I have been noticing how sleuths do not watch television in crime fiction. I have been noting for a couple of months what sleuths do in their spare time. It is remarkable how different sleuths are from the vast majority of people as they do not watch television.
In the early 1990’s in Black Echo the author, Michael Connelly, has Harry Bosch, living in Los Angeles, listen to music, especially jazz, and drink heavily. Twenty years later he drinks less now that Maddie is in his life.
The next sleuth was Staff Sergeant Karl Alberg of the RCMP in Sechelt, British Columbia living on the Sunshine Coast in 1984. He has a small house. In The Suspect by L.R. Wright he gets a library card to help fill his spare time.
Travis McGee, created by John D. MacDonald, lives on his houseboat, The Busted Flush, in Fort Lauderdale in the mid-1960’s. He enjoys listening to jazz musicians such as Dave Brubeck playing Cole Porter and playing chess with his friend Meyer.
Guido Guerrieri, an Italian lawyer, in the series written by Gianrico Carofiglio spends quiet evenings at home. He does use the T.V. Mainly he rents movies to watch as, in his words, “the local stations had taken to showing hard porn again”.
Paul Christopher in Secret Lovers from the spy series by Charles McCarry back in the 1960’s seems to spend all his free time in fine restaurants but never before the television.
In Stray Bullets by Robert Rotenberg the lawyers are either too busy working (defence counsel Nancy Parrish) or partying (Crown attorney Ralphie Armitage). The police led by detective Ari Greene, equally have no interest in television.
Russell Quant in Dos Equis by Anthony Bidulka will curl up in bed to watch videos, especially the original Charlie’s Angels, with his dogs but he did not watch a current T.V. series.
The Holy Thief by William Ryan takes place in the 1930’s before there was television. In his new shared apartment Detective Korolev does not appear to have access to a radio. I do wonder how many Russians of that era had any chance of listening to the radio for entertainment.
Joanne Kilbourn-Shreeve and her husband Zack Shreeve in Kaleidoscope by Gail Bowen certainly watch the news as Joanne has been involved with Nation News but they do not sit in the living room watching sitcoms or dramas.
Helene Tursten’s sleuth Detective Inspector Irene Huss in Detective Inspector Huss has an average family with her husband, Christer, and their teenage daughters, Jenny and Katarina. While they spend time together it is not in front of the T.V. in Goteborg.
I will be back with another post on the subject of sleuths and T.V. after another 10 books.
- Bill Selnes
- Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
- I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.