PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 January, 2010, 12:00am

We need a detective

Detective fiction is a popular type of novel in which a detective, either professional or amateur, investigates a crime. They take the reader on a journey through the excitement of solving the crime and bringing the guilty person to justice.

Today, fans around the world get their detective thrills from prime-time television series like the American show CSI. But even though TV detectives have a massive following, millions of detective novels are still sold every year to avid readers of all ages.

Part of the fun of reading a detective novel or watching a detective movie or TV show is seeing if you can solve the crime before the crime-fighter sorts everything out.

What do these words and phrases mean?

1 a popular type of

a. a group of things that a lot of people enjoy

b. an event that a lot of people dislike

2 amateur (adj)

a. forced to do something against your will

b. doing something for pleasure, not as a job

3 to get your thrills

a. to ask someone to do something for you

b. to satisfy your need for something you enjoy

4 to bring (someone) to justice

a. to make sure that the law is applied to someone who has broken it

b. to ignore someone breaking the law

5 a prime-time television series

a. a TV series broadcast at a popular time

b. a TV series with poor ratings

6 avid (adj)

a. very eager and interested

b. bored

Famous fictional detectives

Choose the correct word or phrases to make this article make sense.

The world's most (famous / bored) fictional detective is Sherlock Holmes, who made his first (crime /appearance) in 1887. He has recently had a Hollywood (disaster / makeover) in a new blockbuster movie.

Between 1920, when her first novel was (published / destroyed), and her death 56 years later, English writer Agatha Christie (1890-1976) (earned / stole) herself the name 'The Queen of Crime', creating two of the world's most famous detectives, Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple.

Guinness World Records has referred to Christie as the (best-selling / least-read) novelist of all time.

Detectives today

Today, fictional detectives solve crimes in cities all over the world. Qiu Xiaolong's Chief Inspector Chen, poet as well as police officer, hunts down criminals in Shanghai while halfway across the world. Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti confronts crime in the beautiful Italian city of Venice.

In Sweden, Inspector Wallander works in the town of Ystad, and the elegant English university city of Oxford has Chief Inspector Morse breathing down the neck of its criminals.

As long as readers want to know 'who done it', fictional detectives will be on hand to give them the answer.

Answer these questions in one word.

1 What nationality is Inspector Chen?

2 What nationality is Inspector Wallander?

3 Which country does Commissario Brunetti come from?

4 What is Inspector Chen's main hobby?

5 What nationality is Chief Inspector Morse?


January 12

1. b, 2. a, 4. too/do, time/mine, along/wrong, mix/tricks, there/care, 8. hate, tension, I never know, a waste of time, he loathes, we're different, the mixture is all wrong, ignore, nasty tricks, I just don't care