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Our recommended summer 2024 crime fiction Explore now

5 unlikely crime-fighting duos

The best detective pairings are like chalk and cheese. We love reading about the pairs that get under each other’s skin and bring out the best – and worst – in one another. The conflict and chemistry between the best unlikely crime-fighting duos make them an unstoppable team.

Here are just a few of our favourites.

unlikely crime-fighting duosSherlock Holmes & Dr Watson
in A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

It’s impossible to talk about unlikely crime-fighting partnerships without mentioning this classic pair. Dr Watson brings real-world understanding and compassion to Sherlock’s brilliance and eccentricity. Together they create a unique partnership that has influenced crime authors ever since.

unlikely crime-fighting duosMia Kruger & Holger Munch
in The Boy in the Headlights by Samuel Bjork

Whip-smart and tough Mia Kruger and her mentor the kindly veteran Holger Munch are an inseparable team. The detectives’ personal demons and absolute loyalty to one another may threaten to bring them down, but Oslo’s most twisted criminals are no match for this pair.

unlikely crime fighting duosArthur Bryant & John May
in Bryant and May: The Lonely Hour by Christopher Fowler

These Golden Age detectives fighting crime in the modern age are more than just a pair of old codgers. Whilst Bryant brings unorthodoxy and chaos, May brings pragmatism and diplomacy. Together they are the perfect partnership to head up London’s Peculiar Crime Unit and solve the city’s most obscure crimes.

Take a look at the Bryant and May books in order here.

unlikely crime-fighting duosMikael Blomkvist & Lisbeth Salander
in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

It’s not just their unique combined skill set as a hacker and investigative journalist that make Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist such a killer team. The complex relationship between the damaged, wild, and heroic Lisbeth and the apparently conventional but flawed Mikael electrifies the Millennium series.

Take a look at the Millennium books in order here.

unlikely crime-fighting duosJane Rizzoli & Maura Isles
in I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen

Homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and forensic pathologist Maura Isles are a force to be reckoned with. Rizzoli’s drive and passion are the perfect match for Isles’ precision and logic. Their mutual respect, deep friendship, and total trust in one another help them solve some truly terrifying crimes.

Take a look at the Rizzoli and Isles books in order here.

Who are your favourite unlikely crime-fighting duos? Let us know in the comments below!

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