This is a new feature here at NightlyReading where Alejandro will give suggestions of books that he has found. This will include different genres featured each week. I hope you enjoy, please let him know your thoughts by posting a comment or visiting his Goodreads page:
Continuing with the cycle of detectives, now enter Private Detectives. This has been an extremely popular genre, as they are people dedicated to investigate, they are hired for just that, carrying guns, but since they are not police, usually during the investigation, they had to deal not only with the suspects trying to kill them, but also with the police that they did not want civilians to get into police affairs.
Without a doubt, Sherlock Holmes is the most famous literary detective of all time. He was created in 1887 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Its popularity as a character has been such that there are not only the canonical books by the author, but also many other literary works using the character, in some cases under the permission of the author’s family , in others, depending on the books that are losing the copyright to have been written over 100 years ago. Sherlock Holmes has been adapted to film, television , radio, etc … He is considered the greatest detective in the world and is famous for both his deductive mind as for his eccentricities and difficult personality to live . Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about his famous character: 8 books, featuring 4 novels and 56 short stories. Even in a moment that the author felt that he was “enslaved” to his character, decided to “kill” in one of his stories and this caused a stir in London in 1893 where hundreds of loyal readers starting to use mourning bands in respect to their beloved character, after 8 years of resisting pressure, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published a novel but again placing it “before” the “death” of the character, but since that did not satisfy his fans, finally the author published a short story clearly establishing as his “comeback”, explaining how he had survived and continued his adventures.
The master of suspense, Agatha Christie, created her most famous character, the brilliant detective Hercule Poirot, of Belgian origin, retired police officer and now a private detective. Agatha Christie wrote 33 novels, a play and 50 short stories using Poirot as the central detective of the story. Agatha Christie admitted that one of his inspirations to create Poirot was the “Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which is not uncommon and is almost certain that every writer of mystery and detective novels have read the work as part of Sherlock Holmes of their inspiration. Obviously, Poirot is an original character in its own right, where Agatha Christie designed it so that should be distinguished from any other detective created to date. Due to its fame, Hercules Poirot has been adapted to film, television, theater and radio many times.
Raymond Chandler, an accomplished mystery writer, mainly in the style of “noir” detectives created the famous “Philip Marlowe” which he used on 8 novels and 5 short stories, among which some of the highlights are “The Big Sleep”, “The Long Goodbye” and “The Lady in the Lake”. It is common to relate to Philip Marlowe with the physical appearance of actor Humphrey Bogart who played him in the movies defining his popularity.
Mickey Spillane was the creator of the private detective, Mike Hammer, inspired by real life Texas Ranger Frank Hamer (famous for being who eliminated Bonnie & Clyde), Mike Hammer is the archetypal of the “hardboiled” detective, without remorse, which fears not of firinghis gun, and he didn’t hesitate to intimidate and even hurt their suspects to get confessions. Mike Hammer first appeared in 1947 in the detective novel “I, the Jury”. Spillane novels proved to be a phenomenon at the time, and that by 1980 boasted 7 books among the Top15 of best selling books in America. This was also the character was adapted in newspaper comic strips, movies and especially television has helped keep the fame character where actor Stacy Keach has became the image which modern fans thought about the tough private detective.
Robert B. Parker created the famous private detective Spencer, which was never known if it was his last name or first name , known only as Spencer. Robert B. Parker died in 2010, which until then had written 40 novels with Spencer. Unlike the clichés used in almost every other American private detectives, where they are womanizers and with limited education, Spencer has a stable relationship with the character Susan Silverman, plus Spencer is well educated, reads a lot, knows how to cook , and has a firm ethical code. He lives in the city of Boston. Also usually keeps a good relationship with the police. He was a boxer and served with the army. His best friend is “Hawk”, an African American man, who was in the Foreign Legion and had military training outside the United States. Hawk is a high-class mercenary which Spencer uses when the situation demands. The fame of the novels inspired a television series “Spencer : For Hire” where the late Robert Urich interpreted the detective, and even actor Avery Brooks (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), who played Hawk, had a brief spin -off entitled “A Man called Hawk”. Robert B. Parker created a “universe” where other characters created by him as Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall that they have begun their own series of books but then also appeared as supporting characters in novels of Spencer. Spencer’s popularity has not diminished in novels and that is why even with the death of the original author, the publishing house has authorized 3 novels to date continuing cases of the detective.
The notorious writer Dennis Lehane, author of famous novels like “Shutter Island” and “Mystic River”, both adapted into films by famous directors, is the creator of the literary detective series called “Kenzie & Gennaro,” which is a reference to the two private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. Two detectives, friends, operating in Boston, using an office located in a church. So far Lehane has written six novels using this pair of private detectives.
The writer Sue Grafton created the private detective Kinsey Millhone and immediately became a literary phenomenon where its most distinctive feature is that each book uses a title using an alphabet letter with reference to an important element in each novel. Examples: “A is for Alibi “, “B is for Burglar ” , etc … and the author already revealed that the final book will be titled “Z is for Zero”, to date she has written 23 novels ( reaching the W ) plus two short stories (which titles didn’t have the distinctive outline ) also revealed that the last book will coincide with the 40th birthday of her character ( age of the character, not the longevity of the series). Kinsey Millhone is a private detective who after realizing that she didn’t have material college, she joined the Police where after 2 months she realized that was not for her , then she was an investigator for an insurance agency, where soon she left and to finally start to be private detective , first with a mentor with Benjamin Bird, an experienced private detective. Kinsey Millhone is described as a woman who does not care much about their appearance except for her teeth, usually wears jeans and turtleneck sweaters and only has a black dress when the situation demanded.
The American writer Cara Black using her knowledge, being a member of the Paris Societé Historique, created her character, Aimée Leduc, a young and fearless private detective in modern Paris, showing the face of Paris that tourists do not see, nor known. Aimée Leduc is the daughter of an American woman (who disappeared) and a private detective, French ex – cop (who was killed in an ambush), so Aimée Leduc decides to abandon her studies in medicine, anyway , she knew that was not “her thing” and takes charge of the detective agency, with the help of René Friant, an unusual woman who suffers from dwarfism but is very skilled with computers. His godfather is Commissarie Morbier, that helps her as possible during investigations. Aimée Leduc’s character has been described as an “Audrey Hepburn” for the 21st century with punk -rock attitude. Since its debut in 1998, to date already has been published 14 novels, translated into five languages (including French obviously).
The mega famous writer J. K. Rowling, author of the book series “Harry Potter”, in 2013 under the pseudonym “Robert Galbraith” started a different book series, this time about a private detective in contemporary London, named “Cormoran Strike”. It soon became known that Robert Galbraith was just a pseudonym, but apparently JK Rowling will continue to use this pseudonym for this series, her second book is expected by June 2014. Cormoran Strike is an former soldier who had a leg injury that caused to be discharged, and is now trying to survive as a private detective. He has not had much luck with cases until an important case to investigate the death of a famous super-model gets its hands. With the support of Robin, his temporary secretary, Cormoran Strike begins a series that promises to become popular, especially for being written by JK Rowling.
See you next week!