As much as everyone loves a good mystery, they also love to love a good detective. A detective who is unique in their approach, fully human with all of their flaws and talents, and devoted to his or her work is a character we can all get behind. If you’re looking for a new series of mystery books, why not check out a new-to-you detective novel? We’ve rounded up seven of our favorite detectives and PIs from all over the world, so you can dive into a new world of mystery suspense with them.
Alex Cross (United States)
For nearly thirty years, Alex Cross has been dodging danger and solving crime, as well as entertaining millions of readers. Dr. Alex Cross started his career as a psychologist and has since become an FBI agent, assisting in some of the most chilling and high-profile murder cases and gaining a few powerful enemies along the way. Based in Washington, D.C., he is a Black man who oftentimes defies stereotypes and expectations, and isn't to be underestimated.
Inspector Gamache (Canada)
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is a member of the Quebec police force, and lives in the town of Three Pines, where he often leans on his knowledge of the local community to solve a variety of crimes. He's a native French speaker, but speaks English as well, with a notable British accent. Inspector Gamanche has a reputation for being a kindhearted man who believes in the inherent goodness of things, and a good mentor. Start with Still Life by Louise Penny, or find his latest case in The Madness of Crowds.
Kosuke Kindaichi (Japan)
Kosuke Kindaichi is one of Japan's most iconic detective characters. He makes his first appearance in The Honjin Murders, published in the 1940s, where he's described as a scruffy amateur sleuth who investigates the mystery of a bloody sword and a masked man in a small village that has been eagerly preparing for the wedding of the son of their most prominent family. Seishi Yokomizo is the author of over seventy more mysteries featuring Kosuke Kindaichi, although only three are currently translated into English.
Sherlock Holmes (England)
Sherlock Holmes is arguably one of the most recognizable private detectives in the English-speaking parts of the world. Created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, he is a quirky detective with a keen eye for detail who has a sidekick in Dr. Watson. Holmes believes that observation, logical thinking, and forensics are the key to solving crimes, although he isn't always the most organized. He can appear cold and aloof, but he gets excited when he's got a lead, and he follows his own moral code when it comes to solving a crime.
Alex Morrow (Scotland)
Alex Morrow is a detective inspector in Glasgow, where she investigates both organized and petty crimes and a string of puzzling deaths that forces her to take a hard look at the lives of those closest to her, including her own family members. Balancing a demanding career and motherhood to young twins, Morrow must chase down many leads to uncover some of the darkest conspiracies in Scotland. This series is complete with five books, and we recommend starting with Still Midnight.
Monsieur Lecoq (France)
Monsieur Lecoq was created by Émile Gaboriau in the 19th century, and is said to have influenced the creator of Sherlock Holmes. He is a policeman and aspiring detective, and a thorough investigator who relies on logic and order, and he has a great mentor in Tabaret. Discover his first mystery in The Lerouge Case, which is about the disappearance and murder of a widow in an apparent robbery…but Monsieur Lecoq suspects there is something more to the case.
Emma Djan (Ghana)
Emma Djan is a detective from Ghana who finds her ambitions of rising the ranks of the police force dashed after a horrible event. Without a job and uncertain of her future, she lands an interview at a private investigation firm, looking into petty cases and infidelity. But her cases take a turn for the interesting when reports of a missing American man crosses her desk and she must team up with his son to find the truth.