This is the sort of list that newspapers, magazines, and Web sites offer when they have to fill copy holes on a slow news day.
The Los Angeles Times has assembled a catalogue of what its editors think are the 20 “best fictional detectives” from television and the movies. Their inventory starts out strong with a nomination of Lieutenant Columbo (about whom we wrote not long ago here), but then they try to please every taste, roping in characters from Inspector Jacques Clouseau and Angel to Batman and Scooby-Do. Not surprisingly, many more-deserving sleuths are absent from the Times’ roster, including Jim Rockford, Thomas Banacek, Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle, Harry Orwell, Honey West, Lew Harper, Sam Tyler, Peter Gunn, and ... well, this list could go on and on if I give it more than a moment’s thought.
After you’ve had a chance to click through the Times’ rundown yourself, let us know in the Comments section of this post which other crime-solvers you think deserved to be on that list.