch’ for Carlton Kids. He lives in south London with his wife Sally, and 14-month-old son Otis

Thank you, Rob, for the insightful post about the top five detectives. I look forward to the next book in the Wild Boy series.

Care to comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s