Any great series, or standalone book, start with interesting characters in compelling situations; these people and their relationships inspire us, often make us laugh, and through their interactions we understand the more about who they are and the world they are in than any description ever could. With this in mind we asked Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, authors of the Fox and O'Hare series, starring their crime-fighting duo Nicolas Fox and Kate O’Hare, to tell us about their favorite duos:
Nick and Nora Charles –Dashiell Hammett’s detective duo in his best-selling and last novel, The Thin Man. It was written in 1934 and is as much a comedy of manners as a mystery novel. I love that it’s a boozy reflection of pre-prohibition America.
Spenser and Hawk –When I decided to leave romance and move into crime fiction, this was the series that inspired me. I loved Robert B. Parker’s clean construction and tough, wise-cracking characters.
Elvis Cole and Joe Pike –This is like the west coast Disneyland version of Spenser and Hawk. And this is said by someone who LOVES Disneyland. Bob Crais gives us clever dialogue, fast action plot lines, and ups the ante with an evolving main character.
Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck –I’ve been reading these comic books since I was a kid. If anything gave me a love of adventure it was Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. They took me to the moon, the Amazon, the Klondike, and led me to Aztec ruins. All in full color. If only I could get them on e-book life would be perfect!
Nero Wolfe & Archie Goodwin - Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe is a brilliantly eccentric, outrageously fat detective who (almost) never leaves his New York brownstone and Archie Goodwin is his good-natured, resourceful, out-going legman, who brings the suspects and clues to his boss. It's their wonderful relationship and Wolfe's marvelous speeches, more than the sometimes half-baked mysteries, that are the great pleasures of these books.
Encyclopedia Brown and Sally Kimball - Donald J. Sobol's Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown is a 12-year-old detective whose brilliant deductions constantly befuddle and enrage his adversaries. He'd probably get beat up every day if not for Sally Kimball, his defacto assistant and bodyguard. I fell in love with mysteries thanks to these short, but clever puzzles that always played fair with the clues.
Jim Hardman and Hump Evans - They are the best detective team you've never heard of, the heroes of a terrific series of out-of-print 1970s paperbacks by Ralph Dennis. Hardman is a disgraced ex-cop and his African-American buddy Hump is a former pro-football player sidelined by a knee injury who work together as quasi-PIs in Atlanta...and who aren't above breaking the law to make a buck. Hardman is Spenser without the self-confidence or moral superiority, and Hump is Hawk, only not so fearsome and homicidal.
Patrick Kenzie & Angela Gennaro - Dennis Lehane's Boston detective team won't ever be mistaken for Nick & Nora Charles. Their complex, realistic relationship evolves, sometimes in heartbreaking and infuriating ways, over the course of the gritty, complicated cases that they tackle and that always emotionally affect them... and often haunt them...for years.