Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A grand idea?

by Rick Blechta

Sitting out in our backyard yesterday evening with my wife, discussing our weekend with our grandkids who were over for the first time since the last week of February, there was a lull in conversation when an idea popped into my head. I must have been thinking about what I need to do today and of course Type M was near the top of the list — and I needed a topic for this week’s post. With the harsh reality of our daily lives, I wanted a topic that would provide some fun for everyone.

I have a vague memory of this sort of thing being tried before, but not enough to give out names or authors, so sorry for that. (Perhaps someone can help.) My brain storm was this: what if you could put two favourite characters from some of the great crime fiction series.

So let’s have some fun. Here’s my choice for a mash-up.

How about Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch with Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks? Both detectives are exceptionally experienced and good at what they do, both have a tendency to do their own thing, but more importantly, both are quintessential products of their respective cultures. Bosch just breaks rules, damn the torpedoes, while Banks operates more discretely while being equally subversive in his own way. Bosch and Banks also are not afraid to rely on hunches.

I also think this combination would work best if the characters were operating in a “neutral” third country where they’re both out of their element — although I have to admit it would be interesting to see Bosch navigate the British policing system. Since Peter and Michael are good friends, it might even happen some day (are you two listening?).

So that’s my choice. How about you? And don’t forget the why part because that’s what makes this idea interesting!


Anna said...

Armand Gamache and Joe Leaphorn

Rick Blechta said...

Yes, Anna, but why would they be good together?

I actually thought of suggesting Joe Leaphorn with Nero Wolfe. The ultimate rural cop with the ultimate city detective. Throw in Archie Goodwyn working with Jim Chee, and how can you go wrong?


Anna said...

They would both be somewhat disoriented by their cultural differences, but they would come to respect each other enormously. (Still wondering about the plot, though; does a Southwestern Native American get into trouble in that hazy border between Vermont and Quebec, or maybe Gamache's daughter and son-in-law stumble onto some weirdness while vacationing in the desert? I'll go with the latter.)
However, I do like your Leaphorn/Wolfe and Chee/Archie combo. Just name the premise and we can start making our millions. ;-)

Rick Blechta said...

Oh, Anna! I like the way you're thinking. Yes! Definitely, Leaphorn and Gamache initially wouldn't understand each other, but they're both humanists, and they would work through it. I would think, though, that having Leaphorn in Quebec would be exceptionally interesting, considering the French/English and the Native American/American issues which they would both understand innately.

As for Wolfe and Leaphorn, I'll have to think on it a bit more and get back to you!

Bookenz said...

So Armand Gamache has always seemed to be the perfect blend of Insp Alan Banks and Hercule Poirot.

Am I right?

Rick Blechta said...

You make a very good point, Bookenz. I never thought of it quite like that, but now that you mention it, yes, I can see why you say that. Now I wonder what Louise would say about that? Was something like that going through her mind when she was creating Gamache?


Many thanks for weighing in on my post!

Susan D said...

Many years ago, even before The Time Before, I was doing acceptance testing for an insurance system, and had to come up with lots of names for my test cases. At one point a co-worker looked at claims report with both Jane Marple and Victor Laszlo on it, and said, Now, under what circumstances would those two get together?

Before I knew it, I developed a whole scenario about how and when and why Victor Laszlo ended up in St. Mary Mead. Someday I'll figure out what happened next...