How do you pick a favorite detective? There are way too many. It's like picking a mystery genre, I like them all for different reasons. Just like I'm fond of various types of fruit. I can't pick just one. Oranges are juicy and smell like summer while bananas are comforting and apples bring images of crispy fall days.
Miss Marple has always been one of my favorites because she wanders around the background, unnoticed, puttering in the garden, knitting her way through murders and paying attention to details until she quietly lets everyone know who the killer is. Her stories are peaceful reminders of polite society and quiet days in the country.
Hercule Poirot, on the other hand, has a broader field in which to play and a more flamboyant personality to flaunt as he interviews everyone and solves the puzzle.
But, putting aside the genteel side of society, Nick and Nora Charles come to mind, with their unsavory friends and constant cocktails. They almost find the crooks by accident, enjoying their parties in spite of the mayhem surrounding their lives, or maybe because of the chaos.
Sherlock is still one of my many favorites because of his improbability and his many glaring flaws. He lives and works successfully in spite of drug and personality disorders that have the potential to be crippling.
So, those would be my favorite old fashioned detectives and yet I managed to leave off all of my favorite, modern kick-ass female detectives, like Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon and Sara Paretsky's VI Warshawsky, Kathy Reichs Temperance Brennen.
And you want me to chose? I haven't even mentioned the urban fantasy girls. So, even though I find fictional murder mysteries fun, and read them in every spare moment, I refuse to pick one.
Wait,wait! Maybe I can. There is one female detective that outshined and outshines them all, because she started it all, at least in my case and she is still going strong all these years later. It was all my grandmother's fault because she bought all these little blue books that my mother read and saved for me. Yes! You're right.
Nancy Drew is Queen of detectives. She started me on the path of reading mysteries, watching mysteries and finally writing and publishing them. So, if I have to pic the favorite, it's the one who pushed me down this path and affected the rest of my reading, writing life, combined, of course with the Poe influences which account for some of the more bizarre turns my stories sometimes take.