Friday, July 23, 2010

Top Ten Picks-- Favorite Male Literary Characters

Once again Jillian of Random Ramblings made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Each week, she hosts a meme called Top Ten Picks. Last week, we were asked to list our favorite books made into movies. I couldn't resist that one either.

This week she's asking us about our Top Ten Favorite Male Literary Characters. Many regulars here at Casa Kittling know that I don't always follow the rules. Sometimes I just have to color outside the lines.

This week I will have a list of ten, and all on that list will be male, and all will be literary characters... but they will all be my favorite male crime fiction characters. See? I just have to be different!

Let's see who made the grade (in alphabetical order so none of them get irked with me)....

Jonathan Argyll is one of those endearing, slightly bumbling art dealers who gets to travel the world trying to make the Big Sale whilst solving mysteries, but he's more often found with smart and sexy Flavia di Stefano of the Art Theft Squad in Rome, Italy. He's also got a very wry sense of humor that can slip past you if you're not paying attention. Sense of humor, works of art, Rome, travel. I'll willingly spend some time with Jonathan!

The Raphael Affair is the first book in Iain Pears' Art History series. If you'd like to find out more, click on the book cover!

David Bengu, AKA Detective Kubu, is a tall, rotund black detective in Botswana. Although his nickname means "hippopotamus", it doesn't merely refer to his size. Just like a real hippo, Detective Kubu can be deceptive and deadly.

I would love to have him show me his beloved country, and I would also love to meet his family that he loves so much. Watching him solve a mystery? Icing on the cake!

Former Vietnam tunnel rat, Harry Bosch, is just the detective you want solving your case in the mean streets of Los Angeles. I've been with him since he first appeared on the scene in 1992.

Harry is singlehandedly responsible for reinforcing this one very important thought in my brain:

We all count, or none of us counts.

Former cattle brand inspector, Gabriel Du Pré, plays the meanest fiddle in all of crime fiction. I'd be more than willing to hang out at the Toussaint Saloon just to hear him play. And if he had a really good seat belt on the passenger side of his old police cruiser, I'd even be willing to saddle up and ride with him on an investigation. Especially if I got to meet Bart, Benetsee and the rest of the gang. Oops. You know I wouldn't forget you, Madelaine. Honest!

There's no way on earth I'd miss out on an opportunity to visit Three Pines in Ontario, Canada-- especially if Armand Gamache were there to solve a mystery.

Gamache is, without doubt, one of the kindest and wisest of men... on any police force.

And while I'm on my literary road trip visiting all my favorite guys, if I missed a chance to swing through Absaroka County, Wyoming to see Sheriff Walt Longmire, I'd need to get my head examined. If it was winter, I'd just sit and listen to him spin yarns. And of course I'd insist on scratching Dog's ears and shaking the Cheyenne Nation's hand. I don't know if I'd want to meet Vic. She's been rather grumpy lately, and I wouldn't want to say the wrong thing and set her off.

When I wasn't out and about meeting the other guys, I could always stop in at the office of Maricopa County Deputy Sheriff David Mapstone here in Phoenix. I'd hope he would be working on a cold case involving lots of Phoenix history.

Logan McRae feels like a brother. He has the same sorts of people to work with and the same sorts of work days that I've been known to have. He also has the same dark and twisted sense of humor that I do, so I'm sure that we could tell each other our favorite war stories and crack each other up. We could also work together to pull some tricks on DI Steele.

I'm not about to pass up the chance to go to Sicily to visit Salvo Montalbano, one of my favorite curmudgeons. He and I both tend to be grumpy in the morning, and neither one of us likes idiots.

And of course he'd have to take me to all his favorite beaches and restaurants.

A list like this would not be complete without the seventy-something National Coroner of Laos, Dr. Siri Paiboun. This slender old man is a master of dealing with bureaucrats, and he's got two of the best assistants in crime fiction: Nurse Dtui and Mr. Geung. He's been known to crack some mighty fine jokes, too.

As I take another look at my top ten favorite male literary characters, I couldn't be more pleased. Yes, I could've stayed in the main channel of the river and talked about Darcy or Rhett Butler or Mr. Rochester and all the rest, but I much prefer this different channel. I've read many chapters in each of these men's lives, and they seem like family to me now. Including them on a special list is like cooking a feast and inviting them all to take a seat at the table.

Now it's time for me to take a look at everyone else's lists. I can't wait!


  1. Hi Cathy,

    You always find such interesting gems that I've never heard of, that speak to me instantly (about landscapes, mysteries and non-city people) and that I have to umm... add to my gluttonous diet of books.

    I've added Peter Bowen and Louise Penny to my list now, thanks again.

    Now, I'm not sure if you do awards, but I have got one to pass on to you here.

  2. Cathy - You've made some excellent choices : ). I'm with you about Harry Bosch, Dr. Siri, Salvo Montalbano and of course, Armand Gamache; they are wonderful characters, aren't they?

  3. It felt good to See Dr Siri And Gamache in the list!

    Read my Top Ten Picks!

  4. Your blog posts cause my B&N Nook wish list to grow even longer. I've added The Cold Dish, Concrete Desert and The Coroner's Lunch. So glad I've found this blog - you are widening my view of good mystery writers!

  5. Great post! I don't know how I would be able to compile a list like that. That you were able to and are happy with it is quite an acomplishment!

  6. Just the other day I was chiding myself for not reading enough stores with male lad characters. Your list is a great start for me. Harry Bosch and Sheriff Longmire are the only two I've read. They are great characters. On your suggestion I bought two Louis Penny books. Now I need to read them.

  7. Amanda-- Peter Bowen's Gabriel Du Pre is an absolute gem and as non-PC as they come. I love him. Gamache is just as wonderful in his kinder, gentler way. Happy reading!

    Margot-- I love them. I'd expect to find them in the phone book if I visited their cities.

    Gautami-- Dr. Siri is a treasure, isn't he?

    Trish-- I'm glad you found me, too. I'm almost envious of the pleasure you have in store with the choices you listed!

    Jennifer-- I think the only reason why it happened is because I went outside the lines a bit. :)

    Margot-- Ooooh... you should love Louise Penny's books! They're wonderful!!!

  8. Great posts, those are very interesting picks. My all time favorite would most likely be d'Artagnan from the Three Musketeers followed closly by Jason Bourne (waaaaaaay before the movies).

  9. I've enjoyed the Inspector Gamache, and Harry Bosch.

  10. I'm embarrassed to admit that although I own a few of those books, I haven't read book 1 of any of the series. I am so missing out.

  11. Man-- Excellent choices!

    Diane-- Two wonderful series, aren't they?

    Beth-- You and I are going to have to admit our limitations: there's just no way we can read everything!

  12. You hit several of my favorites, and for what's it is worth, I learned about two or three of them from you.

    You also gave me a couple books to look up, especially the first one on your list.

  13. Joe-- It's worth a lot to me. Thanks for letting me know. :)

  14. You always introduce me to new books I've never encountered before, Cathy so thanks! I have only read 3 from here, and that is 3,4, and 10! I do enjoy some Michael Connelly once in a while.. I have to say though my favorite mystery/thriller author has got to be Tess Gerritsen. Have you ever read anything from her before?

  15. Jillian-- Gerritsen is one of those authors that I seem to have been tap dancing around for a while now. Although it seems that I read every mystery series that comes down the pike, I actually don't. ;) However, I started watching Rizzoli & Isles on TV, and I've requested the first book in that series from PBS!

  16. I highly recommend you start with the first one, The Surgeon, though it's not required. I'll love to hear what you think of it!

  17. Jillian-- That's the title that's in the mail to me right now! :)


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