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Love in a time of crime: 7 of the happiest couples in crime fiction

A little known fact: Saint Valentine is the patron saint of love, lovers and happy marriages – but also bee keepers, epilepsy, fainting, plagues and travellers.

Surprised? So were we – which is why we’ve decided to flip our traditional celebrations of psychopathic couples on their head this Valentine’s and focus instead on those relationships in crime fiction that should be recognised for their love and affection.

So let us present to you a happier list of lovers who grace the pages of our favourite crime novels.

7 of the happiest couples in crime fiction

Traitor's Purse by Margery Allingham

Albert Campion and Amanda Fitton

Here at Dead Good we have a huge soft spot for Albert Campion – so when he finally won the hand of Amanda Fitton in Traitor’s Purse we were absolutely delighted. Campion is an amusing, peculiar and strangely endearing character, so to see both his vulnerability and happiness when faced with the woman he loves is truly heart-warming.

‘For the first time in his life he felt completely adult. His hesitancy, his qualms, his intellectual doubts seemed suddenly the stuff of childhood.’

Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

Temperance Brennan and Andrew Ryan

When Brennan and Ryan put their heads together, they make the perfect investigative duo. There’s no denying the chemistry between them, but there’s one question we all want answered: will they, or won’t they? Their relationship was on, then off, then on, then off – and at the moment it looks like they’re on again. Who knows what the future looks like? We’re certainly hoping there are good things in store.

‘“We are different in many ways, Tempe. But our differences complement each other. Together we were better, stronger. More than just the sum of you and me. I truly believe that.”’

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

Nick and Nora Charles

Nick and Nora from Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man are an intelligent, funny, delightful pair. Romantic, glamorous and sharp, they are everything you could hope for in a crime-solving couple – cracking the case and having some jolly good fun along the way. While the couple only appear in one of Hammett’s works, the characters are so well-loved that they’ve been adapted for movies, radio and TV since. A hugely entertaining and wonderfully enchanting relationship.

‘She grinned at me. “You got types?”
“Only you darling – lanky brunettes with wicked jaws.”’

The Death Maze by Ariana Franklin

Adelia Aguilar and Rowley Picot

Adelia is headstrong – any female medical examiner in the 12th century would need to be – so falling in love with a bishop was always going to cause problems. But such forbidden love gives birth to some of the loveliest lines in crime fiction…

‘As she worked, she hissed bile. “Your leman, am I? No use to you, am I? I hope you freeze in hell – and Henry with you.”
The last strand went and she felt him flex his hands to get the circulation back. He turned his head so that he could kiss her. His chin scraped her cheek.
“No use at all,” he said, “except to make the sun come up.”’

Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers

Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane

Peter Wimsey first encounters crime writer Harriet Vane in Strong Poison where she finds herself on trial for the poisoning of her lover. Arsenic poisoning no less, a subject she had been researching for her latest novel. He falls in love with her immediately, but fails to win her hand until the end of Gaudy Night where she finally accepts his proposal. They marry in Busman’s Honeymoon and embark on their honeymoon, leaving all mystery and crime behind them – or so they think…

‘It is said that love and a cough cannot be hid.’

Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie

Tommy and Tuppence

Thomas and Prudence Beresford are detectives for hire and feature in four novels by Agatha Christie. Lesser known heroes than perfect Poirot and marvellous Marple, they start out as accidental blackmailers – finding themselves short of readies and longing for adventure – but investigating soon turns out to be more profitable and provides the excitement they crave. A charming couple, Tommy and Tuppence play to each others strengths.

‘“You don’t appreciate a faithful husband when you’ve got one,” said Tommy.
“All my friends tell me you never know with husbands,” said Tuppance.
“You have the wrong kind of friends,’ said Tommy.”’

Sherlock: The Essential Arthur Conan Doyle Adventures by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson

Could Sherlock and Watson’s relationship be the most heart-warming bromance we’ve ever come across?

They go together like cheese and pickle, tea and biscuits – the enigmatic charmless sociopath and the ever-watchful, ever-tactful doctor. If the number of adaptations and worldwide universal love for Sherlock and Watson is anything to go by, they reign supreme.

‘“You have a grand gift for silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.”’

Have we missed your favourite crime fiction couple? Let us know in the comments below!


    Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott are fantastic working couple with the always tense romantic story underneath. Love them.

    I love Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs – a great partnership

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