Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Enduring Characters Test

by Julia Buckley

Every mystery that we consider great contains at its center a very memorable set of characters. Sherlock Holmes has endured this long because Conan-Doyle invested him with important qualities. Holmes' ego was important: it assured him both superiority and continual success, despite the efforts of the hapless Lestrade. But he had his vulnerabilities, as well, and readers found that he was not quite so confident when he didn't have a mental challenge. This was made known, of course, through the diligent narration of the equally memorable, and most necessary, Dr. Watson.

We writers here at Deadly Daughters try to invest our characters with memorable qualities as well--not just to entice readers, but because something about those characters fascinated us and ultimately we simply had to write about them.

Now here's a little Monday test for you: match the mystery author with his or her memorable character. The first three correct lists will win a set of Poe's Deadly Daughters bookmarks.

Writers 1) Margery Allingham 2)Agatha Christie 3)Ross MacDonald 4)John D. MacDonald 5)Leslie Charteris 6)Ian Fleming 7) Patricia Wentworth 8) Jonathan Gash 9) Dashiell Hammett 10) Raymond Chandler 11) Patricia Moyes 12)Edgar Allan Poe

Characters 1) James Bond 2) Auguste Dupin 3) Albert Campion 4) Travis McGee 5) Henry and Emmy Tibbett 6) Hercule Poirot 7) Lew Archer 8) Nick and Nora Charles 9) The Saint 10) Lovejoy 11) Miss Maude Silver 12) Philip Marlowe

Pretty easy, huh? But doesn't it make you want to go read a book by each of these authors?

I'll post the answers at the end of the day, if people haven't guessed already. No fair checking for answers online.

Have a great mystery week. :)


Anonymous said...

This was fun! I'm totally guessing on #5 & #11.

1)-3 Albert Campion
2)-6 Hercule Poirot
3)-7 Lew Archer
4)-4 Travis McGee
5)- 9 The Saint
6)-1 James Bond
7)-11 Miss Maude Silver
8)-10 Lovejoy
9)-8 Nick & Nora Charles
10)-7 Lew Archer
11)-5 Henry & Emily Tibbett
12)-2 Auguste Dupin

Lynn in Texas

Julia Buckley said...

Absolutely correct, Lynn! You said Lew Archer twice, but I am assuming that you meant Philip Marlowe in number ten, which means you have them all right. :)

Send me your snail mail at and I shall send you some lovely bookmarks.

Julia Buckley said...

Meanwhile, if anyone still wants to play but has already read Lynn's answers, you can answer this: which, if any, of these authors is still living?

Sandra Parshall said...

Yikes, that's the hardest question of all, Julia. I'm curious to hear the answer. I could swear they're all long dead, but then I'm always seeing actors in new movies or TV shows whom I thought had died decades ago.

Julia Buckley said...

Well, since no one has ventured a guess, I must say regretfully that only one of these authors still writes among us:

That is Jonathan Gash, or John Grant, who writes the Lovejoy mysteries but is also a prominent UK physician.

Patricia Moyes, a personal favorite of mine, passed away in 2000.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I actually won! And oops, yes I did mean Marlowe for #10.

Thanks, Julia, for the great post & contest. Snail addy's been sent!

PS. I didn't know Gash was still among us--I really liked Lovejoy!

Lynn in Texas,
looking forward to the bookmarks!