The Hound's TOP TEN Crime Fighting Duos from British Fiction

No. 1 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes & John Watson

Holmes’ dear friend Dr Watson chronicles the detective’s adventures and deductions, narrating them to millions of readers. Watson also acts as a loyal assistant to Holmes in matters of a practical nature.

They first appear (1887)

The Hound's pick

1st Holmes story
Best Holmes collection

Criteria: The following twosomes all appear in crime fiction books predominantly set in Great Britain. Partnerships come in many forms: A hero with a sidekick, two individuals with different talents and a common goal, a master and a protégé, an aristocrat with a manservant, the brain and the brawn, or a genius with a friend and scribe.

No. 2 Reginald Hill’s Andy Dalziel & Peter Pascoe

The rough and uncouth superintendent Andy ‘fat man’ Dalziel regularly clashes with his younger intellectual sidekick DS Pascoe. Despite this they share a deep friendship and respect and their different skills combine effectively.

They first appear (1970)

The Hound's pick

1st Dalziel and Pascoe novel
best Dalziel and Pascoe book

No. 3 Colin Dexter’s Endeavour Morse & Robert Lewis

Morse is a Jaguar driving, real ale drinking Englishman. An intelligent middle-class ‘gentleman detective’, Morse may be surly but, like his working class assistant Lewis, he’s a likeable guy. Lewis is a Welshman (a Geordie only on TV).

They first appear (1975)

The Hound's pick

1st Morse book
best Morse book

No. 5 Ruth Rendell’s Reginald Wexford & Mike Burden

Burden is Inspector Wexford’s long time right-hand man. Uptight and prudish – although this wanes after he marries – Burden provides a good foil to Wexford’s more liberal and less judgmental attitude.

They first appear (1964)

The Hound's pick

1st Wexford book
best Wexford book

No. 4 Stephen Booth’s Ben Cooper & Diane Fry

DC Cooper is the local boy, familiar with his Peak District countryside and its inhabitants; DS Fry, the intriguing, city girl, is more weary and aggressive. An interesting and complex relationship develops between the young stars of E Division.

They first appear (2000)

The Hound's pick

1st Cooper and Fry book
best Cooper and Fry book

No. 6 Christopher Fowler’s Arthur Bryant & John May

Old fashioned detectives still at work in a modern world. Bryant with his unorthodox and chaotic approach, and the dogged and methodical May with his pragmatism, head up a specialist police team called the Peculiar Crimes Unit.

They first appear (1994)

The Hound's pick

1st Bryant and May book
best Bryant and May book

No. 7 Adrian Magson’s Riley Gavin & Frank Palmer

London’s top investigative journalist is the young, hard-edged and tenacious Riley Gavin. She pairs up with the equally tough but easy-going former Royal Military Policeman Frank Palmer. Their different  backgrounds provide an exciting dynamic.

They first appear (2004)

The Hound's pick

1st Gavin and Palmer book
best Gavin and Palmer book

No. 8 G K Chesterton’s Father Brown and M Hercule Flambeau

Master criminal Flambeau becomes Father Brown’s friend and colleague after the priest first foils then befriends him. A useful adversary to Brown, the reformed Flambeau assists him with his detection.

They first appear (1910)

The Hound's pick

1st Campion and Lugg story

No. 9 Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion & Magersfontein Lugg

Well educated aristocrat Albert Campion’s faithful manservant Lugg is a former burglar happy to get his hands dirty on behalf of his boss. Lugg’s East End accent and awkward manners provide a comical contrast to Campion’s polished authority.

They first appear (1930)

The Hound's pick

best Campion and Lugg story

No. 10 Dorothy L Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey & Mervyn Bunter

Having served together during the Great War, Wimsey and his manservant Bunter share a strong bond. Much more than a valet, Bunter uses his photography and investigative skills to assist his aristocratic master.

They first appear (1923)

The Hound's pick

1st Wimsey and Bunter story
best Wimsey story

Also enjoyed and recommended:

 

Ian Rankin’s John Rebus & Siobhan Clarke

Ngaio Marsh’s Roderick Alleyn & Nigel Bathgate

Elizabeth George’s Thomas Lynley & Barbara Havers

Michael Robotham’s Joe O'Loughlin & Vincent Ruiz

Martin Edwards’ Daniel Kind & Hannah Scarlett

Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope & Joe Ashworth

Peter James’ Roy Grace & Glenn Branson

E W Hornung’s Arthur J Raffles & Harry ‘Bunny’ Manders

Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway & Harry Nelson

Cath Staincliffe's Janet Scott & Rachel Bailey

Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge & Hamish MacLeod

Val McDermid's Tony Hill & Carol Jordan

 

 

Ever get the feeling you've forgotten something? Left the stove on or the front door unlocked? Well I'm getting that feeling here. There's probably a brilliant British crime fighting duo that I've missed, so, if you can think of a glaring omission from my list, please contact me.