Top Ten Fictional Detectives

The greatest fictional detectives/investigators of all time.

The Top Ten

1 Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Referring to himself as a "consulting detective" in the stories, Holmes is known for his proficiency with observation, forensic science, and logical reasoning that borders on the fantastic, which he employs ...read more.

Sherlock Holmes is basically shorthand for "brilliant detective" at this point. He's one of the most frequently adapted characters in all of fiction, and for good reason: he's a pretty good detective (and also never craps, according to something my brother used to say to me a lot). He's a mostly emotionless, calculating, analytical, deduction-obsessed super genius who solves crimes out of no sense of justice, but more or less to prove how brilliant he is. Practically every fictional detective has drawn upon Sherlock Holmes as an influence since. Modern audiences have THREE separate Sherlock Holmes being made - CBS's Elementary, BBC's Sherlock, and the Sherlock Holmes Shirtless Karate movies. But there's apparently one detective even greater than Sherlock. It's...

Sherlock is obviously the best detective since his is the most well known, he wouldn't have gotten to number 1 without his observational skill and his powers of deduction.

WHY the heck is Benedict Cumberbatch's picture up there instead of the iconic silhouette?!

This makes me a bit angry. (Don't get me wrong, I love Benedicts portrayal; I just think the classic should always come first)

Batman was never the greatest detective of all time Sherlock was.

2 L Lawliet L Lawliet, exclusively known by the mononym L, is a fictional character in the manga series Death Note, created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata .

Unlike Holmes, L became a master detective when he was very young instead of waiting to become a detective when he was older. When L sees Light Yagami as a suspect of being Kira he watches him and sees that light looks innocent but when L sees someone acting innocent he knows that they're too innocent to be innocent. Right when he saw Light at the very beginning, he knew that Light was Kira but didn't tell the police force because they wouldn't believe him because he has no proof but even without proof L managed to find out that Light was Kira.

L is the best. He literally went up against gods and supernatural things.

L took a case where the murder weapon was unknown to man (not to mention also one of the deadliest fictional weapons ever), the killer himself was a brilliant sociopath with influence over the police, and that anyone in the entire WORLD was a possible suspect, and he still figured out who the killer was in less than a year. Meanwhile, Sherlock Holmes was struggling to catch a dog with paint on his face and Batman couldn't figure out who was the Holiday Killer, even though that could've been solved quite easily if he would just preform basic forensics on Alberto Falcone's "corpse". Enough said.

He is probably the smartest character in all of anime, maybe even smarter than light, and he stood toe to toe with light, someone who possessed the death note, so ya, I’m pretty sure he’s better than Sherlock holmes

3 Batman Batman aka Bruce Wayne is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27. In film, he has been portrayed by Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael ...read more.

"The World's Greatest Detective" is appropriately the world's greatest detective. He solves his crimes through a variety of ways: headbutting, using his cave's supercomputer, punching, kicking, dangling thugs off of roofs, punching more, and occasionally throwing things. Well, usually at least. Sometimes he actually does do detective work - trying to determine the true identity of the Holiday Killer, the identity of Hush, and... Well, there's more, but even the times he did do detective work, it was a lot of punching and gadgets solving things for him. Still, the results speak for themselves - he's put away more criminals than pretty much any other detective in history. Sure, most of them escape regularly, but that's really more of an Arkham Asylum security issue.

In my opinion he is the worst detective ever...

Well, there's not really any deducting in Batman... - Silverfroststorm

Batman is a master in all martial arts, he has the same IQ as Albet Enstein, he beat the god superman, he can come up with a solution to any problem in less then a minute, he is a billionaire with the top gadgets and be vechiles. He can beat pretty much anyone, he can maintain his pain and not fell it. He had the biggest rogues gallery in all of comics, and the best mythos out of all comics. He also has the title "world's greatest detective" which should make him the top of this list - Thevcrewgeeks

4 Hercule Poirot

No one comes close to the greatest detective of all time with the little grey cells!

Of course the famous detective poirot should make this list he is way smarter than batman and he should be 2 to Sherlock Holmes

His stories are so great and creative. Poirot is a very funny but smart character, and he deserves to be in the top 3

He has the greatest stories

5 Shinichi Kudo Jimmy Kudo, known in Japan and internationally as Shinichi Kudo, is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the manga series Case Closed and its adaptations, created by Gosho Aoyama.

Way better than...Batman

Who thinks Batman have more intelligence than Kudo...
Where is Yusaku Kudo / Booker Kudo he is slightly smarter than his son...

One of the best detective
Should be second
Sherlock is his idol he deserves first spot

1...Sherlock Holmes
2...Shinichi Kudo / Jimmy Kudo / Conan Edogawa
3...L Lawliet

6 Adrian Monk

Adrian Monk is definitely in the top 5. He is considered to be like Sherlock Holmes in the show. He solves so many impossible cases. He is one of the most famous detectives.

7 Miss Marple
8 Columbo

He is always smarter than the average crook, pretends to be dumb just to mess with everybody's mind, and has an awesome voice. Peter Falk is the best! Oh, and just one more thing...I like the way he says "Oh, and just one more thing..."

20 what? Are you joking? He should be at the top on this list!

9 Inspector Gadget
10 Scooby-Doo

Um, not a detective. - MrKite

Amazing guy.

The other comment says it all. Has busted literally THOUSAND of criminals. Saved millions of dollars from schemes and plots. Is able to deduce who someone is using a single obscure detail. Oh yeah, and he’s a DOG. Suck on that Batman

The Contenders

11 Rorschach Rorschach is a fictional anti-hero who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics. He first debuted in the graphic novel Watchmen, published from 1986-1987. Rorschach was created by writer Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

Rorschach solved a lot of mysteries - who was behind the murder of costumed heroes, what was the secret behind Dr. Manhattan's supposed cancer victims, who was locked up in here with whom, etc. But his greatest achievement was (probably) solving the mystery of how to ruin world peace. Pretty impressive for a guy who calls blood "human bean juice."

He should be in the top 5

12 Philip Marlowe
13 Tintin

Totally tintin he boss he cool and smart for a kid!

14 John Constantine
15 Bruce Wayne Bruce Wayne is a fictional character appearing in the American comic books published by DC Comics. He is a wealthy American playboy, philanthropist, and owner of Wayne Enterprises. After witnessing the murder of his parents Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne as a child, Bruce swore vengeance against ...read more.

What's the difference between Batman and Bruce Wayne? O_O - Goku02

He's awesome

16 Jessica Fletcher
17 Fox Mulder

This guy is highly intelligent

18 Professor Layton Professor Hershel Layton is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Professor Layton fictional universe, created by Level-5.
19 Lord Peter Wimsey
20 Dana Scully
21 The Doctor

Come on guys vote he's the doctor

22 Felu Da
23 Barbara Gordon Barbara Gordon is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with the superhero Batman.
24 Max Payne
25 Will Graham
26 Kyoko Kirigiri Kyoko Kirigiri, a character from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, is a student of Class 78 in Hope's Peak Academy, who also participates in Monokuma's Killing School Life. She is the Ultimate Detective.
27 Jack Reacher
28 Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks)
29 Dick Grayson
30 Watson
31 Conan Edogawa Jimmy Kudo, known in Japan and internationally as Shinichi Kudo, is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the manga series Case Closed and its adaptations, created by Gosho Aoyama.
32 Sam Spade Sam Spade is a fictional private detective and the protagonist of Dashiell Hammett's 1930 novel, The Maltese Falcon. Spade also appeared in three lesser-known short stories by Hammett. Spade combined several features of previous detectives, most notably his detached demeanor, keen eye for detail, and ...read more.
33 Byomkesh Bakshi

Best

34 Skulduggery Pleasant
35 Shuichi Saihara

Shuichi’s basically the Ultimate Detective.

36 Alex Cross
37 Dipper Pines Dipper Pines is one of the main characters from the Disney cartoon Gravity Falls which aired from 2012 to 2016. He is the twin brother of Mabel Pines
38 Remington Steele
39 Laura Holt
40 Charlie Parker Charles "Charlie" Parker, Jr., also known as "Yardbird" and "Bird", was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

From the 13 book series by John Connolly

41 Lei Wulong

A hilarious, funny, clumsy Jackie Chan clone who investigates everyone he needs to and is so obsessed with his police job, that it is all he does

42 Looker
43 C. Auguste Dupin
44 The Shadow

The Shadow knows!

45 Chacha Chaudhary

His brain works faster than computer.

46 Inspector Clouseau

Would have been really disappointed if Jacques didn't receive mention. Gotta go pump up the parrot and take a long walk off a short pier.

47 Jim Rockford
48 Victorique de Blois
49 Keisuke Itonokogiri
50 Shawn Spencer
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