Author Topic: Best Modern Detective Novel?  (Read 724 times)

Online jdcore

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2013, 07:22:12 PM »
Quote
Robert B. Parker's Spenser books would be my second choice.  Kind of amazed nobody's mentioned either yet.
I forgot about parker (Spenser.) That's a valid point. I'm from the same hometown as Robert urich who played Speser in the TV series though, so that may be biasing me.

Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2013, 09:05:52 PM »
Agreed, though I'd pick Hammett by a hair, given how much Chandler owed to him. And The Maltese Falcon is THE detective novel IMO.

Contemporary-wise, I'd personally go with T. Jefferson Parker as best detective novelist currently working, although he's a bit uneven (maybe because he mostly does stand-alone novels). But Silent Joe and Laguna Heat are as good as any detective novel I've read in the last twenty years.

All-time, it's gotta be Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, who seems never to have gone away. Love the new BBC series, for example.
It is extremely hard to choose between Hammett and Chandler and I will give you that Chandler and every other writer of detective fiction in the world owes Hammett a huge debt. But honestly The Lady in the Lake and Farewell, My Lovely are soooo good, that I can't admit that even Hammett was better. All-time, yes Doyle's Holmes was the quintessential detective. :)

ETA: My own favorite Hammett novel is Red Harvest. I really do consider it Hammett's best work. It is one of the greatest novels ever written about the abuse of power and the casual viciousness of the language is classic Hammett.


« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 09:48:42 PM by JRTomlin »

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Offline Michael Murray

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2013, 09:08:59 PM »
Andrew Vachss' Burke. I like Elvis Cole, also, but Burke has Pansy, Max, the Mole, and very good taste in the blues 8).

However, I'm not sure that counts, is Burke a detective, or just a guy who solves crimes?
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Offline Christopher Bunn

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2013, 09:31:33 PM »
I'd say PD James' Inspector Adam Dalgliesh.
 
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Offline Amanda Brice

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2013, 07:03:09 AM »
There SERIOUSLY are only two possibilities for the best 20th century fictional detective:  Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon) and Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe (The Big Sleep). Anyone else is an also ran.

If you want a touchstone reference that everyone will get, then definitely one of these two.
 
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Offline Ashy

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2013, 07:26:08 AM »
There SERIOUSLY are only two possibilities for the best 20th century fictional detective:  Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon) and Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe (The Big Sleep). Anyone else is an also ran.

If I had to choose between them it would be tough but Chandler might edge out Hammett by a hair.

ETA: Truthfully, I don't think anyone more recent comes close to those two but if you wanted someone more current, I'd go with Robert Crais's Elvis Cole (The Monkey's Raincoat). Crais is very good, but Hammett and Chandler were two of the best writers in any genre (or non-genre), utter geniuses.




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Offline Ashy

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2013, 07:27:14 AM »
John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee books.  Nobody else even comes close for me.

Robert B. Parker's Spenser books would be my second choice.  Kind of amazed nobody's mentioned either yet.  MacDonald, in particular, is one a lot of modern mystery writers credit for getting them into the genre in the first place.

Thanks, Scott (Can I call you Scott?) - looks like Spenser is pulling a little ahead in the race! :D

Offline Ashy

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2013, 07:27:57 AM »
Scott took my two answers, so I shall add nothing at all to this thread.

Except your vote! Thanks Patrick! :D

Offline Ashy

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2013, 07:29:23 AM »
Agreed, though I'd pick Hammett by a hair, given how much Chandler owed to him. And The Maltese Falcon is THE detective novel IMO.

Contemporary-wise, I'd personally go with T. Jefferson Parker as best detective novelist currently working, although he's a bit uneven (maybe because he mostly does stand-alone novels). But Silent Joe and Laguna Heat are as good as any detective novel I've read in the last twenty years.

All-time, it's gotta be Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, who seems never to have gone away. Love the new BBC series, for example.

Yea, I knew Sherlock would win if I went all time, which is why I limited it to modern. I love the new BBC series, too! Thanks, Eric!

Offline Ashy

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2013, 07:30:31 AM »
Didn't know we could go back as far as Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin, but they are my all time faves. I'm rereading them right now. This is the first one.





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Offline Ashy

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #35 on: July 03, 2013, 07:31:18 AM »
Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins Series. First one is Devil in a Blue Dress. Or Val McDermid's Tony Hill Series (The Mermaid's Singing).

Ah ha! Thanks, bmcox!

Offline Ashy

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2013, 07:32:58 AM »
I forgot about parker (Spenser.) That's a valid point. I'm from the same hometown as Robert urich who played Speser in the TV series though, so that may be biasing me.

So, jd, are you tossing your hat in the Spenser ring? ;)

Offline Ashy

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #37 on: July 03, 2013, 07:47:45 AM »
Andrew Vachss' Burke. I like Elvis Cole, also, but Burke has Pansy, Max, the Mole, and very good taste in the blues 8).

However, I'm not sure that counts, is Burke a detective, or just a guy who solves crimes?

He'd work for my purposes here, thanks, Michael!

Offline Ashy

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #38 on: July 03, 2013, 07:49:30 AM »
I'd say PD James' Inspector Adam Dalgliesh.

Thanks, Christopher! Groovy Avatar, BTW!

Offline Ashy

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #39 on: July 03, 2013, 07:50:28 AM »
If you want a touchstone reference that everyone will get, then definitely one of these two.

I'm thinking you're spot on here, Amanda. I agree 100%...

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2013, 01:11:40 PM »
Detective as in cop - Harry Bosch.

Detective as in private - Elvis Cole.

Offline Ashy

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2013, 01:24:07 PM »
Detective as in cop - Harry Bosch.

Detective as in private - Elvis Cole.

Thanks, ellenoc!

Online ToniD

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2013, 02:29:50 PM »

Another vote for Harry Bosch, if you're talking cops.

For private detective(s): Dennis Lehane's Kenzie and Gennaro. Especially in Gone, Baby, Gone.


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Offline MEPurfield

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #43 on: July 03, 2013, 03:26:15 PM »
Connelly's Bosch, Chandler's Marlow, Vachss's Burke (yes he uses a PI as a cover operation so he counts), and Clive Barker's Harry Lamore.
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Offline Rob Smith

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #44 on: July 03, 2013, 04:03:15 PM »
Even though I'm a big fan of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novels and they're the inspiration of my stuff, I have to vote for Red Harvest. Not only for the reasons JR Tomlin lists but because Hammett creates a plot in this novel that is so awesome it begat a classic Japanese Samurai movie and a classic Clint Eastwood spaghetti western.

Online Mike Dennis

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Re: Best Modern Detective Novel?
« Reply #45 on: July 03, 2013, 04:16:37 PM »
For something a little different, try my Jack Barnett / Las Vegas series, the first of which is a novelette called Temptation Town. Not only is it different, it's free for the next couple of days.

« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 04:19:27 PM by Mike Dennis »
  
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