His greatest creation was Maigret, an unassuming detective with a brain like a sponge and the quiet moral determination of a true hero. The best of the novels drop Simenon’s detective into a social environment in which, by doing very little, he unravels a whole world of secrets and interconnections.
So it is in The Yellow Dog, in which a small town in the gloomy off-season gives up its private passions one by one to the detective’s patient observation.
TC Read: Peril at End House (1932) Wilkie Collins 1824-1889 The Moonstone established the genre's ground rules: red herrings; a long list of suspects; the man from Scotland Yard, and a nod to a pressing social issue, in this case opium addiction.
TC Read: The Moonstone (1868) Jonathan Latimer 1906-83 Admired for his William Crane novels of the 1930s, which parodied hard-boiled crime fiction.
SL Read: The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) Ed Mc Bain 1926-2005 As well as writing the script for Hitchcock's The Birds, Mc Bain (real name: Evan Hunter) more or less invented the police procedural.
We don’t know how long he spent on each lady, but he reckoned to write 60 pages of fiction a day.She created a world that manages to be reassuring yet fraught with danger.TC Read: The Tiger in the Smoke (1952) Charles Dickens 1812-1870 Like his friend Wilkie Collins, Dickens was obsessed with crime.She brought psychological realism and darker themes to crime fiction in novels such as Talking to Strange Men and Live Flesh. 1895-1982 A New Zealander who created a quintessentially English detective, the dishy Roderick Alleyn, who featured in 32 sparkling novels.Female fans' hearts were broken when Alleyn eventually married.He never said the catchphrase; the illustrator gave him the hat; continuity errors abound… SL Read: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902) Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849 Poe was a man of formidable talents - not least of which, sadly, was drinking himself to death.