Mystery Series Week

Purple Moon Press, a small independent publishing company, created Mystery Series Week to celebrate those continuing characters who return time and again to solve the case. It is celebrated annually during the first full week of October.

Sherlock Holmes Mysteries by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
In celebration of this year’s week, I present to you some of the most popular mystery series characters from the late 1800s up to the present day.

Sherlock Holmes
Created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes is a consulting detective with skills in forensic science and logical reasoning. Since 1887, he has appeared in 56 short stories and 4 novels, with the majority of the stories narrated by Holmes’ friend Dr. John Watson. There have been a number of adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries for both stage and screen. The character has been most notably portrayed by Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Robert Downey Jr., and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Philip Marlowe - The Big Sleep
Philip Marlowe
Created by Raymond Chandler, Philip Marlowe is a private detective. He has appeared in 7 novels and a number of short stories since 1939. He is a tough private eye with a softer side he rarely shows. These are noir-type stories, and Marlowe is a stand-up guy not swayed by the pretty lady. The last novel in this series was left unfinished upon Chandler’s death, and fellow author Robert B. Parker completed the novel a few years later. The series has been featured on radio, and adapted for film and television. The character has been played by Robert Mitchum, James Garner, and George Montgomery.

Harry Dresden
Harry Dresden is the private investigator and wizard in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, a paranormal crime series encompassing 16 novels beginning in 2000. Dresden consults for the Chicago PD on cases that are a bit more than ordinary. While they are paranormal in nature, they are written like noir crime novels. The books were turned into a short-lived television series, as well as a comic book adaptation and games.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web
Lisbeth Salander
Created by Stieg Larsson, Lisbeth Salander is a computer hacker and private investigator in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Originally published in Sweden, the books were translated into English beginning in 2008. Lisbeth’s complex and unsettling past plays a major role in these novels. All three works have been adapted for film, three in Swedish and one in English. A new Lisbeth Salander book has just come out – The Girl in the Spider’s Web - author David Lagercrantz is continuing the series.

Kay Scarpetta
Created by Patricia Cornwell, Kay Scarpetta has been a chief medical examiner and private forensic consultant in 22 novels, starting in 1990. As she changes jobs and moves from city to city, Scarpetta’s career places her in the center of mysteries that require her special skills to solve.
Milhone Plum Next
Kinsey Millhone
Created by Sue Grafton, Kinsey Millhone is a former police officer turned private investigator. She has appeared in 24 novels since 1982 (in “A” is for Alibi), with each title beginning with a letter of the alphabet, and taking place in the 1980s. Once Grafton reaches the end of the alphabet in 2019, the series will come to an end.

Stephanie Plum
Created by Janet Evanovich in 1995, Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter who has been attempting to keep the streets of Trenton, New Jersey safe from bail jumpers. Over the course of 26 novels, she gets into hilarious mishaps, but always gets the fugitive in the end. The first book in the series was adapted into a movie starring Katherine Heigl.

Thursday Next
Created by Jasper Fforde, Thursday Next is a literary detective. She has appeared in 10 novels since 2001. She lives in a world where literature is the top form of entertainment but it is also tangible. She investigates and fixes situations that happen in classic literature like Jane Eyre.

Robb Child
Eve Dallas
Created by J.D. Robb, Eve Dallas is a homicide detective who has appeared in 42 books and a number of short stories. Set in a futuristic New York City circa 2060s, Eve is your typical homicide detective, except she is married to a multibillionaire, is best friends with a rising superstar, and has a habit of closing extremely high-profile cases.

Jack Reacher
Created by Lee Child, Jack Reacher is a former major in the United States Army Military Police Corps who now wanders the country doing odd jobs and investigating dangerous and suspicious situations. He has appeared in 20 books and a number of short stories beginning in 1997. Jack Reacher has been played on the big screen by Tom Cruise.

-Amelia Rodriguez

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