Best Characters The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)  

MartinPStockdale
675 votes 125 voters 7.8k views 28 items

List Rules Must appear in a minimum of four novels as the primary character.

This list is one man's opinion of the top 20 greatest fictional crime fighting sleuths ever in print. As a lifelong reader with a voracious appetite for crime solving fiction, I feel I have a strong case to be made for creating this list.

To make my list the sleuth had to be an ongoing character appearing in a minimum of four books. I chose to maintain a very loose definition of the word sleuth, but the end result for each is the same...the "bad" guys were stopped, a crime was prevented or solved, and the good guy lived.

If you feel my list is missing someone, please add to my list and rank accordingly. If you agree with who's on my list, but don't like the way I have them ranked...feel free to change their ranking.

1
60 13
Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Co... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

2
25 10
James Bond (Ian Fleming) is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
James Bond (Ian Fleming)

3
27 12
Harry Bosch (Michael Connelly) is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Harry Bosch (Michael Connelly)

4
27 12
Jack Reacher (Lee Child) is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Jack Reacher (Lee Child)

5
28 14
Kay Scarpetta (Patricia Cornwe... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Kay Scarpetta (Patricia Cornwell)

6
21 9
Travis McGee (John D. McDonald... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Travis McGee (John D. McDonald)

7
21 11
Lucas Davenport (John Sandford... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Lucas Davenport (John Sandford)

8
21 11
Philip Marlowe (Raymond Chandl... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Philip Marlowe (Raymond Chandler)

9
21 11
Hercule Poirot (Agatha Christi... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Hercule Poirot (Agatha Christie)

10
15 7
Lew Archer (John Macdonald) is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Lew Archer (John Macdonald)

11
16 8
Dave Robicheaux (James Lee Bur... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Dave Robicheaux (James Lee Burke)

12
19 11
Myron Bolitar (Harlan Coben) is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Myron Bolitar (Harlan Coben)

13
19 11
Alex Cross (James Patterson) is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Alex Cross (James Patterson)

14
15 8
Virgil Flowers (John Sandford) is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Virgil Flowers (John Sandford)

Fictional Pirates

15
16 9
Jane Rizzoli (Tess Gerritsen) is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Jane Rizzoli (Tess Gerritsen)

16
12 7
Burke (Andrew Vachss) is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Burke (Andrew Vachss)

17
12 9
Elvis Cole (Robert Crais) is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Elvis Cole (Robert Crais)

18
9 8
Oliver Stone (David Baldacci) is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Joanne Phillips added Oliver Stone (David Baldacci)

19
13 13
Alex Delaware (Jonathan Keller... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Kate Kavanagh added Alex Delaware (Jonathan Kellerman)

20
9 9
Dirk Pitt (Clive Cussler) is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Dirk Pitt (Clive Cussler)

21
6 6
Temperance Brennan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
elmien18 added Temperance Brennan

22
11 12
Matthew Scudder (Lawrence Bloc... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Matthew Scudder (Lawrence Block)

23
1 1
Lew Archer (Ross Macdonald) is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
JimThomas added Lew Archer (Ross Macdonald) This is actually another vote for the incorrectly listed #16 which you have attributed to John Macdonald whereas the author is Ross Macdonald. John Macdonald did not write Lew Archer. Kenneth Millar under the pen name of Ross ...

24
0 1
Shell Scott (Richard S. Prathe... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
JimThomas added Shell Scott (Richard S. Prather)

25
0 1
Spenser (Robert Parker) is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
JimThomas added Spenser (Robert Parker)

26
0 1
Mike Hammer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
JimThomas added Mike Hammer

27
0 1
aasan is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
din1710 added aasan

28
7 18
Matt Helm (Donald Hamilton) is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Top 20 Best Fictional Crime Stoppers (and Their Authors)
Matt Helm (Donald Hamilton)