#1007: The World’s Favourite Golden Age Sleuth – The Final!

It’s all been leading to this.

We started with over 100 names, which were whittled down before any voting to the most popular 64 and have been reduced by further rounds of head-to-head voting all the way down to the semi-finals two weeks ago, which have in turn wrought the final two names — the genre’s two most popular sleuths from its most brilliant era…and we’re gathered here today to choose between them and crown a winner in a fortnight.

But who are we choosing between?

“Tell us!”

There’s no sense in dragging this out, and no analysis that will be meaningful at this stage, so instead I’ll just post the results of the two semi-finals below and

“Tell us!”

Yeah, no-one’s reading this anyway, are they? Well, here you go…

Of course, everyone knew it was going to be an Agatha Christie vs. Agatha Christie final, didn’t they? Apart from those of you who knew it was going to be John Dickson Carr vs. John Dickson Carr. Or Carr vs. Christie. And it looked for a while like it might be Carr or Christie vs. Dorothy L. Sayers for a while…so while the results here aren’t perhaps entirely surprising, it’s certainly set up a vote that I’m keen to find out the answer to: given that they’ve both appeared in a positive swathe of multimedia presentations and so exposure can be taken out of the equation, and given that they both indulge in very different style of detection, who is the more popular of Christie’s two most famous sleuths?

Well, now we get to find out.

So, mull it carefully — you get one vote, and it needs to count — and then choose below which one you want to see crowned the World’s Favourite Golden Age Sleuth. That’s it! You are then free to go about your day.

The poll will remain open until Big Ben’s bongs have just about faded on the ringing in of 2023, meaning you can take your time over your choice but mustn’t dally too greatly. The results will then go live here at 2:30 am UK time on Saturday 7th January 2023 — so remember to set an early alarm.

15 thoughts on “#1007: The World’s Favourite Golden Age Sleuth – The Final!

  1. Obvious decision for me, the Murder on the Mews episode was the first GAD related thing I ever consumed, and reading Poirot followed naturally from there, so he’s always been close to my heart. Miss Marple is good, she just doesn’t compare.

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  2. That’s a bit crushingly conventional… sigh … did the seeding and knockout approach mandate the result? If it was one vote from a long list, might the results might have been different? Ah well, maybe Carr & co will have better luck next time. Thanks for doing this JJ, very educational and great fun. Time for some turkey methinks 😁

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  3. If you ever devise another poll along these lines, please consider leaving Christie out. She’s much more famous and popular than any other Golden Age mystery writer, so the higher the number of voters, the more likely her detectives are to come out ahead of their rivals. It’s tiresome to end up with such a bland pair of options after the fun of the earlier rounds.

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    • It’s a tricky one, innit? I mean, Christie has won because her writing and her sleuths are popular, and that’s arguably the point of the whole endeavour. At the same time, it’s difficult to disagree that it might be nice to have some less-heralded names in the final to get a little more attention for neglected authors and characters…who aren’t going to get the attebtion because they’re not favourites already.

      I was surprised and delighted when Gideon Fell abd Henry Merrivale were the top two seeds, but I also can’t deny that it would have been a little tedious if those two had simply steamrollered all competition on the way to the final.
      So, whatever happens, I’m disappointed 🤣

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  4. I foresee very close results with this! My choice is an obvious one, but I feel that in recent years the tide has somewhat turned on which of Christie’s detectives is the preferred. The outcome will be very interesting in that respect.

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  5. Thanks for doing this as I know it takes significant effort from you. Whilst the final is not a surprise, I have enjoyed the voting as well as the comments that followed each poll.

    Reflecting on this, I like the idea of Miss Marple better than the actual execution in Christie’s novels. The thought of an unassuming spinster getting to the answer before the police detective is an appealing one to me. But Miss Marple changes from one book to the next (the character in Vicarage is different from Body in the Library from Mirror Crack’d to Caribbean Mystery, etc.) and given her style of detection, often makes only a late appearance in the books (Moving Finger, Murder is Announced, etc.). Still she will always be a beloved fictional character to me and I particularly like the short stories that feature her.

    As such, I voted for Poirot because there are just more superior novels with excellent plots that feature him. Even as Christie moved from a puzzle focus in the 1930’s to character-driven novels in the 1940’s to sparring with the wonderful Ariadne Oliver in later books, Poirot’s style and personality to me were consistent.

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