Current Trends - what have you been readings? Who's your favorite sleuth?

I'm actually wanting to know: Who are today's most read sleuths?  Do you believe in team - crime solvers or does it only work for you if there is one detective?  Things like this are what I am wondering.


Please, do tell.

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My personal preference is for police procedurals with a main character and some minor parts.


And unlike most people, I like novels that are set in foreign countries.

Can you tell me a little more about what a police procedural story is?
Essentially it involves police investigation into one or more crimes.  There is usually a lead detective and some others.
Thank you, but can you provide a few more details?
Read Colin Dexter, Ian Rankin, Henning Mankell, R.D.Wingfield, Michael Connelly, or Ed McBain. (There are others. It's a popular genre).

James Patterson's Alex Cross is the most read sleuth, certainly -- a couple of million new reads every year.


Lee Child's Jack Reacher sells a ton.


My favorite is Elvis Cole, a private eye in Los Angeles, the creation of Robert Crais.


One sleuth and his tough sidekick is the most common combination, I'd guess.

Wait -- Is Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth a sleuth?
Considering that she uses her knowledge of computers and the Internet to track criminals, yes, she is.

The reason I'm asking is that I wrote a novel for a general audience which can be called 'crime fiction' but

I don't think it follows these standard formats.  I don't usually read mysteries, but have read all the Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys and watched...Scooby Doo and some TV movies that have a sleuth, including Msr. Poirot but also Murder She I'm not sure if I"m really clear on how this genre works in print nowadays, in 2011 or not.

It might be helpful if you tell us a little bit about your story. General audience? Does that mean no cussing or sex or explicit violence? Is it a mystery? In general terms, who is your protagonist? etc... (Sounds like it might be what's termed a cozy mystery)
From your list, I'd say you need to read also the more current authors.  Just as general background, so that you know what you're getting into, what different readers like, and where you want to go with your own book. Mysteries come in subgenres, like traditional, cozy, hardboiled, noir, police procedural, historical, humorous, thriller, etc.

I must admit to having a bit of a (metaphoric) hard on for John Sandford's character, Virgil Flowers. (Miriam, that's also a police procedural).

Also, Karin Slaughter's Special Agent Will Trent (smart, honest, damaged).


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