'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Friday, April 13, 2012

Favorite Detectives Part II

Let's see where did we leave off...Oh yes, Cordelia Gray. Let's move on to...

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Wire in the Blood, DCI Carol Jordan and Dr. Tony Hill, clinical psychologist. This show is based on characters created by writer Val McDermid. Dr. Hill is always called in as a profiler to help DCI Jordan solve her gruesome, gory crimes. I loved Dr. Hill, played by Robson Green. He was maybe a little 'wired' himself and it was amazing how he could get into the mind of the criminal. This show is definitely not a cozy English detective type show. It really can be brutal and gruesome. I loved the relationships between Carol and Tony and the three other detectives they worked with, Kevin, Paula and John. Wire ran from 2002-2009. In 2006 Hermione Norris, who played Carol Jordan was replaced with  Simone Lahbib as DI Alex Fielding.I have not read any of Ms. McDermid's books.

Ngaio Marsh 193?
The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries is a British detective television series adapted from nine of the Roderick Alleyn novels by Ngaio Marsh. It originally aired between 1990 and 1994. Patrick Malahide played Inspector Alleyn and Belinda Lang played Agatha Troy his love interest. This series was set in the 1940's and I adored the clothing and the hair! I have read a couple of these books and they are great mysteries. I have a couple more on the shelf to read yet. I loved this pic of Ngaio and just had to add it! she was born in Christchurch New Zealand. Here is her list of books.

We can't forget Albert Campion, creation of Margery Allingham. Campion was supposedly created as a parody of Dorothy L. Sayers' detective Lord Peter Wimsey, Campion established his own identity, and matured and developed as the series progressed. There are 18 novels and 20 short stories featuring Mr. Campion. I have watched several of the Albert Campion Mysteries and thoroughly loved Peter Davison as the character. He is one of my favorite actors. But I really don't care for the character. I do have one Margery Allingham on the shelf but have not read it yet.

Of course Miss Marple is the best of all! (and Poirot too). I have read many Agatha Christie books and have many more on my shelf to go yet. There were so many actresses that had their turns at Miss Marple...
Joan Hickson
Gracie Fields
Margaret Rutherford
Angela Lansbury
Dulcie Gray
Helen Hayes
Joan Hickson
Geraldine McEwan
Julia McKenzie
Which one was your favorite? It's very hard to decide...The last three on the list of course are the best known. Joan Hickson will always be Miss Marple but Geraldine McEwan was excellent and I really do like Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple in the new installments on Mystery.

Laurence Fox & Kevin Whately
And last but not least is Inspector Lewis.  Robert "Robbie" Lewis is a character in the Inspector Morse crime novels by Colin Dexter. (I have not read any of these books either!) The "sidekick" to Morse, Lewis is a Detective Sergeant in the Thames Valley Police, and appears in all 13 Morse novels. In the television adaptation, Inspector Morse, he is played by Kevin Whately. Following the conclusion of the series, Whately reprised the role as the lead character in Lewis, in which the character has been promoted to Inspector. Inspector Lewis is now in it's sixth series (I can't wait!). This mystery is set in Oxford, England. I like Robbie Lewis immensely, but it's his sidekick Detective Sergeant James Hathaway played by Laurence Fox that is my favorite detective. Sergeant Hathaway a Cambridge-educated man who joined the police after giving up training for the priesthood. They keep his character a little mysterious by not letting us into his personal life too much. Just crumbs each season. He gets more popular each series. We don't know yet why he left the priesthood or why he went into it in the first place. One series we find out he plays the guitar and Laurence Fox does play in real life. You can check out his music here at Soundcloud. He reminds me of my son The Artist, tall, thin and a man of few words. Maybe that's why he has endeared himself to me:) He is married to actress Billie Piper of Dr. Who and Mystery's Sally Lockhart Mysteries. Fox also caught my eye when he played Airman Bernhardt Tellemann in Masterpiece Theaters Island at War. Great miniseries if you haven't seen it. and if you liked that you will love The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel! But I transgress!

So there you have it. I could go on and on there are so many....Taggert, Dalziel and Pascoe,.. But we have to stop somewhere. Hope you enjoyed my journey thru film/literary detectives and you'll leave a note with some of your favorites!


  1. I haven't read anything by Val McDermid either - or even watched it on TV. I've been told that her writing is very gory and that has put me off. I should read her though as she is a local.
    Margaret Rutherford was the Miss Marple of my childhood and I still enjoy those films for their humour but I think the last three you mentioned were more true to the character.
    I love Morse, and Island at War with Philip Glenister and I prefer the original Taggert - Mark McManus. I also like Foyle's War with Michael Kitchen as the detective Foyle.

    1. Wire in the blood is very gory! I liked the taggert with M ark McManus best too. I didn't even finish watching the new ones. But for some reason Netflix doesn't have the old ones any longer:(

  2. Hi Peggy,

    One of my favourites was 'The Inspector Lynley Mysteries', with the delicious Nathaniel Parker.

    Of course, if we are mentioning Miss Marple, who can forget the inimitable Hercule Poirot, who will always be synonymous with actor David Suchet.

    There are just so many great detectives who have hit our screens over the last 50 or so years and I came across this great list, which certainly brought back some memories


    There is enough material here for many more nostalgic posts.

    Great idea for a post, what fun!


    1. Thanks for the link Yvonne! I really love Inspector Barnaby the most, but I really like Inspector Lewis too. Saw a movie recently with David Suchet in it and didn't even recognize him since wasn't playing Poirot!

  3. I agree - Miss Marple is the best! And I especially loved Angela Lansbury's version, although Helen Hays runs a close second.

    Interesting and fun idea for a post. If you don't mind, I may "borrow" it and concoct my won list.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. I see you love James Hathaway as much as me. LOL. I like Robbie as well, of course, but Hathaway is such an enigma and so wonderfully played by Lawrence Fox. I'm sure it's his intelligence that I find irresistible. I would *love* to tell you about the first episode of the new season which aired on Wednesday night but it would spoil it for you. Suffice it to say that from Hathaway's pov it was *utterly* adorable. I have no idea how the programme makers have managed to have this series get better and better each season.

    I love all the other series you mention too apart from Wire in the Blood which I've never seen - I probably should.

    1. You guys get all the good mysteries over there across the pond! I hope Lewis doesn't take long to get over here on Masterpiece Mystery!


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