Sunday, April 03, 2011

All in the (Crime) Family

About two weeks ago Jamie of The Broke and the Bookish posted the new topic for her blog's weekly feature, Top Ten Tuesday. The topic? Ten fictional characters that you would want as family members.

That got my mind whirring, and of course, I related the topic to my love for mysteries. What ten crime fiction characters would I want as family members? I was an only child of an only child, and what few cousins I did have lived too far away to visit very often, so I could use this opportunity to populate Casa Kittling with brothers, uncles, sisters, cousins... maybe even a niece or nephew.

After much rumination, these characters are the ones I'd welcome into my family:


Craig Johnson's Sheriff Walt Longmire and Peter Bowen's Gabriel Du Pre.

These two would fit in perfectly. Both are independent, contrary, and born raconteurs. Not only would they be handy around this homestead, I would know that they'd always have my back, regardless of the situation. Besides, with Walt's stories and Gabriel's fiddle, just think of the pool parties I could throw!


John Dunning's Cliff Janeway and Colin Cotterill's Dr. Siri Paiboun.

My new uncles also fit the family mold of being independent and contrary. Uncle Cliff and I would go on scouting trips for first edition crime fiction for our libraries, and Uncle Siri blends right in with the sharp-witted older relatives that I grew up with (although he's a bit more devious and spiritual than the rest).


Twins: Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway and Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope.

All three of us are the farthest things from "girly girls" that you can imagine. Instead of shopping for clothes, shoes, purses and all the rest of that folderol, we'd wear nothing but comfy clothes and spend a lot of time people- and bird-watching, wandering out in the middle of nowhere, and getting dirty. Then we'd clean up and go down to our local pub to rehash the day's events.

Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next.

Thursday wouldn't be the only one in the family who can get lost in a good book. Besides, she's trying to get me a job in Jurisfiction. (I'm hoping to get posted in one of J.A. Jance's Joanna Brady books set in Bisbee....)


Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon and Adrian Hyland's Emily Tempest...

...would join Ruth, Vera and me on our middle-of-nowhere treks-- as long as Anna doesn't try to get me into any caves and Emily leaves insects off the menu! I can only dream of the adventures we would have, the stories we would share with the rest of the family, and the photographs we would take....


I would call up Judith Cutler's young Lena Townend to see if she'd like to go antiquing with me. She's got a good eye for treasures, and she also did a wonderful job restoring my 100-year-old soup tureen that had a crack in the lid.

Twins: Stieg Larsson's Lizbeth Salander and Carol O'Connell's Kathleen Mallory would both keep my computer in tip-top shape-- as well as give me pointers on how to obtain needed information without leaving a trail. Besides-- every family has at least one member who's a bit... difficult.

[I'm wondering how many of you noticed my creative math? I was supposed to list ten characters, and there are twelve names. Well-- that's why there are two sets of twins. It was murder trimming the list to twelve!]

Now that I've made my own list, I'm interested in what yours would be. Please, please, pretty please... leave your own choices in the comments section of this post, or-- if you decide to post about it, please come back and leave me a link to your post. This was fun, and I'd love to see your answers!


  1. Of the ones I know I agree they would make a welcome addition to any family. And it sounds like I have some more characters to discover as there are a few here I haven't yet met.

  2. Cathy - What a great, fun idea! I love your choices for sisters - I really do! And I'm a Dr. Siri fan as well. For an aunt, I'd love Dorothy Gilman's Emily Pollifax and Riley Adams/Elizabeth Spann Craig's Lulu Taylor. As a father? Possibly Ruth Rendell's Reg Wexford. There are others I have in mind, too, but I don't want to clutter up your comment space :-).

  3. Hmmm....I think I'd like Margaret Maron's Dwight Bryant as a brother along with Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire.

    I think Elizbeth Peters' Amelia Peabody could have been a wonderful great-grandmother along with Anne Perry's Charlotte Pitt.

    And, I'd love to have the Monkeewrench gang (P.J. Tracy) as the out-of-town cousins. Oh, and you can throw in Ceepak and Boyle from Chris Grabenstein's mysteries as much-loved nephews (age disparity on those two, but that's OK).

    Lastly, Kelly Flynn, Maggie Sefton's knitting accountant could be my sister (and maybe teach me to knit) and Alafair Tucker (Donis Casey's Oklahoma early 20th century mom of 10) can be my best friend.

    Fun indeed, Cathy!

  4. I´d love to meet your crime sisters - and you, of course. I think I would enjoy a day in your company thoroughly, and return home exhausted ;D

  5. Bernadette-- Wouldn't it be nice to know them all and not be confused?

    Margot-- You can "clutter" it any time you choose! I like your family additions. :)

    Kay-- I really like your choices!

    Dorte-- That's why I suggested a stop at the pub! ;)

  6. I really love your list! Ever since you mentioned this on Twitter, I've been wondering what you'd post (and working mentally on my own list!). Great choices!

  7. Belle-- I'm looking forward to your list!


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