I remember giggling to myself in biology class while studying the brain. I knew what “grey cells” were, all right. They’re what Hercule Poirot used to solve crime!
Granted, I’m pretty sure my teacher had something else in mind, but clearly that stuck with me. That little quirk that was as much the man as his bald head and curling mustaches. And that got me thinking. What makes a detective so very memorable?
Agatha Christie’s other detective is nearly equally memorable. Miss Marple is elderly, kindly (at least after the first book), and indomitably shrewd while appearing like a innocent, dotty old lady. Although I can’t recall any particular quirks of person or vocabulary, she is simple memorable for being who she is.
And who can forget Sherlock Holmes? Talk about quirky! Whether on screen or on page, he is simply unforgettable. From his addiction to drugs to his expertise with the violin, he has more quirks than just about any other detective I’ve ever read about. And while his arrogance could have been off putting, somehow Doyle managed to stop just shy of that.
And then there’s the fabulous Jessica Fletcher. How could I forget her? With grace, wit, and a refusal to give up, she’d sail into the investigation determined to prove guilt or innocence. Her dogged determination was one of her best qualities (while also getting her into plenty of hot water!).
Who are your favorite fictional detectives? What quirks do you find stick in your mind and make them unforgettable?