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The Detective in Fiction, by Peter Leyland, investigates the character of the detective, the idiosyncratic loner who is at odds with the regular police or with his or her superiors.

The figure of the detective has a literary basis, originating with Poe, Gaborieux, and even earlier, for example,  Fielding’s Jonathan Wilde and Godwin’s Caleb Williams.

This book covers many of the best known fictional detectives, Sherlock Holmes, arguably the template for all subsequent detectives, Hercule Poirot, Lord Peter Wimsey, Philip Marlowe, V.I. Warshawski, Adam Dalgliesh, John Rebus, Kurt Wallander and recent screen detectives such as Sarah Lund of the Danish series, The Killing.

The Detective in Fiction

By Peter Leyland

132pp, Glebe Books, £6.00