Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Thanks to Kelly at The Broke and the Bookish who hosts this very entertaining weekly meme. Every Tuesday, we post our Top Ten whatever Kelly has picked as topic. This should be fun.


TOP TEN DYNAMIC DUOS: These are the BFFs, partners in crime, powerful couples, and general group of awesome people I just can't get out of my head.

1) Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. (In the books by Arthur Conan Doyle.)
Who else would head this sort of list? These are the two characters that spring to my mind instantly when I think of 'dynamic duos' solving crimes. They live a sort of envy inducing 19th century life, adventuring and catching criminals and I never get tired of reading and rereading all about them.

2) Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell. (In the books by Laurie R. King.) After Watson retires, Holmes has a new apprentice thrust upon him by fate. A walk on the Sussex Downs has returned for him a most important dividend: Mary Russell, a young woman equally as brilliant and intuitive as he. An apprentice destined to become more.

3) Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. (In the books by Robert Crais.) Two friends of many years, working and living the edgy, L.A. life. Friends 'to the death' - each is the trusted back-up of the other as they ply their dangerous professions, solving cases and saving lives as best they can. One a private detective ("world's greatest") and the other a taciturn ex-cop, soldier of fortune.

4) Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson. (In the books by Elizabeth Peters.) Turn of the 19th century adventurers, Egyptologists, crime-solvers and not, incidentally, married couple - par excellence. Leading the sort of life many of us would envy (including me), Peabody and the irascible Emerson travel to Egypt every year, dig for tombs, stumble over murder and have hair-breadth, hair-raising adventures with family and friends in tow. A fabulous time is had by all.

5) Chet and Bernie. (In the books by Spencer Quinn.) Chet is the dog of indeterminate breed who narrates the stories - as only a dog can - of his and Bernie's adventures in crime detecting. Bernie is the human owner-half of the duo, a mostly down-and-out private eye given to humming and ruminating and the occasional indulgence in drink. For Chet, the sun rises and sets in Bernie, that's the reason these stories work so wonderfully. No anthropomorphism and no cutesy-poo helps.

6) Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. (In the books by Rex Stout.) Next to Holmes and Watson, the quintessential mystery combine. Wolfe is the cranky, larger than life genius behind this team's crime-solving success. Goodwin is the leg power, though his own canny brain power comes in handy now and then as well. Together they are the top Manhattan go-to team for mysteries wanting solving.

7) Virginia Revel and 'Anthony Cade'. (In THE SECRET OF CHIMNEYS by Agatha Christie.) The eternally charming (and likable) Virginia and the equally charming ne'er-do- well known as Anthony Cade are thrown together by mysterious circumstance and spend the rest of the book adventuring, solving crimes and falling in love. Written in 1925, this is a favorite book I never tire of re-reading.

8) Miss Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. (In PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen.) Well, duh. Of course this is THE power couple in English literature, far as I'm concerned anyway. It's never too soon to read P&P and/or never too late. Even Nero Wolfe, misogynist and genius extraordinaire, concedes that Jane Austen was capable of writing a good novel. For a man for whom 'satisfactory' is the highest accolade, 'good' is quite good enough.

9) Hawkeye and Chingachgook. (In LAST OF THE MOHICANS by James Fenimore Cooper.) Two men living in mid-18th century America, a most dangerous time for a Mohican and a white man to be life-long friends. Held together by honor, affection and respect for each other's ways, they manage to survive against all odds.

10) Nick and Nora Charles. (In THE THIN MAN by Dashiell Hammett.) The ultimate, insouciant 1930's crime-solving couple. Married, wealthy and hardly a care in the world except when people show up dead and Nick is called upon to interrupt his martini drinking and - gasp! - get to work catching a murderer.

Obviously, there are many more dynamic duos I could continue to name, but since 10 is all that's called for, 10 is all I've listed. I hope you'll go over to Kelly's blog and take a look at the other Top Ten Tuesday lists.


  1. Great choices! There are so many good duos out there! I could have kept going & going & going...

    Here's mine: http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2011/03/top-ten-tuesday-dynamic-duos.html

  2. Hey Bev, I didn't see your listing, I'll check again. I could have gone on and on and listed many more. But I narrowed it down as best I could off the top of my forgetful head. ;)

  3. I’ll put in a good word for Colin Harpur and Desmond Iles in Bill James’ Harpur and Iles novels.
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  4. Virginia Revel and 'Anthony Cade'--SCORE! Virginia and "Anthony" for the win!
    Nick and Nora are also on my list.

  5. Great call on Hawkeye and Chingachgook - I loved the movie, now I really need to read the book. Also, thanks for the encouragement on SHOGUN!

  6. Peter: Haven't read this series yet, but thanks for the reminder!

  7. Birdie: I almost forgot Nick and Nora and then zing! I was busy typing something else and I thought No Way can I leave them off the list! :)

  8. Two Bibliomaniacs: The book, LAST OF THE MOHICANS, is quite different from the film versions. But I still loved it. Yes, SHOGUN is well worth reading. Do it. :)

  9. I love The Thin Man. Great choices!

  10. Katie: Thanks, There are so many more I could have added though. I feel guilty. ;)

  11. I've not read any of the books you mentioned....I feel so....uneducated!!

  12. Ms. Dawn: Well, everyone has different tastes in books. I've probably not read many of the books mentioned on your blog. But all that means is we have different tastes. Period. I get very intimidated when I read some of the more literary blogs and see all the books I haven't read. Jeez.

  13. I'm so glad you listed Nick and Nora. Love them!

  14. Ryan: A great couple. How could I NOT list them?
    Dynamic duo, indeed. ;)


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