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)

Sherlock's the best but Monsieur Hercule Poirot definitely comes in second

2 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...

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

3 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.

Death Note (2006 Anime)

L (also known as: Hideki Ryuga, Ryuzaki, Eraldo Coil, and Deneuve, at times when he's not going by a single letter) is the (fictional) world's greatest detective - constantly at odds with Light Yagami, aka a mass murdering genius megalomaniac known as "Kira." While he looks like an antisocial weirdo who eats wayyy too much candy, L's actually the most brilliant person alive - constantly analyzing and deducing things, and catches onto Light's out-of-control murder spree pretty quickly, although before he can do anything about it... Well, don't wanna spoil anything here (even a several years old manga), so just go check it out for yourself.

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

The only one that could top Poirot is Holmes.

5 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.

6 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

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.

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 Tintin

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

12 Philip Marlowe
13 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

14 John Constantine
15 Jessica Fletcher
16 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

He's awesome

17 Fox Mulder

This guy is highly intelligent

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

Come on guys vote he's the doctor

22 Dana Scully
23 Max Payne
24 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.
25 Will Graham
8Load More
PSearch List