At Novel Suspects, we are in constant admiration of fantastic crime fiction blogs that celebrate the wide range and diversity of sleuths in the genre—and provide us with endless reading recommendations. We recently stumbled across a gem of a post called “Crime Fiction Book List: Disabled isn’t Unable” on a blog called Beyond Rivalry. The list features characters “whose physical, emotional or mental limitations figure in the plot or character development of the stories or series” and we highly recommend that you check it out! Reading that list inspired us to put together a few of our own favorite (and totally brilliant) detectives with disabilities.
by C.J. Sansom
It's 1549—two years after the death of Henry VIII and England is slipping into chaos. Matthew Shardlake, a lawyer with a hunchback, is working for the late Henry VIII’s younger daughter, the lady Elizabeth. With the help of his partner Nicholas, Shardlake is investigating the gruesome murder of one of Elizabeth’s distant relations, which was rumored to be politically motivated. But when their investigation brings them to the lady’s summer estate, a second murder is committed. As the kingdom explodes into rebellion, Nicholas is imprisoned for his loyalty, and Shardlake must decide where his loyalties lie—with his kingdom, or with his lady?
Lethal White is the fourth book in the internationally bestselling Cormoran Strike series written by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike now works as a private investigator alongside his partner, Robin Ellacott. When a troubled young man comes in to ask for help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, but before Strike can question him further, the man bolts from the office in a panic. This story leads Strike and Ellacott on a twisting trail through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.
Renowned psychologist Joseph O'Loughlin has it all—a thriving practice, a devoted, beautiful, fiercely intelligent wife, and a lovely young daughter. But when he's diagnosed with Parkinson's, O'Loughlin begins to dread the way his exceptional mind has been shackled to a failing body, and the cracks in his perfect existence start to show.
At first, O'Loughlin is delighted to be called in to a high-profile murder investigation, hoping his extraordinary abilities at perception will help bring a killer to justice. But when O'Loughlin recognizes the victim as one of his former patients, an emotionally disturbed young woman who nearly brought ruin upon him, O'Loughlin hesitates—a fateful decision that soon places O'Loughlin at the top of the lists of both a bullish detective and a diabolical killer.
When a brutal triple murder in Manhattan’s Diamond District shocks the city, Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic former forensic specialist, and his partner Amelia Sachs quickly take the case. However, when they discover that the killer left behind a half-million dollars’ worth of gems at the murder scene, a jewelry store on 47th street, it becomes clear that the killer’s target is not gems, but engaged couples themselves.
The Promisor vows to take the lives of men and women during their most precious moments–midway through the purchase of an engagement ring, after a meeting with a wedding planner, trying on the perfect gown for a day that will never come. In an instant, a time of bliss is transformed into one of horror. But The Promiser left behind an innocent witness at the crime scene—a talented young diamond cutter. But will Rhyme and Sachs be able to track him down before the killer can correct his fatal error?