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Mystery Fiction: Amateur Sleuths

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in 1841 and it is considered to be the first modern detective story. The amateur sleuth in this story is C. Auguste Dupin.  Several detective stories have been modeled after "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and sleuth C. Auguste Dupin, including Sherlock Holmes.  Dupin's characteristics that are often replicated are that he is brilliant, his friend narrates the story and the final reveal happens before the reader is presented with all of the evidence.

Four-Legged Detectives

Lilian Jackson Braun

Newspaper reporter Jim Qwilleran recieves unexprected help from hi two Siamese cats, Koko and Yum Yum.  The cats usually find the vtal clued that is needed to solve the mystery.  Titles of the books in the  series start with, The Cat Who...

Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Feline sleuth Joe Grey and his two partners-in-detection, Dulcie and Kit.  The cats in this series are active sleuths and can communicate with select humans.

Rita Mae Brown

Mary Minor "Harry" Harristeen and her two sleuthing pets. Feline Mrs. Murphy and her dog, Tee Tucker.  The series is known as the Mrs. Murphy series and is "coauthored" by Brown's own cat, Sneaky Pie Brown.

Suzette A. Hill

Reverend Francis Oughterard and his sarcastic cat, Maurice and loveable but dim witted dog Bouncer.

Susan Conant

Dog Trainer and Dog's Life columnist Holly Winters finds herself solving animal related mysteries along with her two Alaskan malamute dogs.

Laurien Berenson

Melanie Travis, a journalist, solves mysteries in the world of dog training and dog shows.

Names of Amateur Detectives

Albert Campion by Margery Allingham

Amanda Pepper by Gillian Roberts

Anna Pigeon by Nevada Barr

Annie Laurence Darling by Carolyn Hart

Beatrix Potter by Susan Witting Albert

Benni Harper by Earlene Fowler

Bernie Rhodenbarr by Lawrence Block

Betsy Devonshire by Monica Ferris

Carmela Bertrand by Laura Childs

China Bayles by Susan Wittig Albert

Cliff Janeway by John Dunning

Darling Dahlias by Susan Witting Albert

Deborah Knott by Margaret Maron

Ellery Queen by Ellery Queen (Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee)

Ellie Haskell and Bentley Haskell by Dorothy Cannell

Faith Sibley Fairchild by Katerine Hall Page

Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton

Gideon Fell by John Dickson Carr

Gideon Oliver by Aaron Elkins

Goldy Bear Schulz by Diane Mott Davidson

Hannah Swensen by Joanne Fluke

Henry Gamadge by Elizabeth Daly

Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie

Jamaica Wild by Sandi Ault

Kelly Flynn by Maggie Sefton

Lara McClintoch by Lyn Hamilton

Lovejoy by Jonathan Gash

Meg Corey by Sheila Connolly

Meg Lanslow by Donna Andrews

Miss Marple by Agatha Christie

Natalie Barnes by Karen MacInerney

Peter Wimsey by Dorothy L. Sayers

Roger Sheringham by Anthony Berkeley

Sarah Quilliam "Quill" by Claudia Bishop

Sid Halley by Dick Francis

Sir Charles Sheridan by Robin Paige

Theodosia "Theo" Browning by Laura Childs

Tori Sinclair by Elizabeth Lynn Casey


Subject Guide