Detective Duos

Detective Duos

3.81 (22 ratings by Goodreads)
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Sleuthing twosomes have long made their mark on detective fiction. From the unnamed narrator in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Purloined Letter" who adroitly recounts the virtuosity of the Parisian detective, C. Auguste Dupin; to Dorothy L. Sayers's beloved Lord Peter Wimsey and Mr. Bunter; to Lillian Jackson Braun's interspecies partnership between Phut Phat (an investigative genius who happens to be a cat) and one of its owners; detective duos have come in all guises. Indeed, there are almost as many variations of compatriot crimefighters as there are types of mystery and detective fiction. In this marvellous anthology, a real-life detective duo-married mystery novelists Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini-have brought together 25 of the best paired puzzle-solvers in short stories of remarkable range and scope. Here are traditional tandems: Sherlock and his admiring Watson, in a devilish puzzler "The Adventure of the Empty House," alongside Nero Wolfe and his (less fawning) employee, Archie Goodwin, in "Fourth of July Picnic." Husband and wife teams are well represented by Frances and Richard Lockridge's Mr. and Mrs. North, Kelley Roos's Jeff and Haila Troy, and Patrick Quentin's Peter and Iris Duluth. Amateurs work alongside professional crimesolvers in such stories as Julie Smith's never-before-published "The End of the Earth," featuring Skip Langdon and Steve Steinman, and the clue-seeking precursors to television's Quincy appear as partnered forensic pathologists Dr. Daniel Coffee and Dr. Motilal Mookerji in Lawrence G. Blochman's "The Phantom Cry-Baby." Sleuthing tandems come in different sexes, so we find Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone and Rae Kelleher alongside Fredric Brown's Ed and Am Hunter, as well as Bill Pronzini's Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon, where crime solving crosses barriers of both gender and time. And here too is a treasure chest of detective fiction styles: pure deduction, the impossible crime, the cozy, the dark comedy, espionage, the procedural, and more, in locales as varied as the crimes themselves, from England, to Antarctica, to fast-moving trains crossing America. Spanning more than a century of crime fiction, including both classic tales by the greats of mystery writing as well as gems from lesser-known writers, Detective Duos will captivate the sleuth in all of more

Product details

  • Paperback | 450 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 30.48mm | 362.87g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0195129105
  • 9780195129106

Review quote

"Muller and Pronzini, two of the best themselves, have given us a wonderful sampling of the other great teams in the mystery field."--Tony Hillerman"This delightful volume will not only entertain but also introduce readers to authors and characters they may not have otherwise discovered."--Booklistshow more

Review Text

Only a few of the 25 oddly-assorted pairs gathered here are romantic couples (Kelly Roos's Jeff and Haila Troy, Julie Smith's Skip Langdon and Steve Steinman); more often, they're colleagues professional (P.G. Wodehouse's Paul Snyder and Elliot Oakes, R. Austin Freeman's Thorndyke and Jervis, Lawrence Blochman's Dr. Coffee and Dr. Mookerji, Michael Gilbert's Calder and Behrens, Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe, Edward Hoch's Sebastian Blue and Laura Charme, editor Muller's Rae Kelleher and Sharon McCone, editor Pronzini's Sabine Carpenter and John Quincannon, Barbara D'Amato's Suze Figueroa and Norm Bennis) or quasi-professional (Margery Allingham's Campion and Inspector Kenny, Stuart Palmer and Craig Rice's Withers and Malone) - or they're Holmes-and-Watson pairs (Hulbert Footner's Mme. Rosika Storey and Bella, Ellen Dearmore's Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas). Though there's some history here (Patrick Quentin's first Peter and Iris Duluth story, the Lockridges' only story about Pam and Jerry North, Fredric Brown's only story about Ed and Am Hunter), most of the selections (e.g., Dorothy Sayers's "The Footsteps That Ran," Agatha Christie's "The Love Detectives," Rex Stout's "Fourth of July Picnic") are typical rather than distinguished. And does anyone really need yet another copy of "The Purloined Letter" (featuring the most featureless Watson in the business) or "The Adventure of the Empty House"? More dutiful than inspired despite its range of duos: a missed opportunity for the editors - the genre's own reigning First Couple - and their readers. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

About Marcia Muller

Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini are best-selling authors and editors of crime fiction, who have both won the Private Eye Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award. They live in Petaluma, more

Rating details

22 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 23% (5)
4 45% (10)
3 23% (5)
2 9% (2)
1 0% (0)
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