Recommendations for competitive crime solving
December 1, 2019 12:28 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for mystery novels with more than one detective where they are competing to solve the same case or are working on intersecting cases. Something like Mal Considine and Buzz Meeks from The Big Nowhere, who have their own agendas, not a Morse and Lewis who work together. Recommendations in any mystery genre (procedurals, cozies, etc.) are welcome.
posted by betweenthebars to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The classic in this area is The Mystery of the Yellow Room, by Gaston Leroux.

If it's important to you, you may need to know that equal time is not given to each detective, and it's definitely one detective's story. Also there probably aren't a lot of Ellroy fans who also like Leroux.

By the way, you can't read much about this book without getting a lot of spoilers. If you think you want to read it, I recommend not reading any background first.
posted by lockedroomguy at 2:13 PM on December 1

The Westing Game!
posted by Flannery Culp at 3:11 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]

Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Lestrade.
posted by TrishaU at 5:42 PM on December 1 [1 favorite]

The Murder Pitt, by Mick Finlay. So far I have read the Arrowood series out of order, but this is more the antagonist saying "I hate that upstart Sherlock Holmes" and proceeding to solve other cases in and around London.
Googling other Sherlock-adjacent novels will gain similar results. See also, Moriarty-adjacent novels.
posted by TrishaU at 5:51 PM on December 1

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins is a bit like this - there are multiple narrators each uncovering a piece of the central mystery - and is a hell of a good time, too.

Seconding The Mystery of the Yellow Room, too. Another classic.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:58 PM on December 1

Ask a Policeman, a collaborative novel by the Detection Club.

Cards on the Table, Agatha Christie.
posted by paduasoy at 4:45 AM on December 2

World's Greatest Sleuth!, the fifth book in the "Holmes on the Range" series, includes a detective competition in which our heroes compete against other teams of sleuths.
posted by Lexica at 10:22 AM on December 2

The Poisoned Chocolates Case, by Anthony Berkeley, is a really solid example of this. More marginal - but I think that would go for most of the other stories suggested here so I'm going to mention it regardless - would be any of Agatha Christie's novels that have both Poirot and Ariadne Oliver, who have very different approaches to detection and often disagree.
posted by Acheman at 11:36 AM on December 2

One of the inspirations for this question is the quote from A Study in Scarlet re: Lestrade and Gregson, "There will be some fun over this case if they are both put upon the scent."
posted by betweenthebars at 7:28 PM on December 2

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