Books Like Sherlock Holmes

Books Like Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance in A Study in Scarlet and his popularity continued to grow with each new novel and short story that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle released. Holmes has not only become one of the most popular fictional detectives in history, but is also so well known that many people belief he was a real individual. Sherlock Holmes continues to be a British cultural icon and in addition to the books there has been numerous other adaptations of his character in films and television shows. Fans of Sherlock Holmes just can't get enough of his logical reasoning and keen power of observation. Although very few fictional characters could ever come close to everyone's favorite consulting detective, here are just a few books like Sherlock Holmes for fans of Baker Street's finest.

The Mysterious Affair At Styles

by Agatha Christie

The Hercule Poirot Series by Agatha Christie

The fictional Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, was created by Agatha Christie and he is one of the few characters who can hold a candle to Sherlock Holmes. Christie herself stated in her autobiography that she was influenced by Arthur Conan Doyle and was writing in the Sherlock Holmes tradition. Poirot is also the only fictional detective that could rival Holmes when it comes to portrayals on stage, radio, film and television. Poirot made his first appearance in the 1920 novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and went on to star in a further 33 novels as well as more than 50 short stories.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

by Edgar Allan Poe

The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe

Although Sherlock Holmes is the most famous detective in fiction, he is not the first. This honor is widely considered to belong to C. Auguste Dupin, the character created by Edgar Allan Poe. Dupin first appeared in the 1841 story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, and then later featured in The Mystery of Marie Rogêt, and The Purloined Letter. Like Holmes, Dupin made use of his considerable intellect to solve cases. Because Dupin featured in novels before the term "detective" has even been coined many consider Poe to have laid the groundwork for subsequent fictional detectives, such as Sherlock Holmes.


by Rex Stout

Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout

Nero Wolfe made his detective debut in 1934, with the novel Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout. However, unlike Sherlock Holmes, Wolfe is an armchair detective who prefers staying in his luxurious home where he reads books and tends to his orchids. Just like Holmes, Wolfe has an assistant, named Archie Goodwin, who is just as sharp-witted. Goodwin acts as the narrator for the cases solved by Wolfe and tends to do most of the legwork as well. The popularity of the Nero Wolfe stories resulted in 33 novels, along with 41 novellas and short stories starring the detective. His character also featured in film adaptations, radio dramas, television shows and stage productions.

Pietr the Latvian

by Georges Simenon

Pietr the Latvian by Georges Simenon

Inspector Jules Maigret is another legend in the detective fiction genre and made his debut in the 1931 French novel, Pietr-le-Letton by Georges Simenon. Maigret went on to feature in 76 novels and 28 short stories. These were published between 1931 and 1972, while numerous television and radio adaptations were also made. Although the novels were originally published in French, they have also been reissued in English. Simenon is said to have drawn his inspiration for Maigret from Chief Inspector Marcel Guillaume, who was said to have been one of the greatest French detectives of his time.

The Maltese Falcon

by Dashiell Hammett

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

Dashiell Hammet released his novel, The Maltese Falcon, in 1930 and it marks the first appearance of the hard-boiled private detective, Sam Spade. Just like Holmes, Spade had a keen eye for detail and a detached demeanor when dealing with cases. Even though Sam Spade only starred in the novel and four other lesser-known short stories, he went on to influence a lot of the other novels in the genre that featured private detectives. His character also went on to star in numerous film adaptations as well as radio shows and comic books.

The Big Sleep

by Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Philip Marlowe is a fictional detective who made his debut in the 1939 hardboiled crime novel, The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler. In addition to The Big Sleep, Marlowe went on to feature in other novels, such as Farewell, My Lovely and The Long Goodbye. Along with the novels and short stories by Raymond Chandler, Marlowe also features in authorized works by other writers as well as film adaptations as well as radio and television adaptations.

Along Came a Spider

by James Patterson

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

Many readers consider Alex Cross, the Metropolitan Police Department detective, to be a modern successor to Sherlock Holmes. However, unlike Holmes, Cross prefers to make use of police procedure when solving cases instead of deduction. Cross does have extensive knowledge of psychology, which he puts to good use when it comes to tracking down the criminals he sets his sights on. The first chapter in the Cross series, is the 1993 novel, Along Came a Spider. The series is still ongoing and already spans almost 30 novels, along with film adaptations.