commissaire inspector dottore

academic and personal thoughts on detective-inspector novels


cid is a bibliography of detective-inspector police procedurals, and of their translations into selected European languages (Danish, English, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Polish, Spanish, and Swedish. Also included is a selected bibliography of scholarship on crime fiction, especially procedurals.

I discuss the definition of a detective-inspector novel here. Basically, it's a crime novel (a "procedural") that involves a police investigation, includes a substantial amount of teamwork and law-enforcement routine, but also features a central character who is a middle manager. The basis of inclusion, though, always comes down to whether I think a text or series is of interest, and I stretch this definition liberally at its margins.

Most of the novels listed here belong to series, apparently a natural form for crime fiction generally, but especially for procedurals. The team that's worked together for a while, belongs to an entrenched bureaucracy, and is usually enmeshed in a city, has opportunities (at least in fiction) for repeated adventures. As an outgrowth of earlier consulting-detective and private-eye literature, detective-inspector procedurals, like their forbears, naturally run to many sequential volumes. I originally planned to devote a page to each novel, but in late 2018 revised that idea and I now have just a single page for each series, as the more practical unit for study.

cid was originally going to include essays on the detective-inspector genre. Vestiges of this plan remain across the site, especially in the form of brief comments on individual novels. Be aware that these comments may reveal identities of murderers, methods of killing and detection, character arcs, and other spoilers.

cid is limited to novels (text or graphic). Many short stories, feature films, television series, and even some plays and works in other media could be included, but life is short and the project unfinishable as it is. I actually take consolation in its unfinishability: the detective-inspector genre is apparently inexhaustible and continually productive.

There are many internal links here, some more systematic than others. To navigate, click "cid" at the top left of every page and you will return to the initial home page.