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Learn the Stories Behind Your Favorite Sleuths in the Mysterious Profiles Books

Peek behind the curtain.

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  • Photo Credit: Patrick Fore / Unsplash

Have you ever wanted to know how your favorite fictional detectives came to be? In the Mysterious Profiles series, you finally have that chance! In these short works, the authors behind several iconic sleuths explain their characters’ origins in terms of how they as authors were inspired to create them and how the characters themselves ended up solving crimes. Each book is a fascinating look into the creative process that you’ll be able to finish in an afternoon. 

Don’t see your favorite detective on this list? Fear not! Several more entries in the Mysterious Profiles series are on their way soon featuring stories from authors like Anne Perry and Alexander McCall Smith. Check out the full series here

Related: 10 Classic Mystery Novels Everyone Should Read

Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch

By Michael Connelly

When a detective shares a name with a world-famous fifteenth-century painter, you know there has to be an interesting story behind it! Here, author Michael Connelly explains the backstory of Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch, one of the LAPD’s finest. Connelly details both Bosch’s fictional past, a rough childhood followed by a stint in Vietnam, and his origins as a character, inspired by Connelly’s own past. 

Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher

By Lee Child

Whether it be through the book series, the two films, or the Amazon Prime series, readers and viewers the world over have come to know ex-military cop-turned private investigator Jack Reacher well. In addition to sharing the character’s backstory, author Lee Child recounts his own writing journey. He especially focuses on how he transitioned from writing for television to writing books and on how he developed Reacher as a character. 

Related: 9 Books for Mitch Rapp Fans

Inspector Morse

Inspector Morse

By Colin Dexter

After over 45 years, 13 books, and three television series, it’s safe to say that the Inspector Morse series is something of a cultural juggernaut. But how did it all get started? Here, author Colin Dexter explains how the beloved Oxford sleuth came to be. He also provides interesting insight into how a book series gets adapted into a TV show. 

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker

By John Connolly

Author John Connolly was inspired to write his supernatural thrillers featuring Charlie Parker by many events in his own life. In this Mysterious Profile, Connolly takes readers through his writing journey from his days as a reporter for the Irish Times to the crime fiction authors who inspired him. He also describes his philosophical thoughts on empathy and evil that have heavily influenced Parker’s adventures.

Lincoln Rhyme

Lincoln Rhyme

By Jeffery Deaver

Told in the form of a short story and a small biography, author Jeffery Deaver takes readers inside the mind of Lincoln Rhyme. Operating out of his home lab in New York City, Rhyme is a quadriplegic forensic scientist who uses technology to crack the NYPD’s toughest cases. 

Alex Delaware

Alex Delaware

By Jonathan Kellerman

Readers have been enjoying the exploits of child psychologist-turned sleuth Alex Delaware since 1985. Here, author Jonathan Kellerman explains how he crafted the characters of Delaware and his partner Detective Milo Sturgis. Kellerman also goes in-depth about his struggle to get Delaware’s first adventure—also Kellerman’s first novel—published, and when he knew he’d created characters that could sustain a series for decades. 

Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus

Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus

By Faye Kellerman

For decades, readers have enjoyed the escapades of husband-and-wife crime solvers Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. In addition to exploring how she created Decker and Lazarus, Kellerman also discusses her own life and her particularly unique situation of being married to a fellow crime novelist.

Bob Lee Swagger

Bob Lee Swagger

By Stephen Hunter

Pulitzer-prize winning author Stephen Hunter brings readers into the world of Marine Gunnery Sgt. Bob Lee Swagger. Hunter recounts the many inspirations behind his series, including the real person Swagger is based on and the television show Dragnet

Jack Taylor

Jack Taylor

By Ken Bruen

Edgar Award finalist Ken Bruen paints a full portrait of Jack Taylor, his hard-boiled Irish private investigator. Bruen’s books are also the basis for the Jack Taylor TV show.

Featured image: Patrick Fore / Unsplash