Why Odd Couples and Opposites Make For Great Crime Fiction

From Crime Reads:

[W]hen I want to escape into a good book, I always reach for buddy mysteries.

Although there are dozens of awesome fictional partnerships, I think most of greats have at least a smidge of what I’ll call the Odd Couple dynamic. (Bonus points if the pair initially despise—or are at least suspicious of—each other.)

. . . .

Clearly mystery isn’t the only genre that enjoys tossing opposites together and watching the sparks fly. Authors love the opposites attract trope (romantic or platonic) because the tension is inherent and the radically different personalities make for entertaining interactions between the characters.

Oscar and Felix are a classic example of personality differences: laid-back versus uptight. But there are a multitude of differences that make for good reading: class, political views, nationality, and gender, to name a few.

Before I explore some opposites in crime, let’s have a detective duo quiz.

Here are ten of my favorite detective pairs; guess the other half of the pair (try it first without looking up the answer on the internet)

  1. Archie Goodwin
  2. Detective Sergeant Lewis
  3. Captain Arthur Hastings
  4. Captain Sam Wyndham
  5. Carl Mørck
  6. Victor Orlov
  7. Prudence Cowley
  8. Jeremiah Blake
  9. Sarah Brandt
  10. Norville Rogers

Link to the rest at Crime Reads

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