Self-Help Books For Sleuths ;-)

A new year has started, with all sorts of possibilities. A lot of people use this time to make resolutions and try to make some positive changes. Gym memberships go up, people go on diets and enlist in classes, and there are lots of commitments to budgeting. People buy a lot of self-help books, too.

The problem with resolutions is that it can be very hard to keep them. Still, people try. And they often buy books to help them focus on their goals. It’s all got me to thinking. What if some of our most famous fictional sleuths decided to try to mend their ways and make some changes? What sort of self-help books might be useful to them? If you’ll send your disbelief out to watch the fireworks, let’s take a look at….

Self-Help Books For Sleuths

Andy Dalziel (Reginald Hill) – How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)

Ruth Galloway (Elly Griffiths) – Attachment: The New Science of Adult Attachment, and How It Can Help You Find (and Keep) Love (Amir Levine and Rachel Heller)

Nero Wolfe (Rex Stout) – The Fitness Mindset (Brian Keane)

Kinsey Millhone (Sue Grafton) – The Hidden Art of Homemaking (Edith Schaeffer)

Inspector Morse (Colin Dexter) – Alcohol and You: 21 Ways to Control and Stop Drinking (Lewis David)

Phryne Fisher (Kerry Greenwood) – How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew (Erin Bried)

Hercule Poirot (Agatha Christie) – Rebel Vegan Life: A Plant-Based Nutrition & Beginner’s Guide (Todd Sinclair)

Joanne Kilbourn Shreve (Gail Bowen) – Why It’s OK to Ignore Politics (Christopher Freiman)

John Rebus (Ian Rankin) – Building Your Own Computer Made Easy (James Bernstein)

Anna Pigeon (Nevada Barr) – How to Throw Parties Like a Professional (Richard Lowe, Jr.)


If those famous sleuths did change their ways, though, I wonder if they’d have the same appeal…

Got any you’d like to add? Have you made any resolutions (other than that TBR reduction thing, I mean 😉 )?

All my best wishes to all of you for a good new year. May your joys be many, may your burdens be light, and may 2022 be good to you!


20 thoughts on “Self-Help Books For Sleuths ;-)

  1. Happy New Year Margot to you and your family! Fine examples of the teacher in you assisting sleuths. I have a few further recommendations.

    Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin (Rex Stout) – I think Nero needs more than one self-help book and Archie could benefit as well from reading and following the principles in All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum.

    Arthur Beauchamp (William Deverell) – The distinguished Canadian lawyer can quote Roman poets in Latin but computers are a mystery to him so I suggest Computers for Dummies.

    Walt Longmire (Craig Johnson) – The Wyoming sheriff has suffered numerous injuries in recent books. I think he needs Becoming Bullletproof by Evy Poumparas.

    Hawk from the Spenser novels of Robert B. Parker – I urge the taciturn Hawk to get a Manual on Public Speaking from Toastmasters International.


    1. Happy New Year to you and your family, too, Bill! I hope it’s a better year for us all. You’ve made some excellent additions to my list, for which thanks. I do love Computers for Dummies for Beauchamp, and, yes, Walt Longmire could do with some bulletproofing. Funny you’d mention the Robert Fulgham, too; I’ve loved that book since I first read it years ago, and it was good to be reminded of it. I agree about Hawk, too; he could use a little coaching on public speaking. I know your ideas would help those sleuths.


  2. What a delightful post, Margot. I am not familiar with all the sleuths that you and Bill mentioned but could quite visualise them because of the self-help books:) I need a copy of The Hidden Art of Home-Making too.


    1. So glad you enjoyed the post, Neeru! And some of those self-help books do tell a lot just by the title, don’t they? The funny thing is, they are all real books! As for homemaking, I’d benefit from a few tips, too…


  3. I hope you and your reders have a happy and safe 2022, Margot! My two resolutions are familiar ones – TBR pile reduction and waistline reduction. I think the second one might be a more worthy goal.


  4. Happy New Year to you and your family, Margot! I hope 2022 will be better all round – and healthy.
    And I hope Poirot’s vegetable marrows will benefit from your recommendation.


  5. Thanks for this lovely lighthearted post which made me smile, Margot 😊 I think you’re right when you say that we are, perhaps, attracted to the foibles of those detectives/sleuths we follow it’s what make them real for us and so we love the characters as much as the stories. Important, I think, for a series not necessarily so much for a standalone. It’s a fine line, mind, you make them overly flawed and it can put the reader off even if there’s an explanation as for why they are like they are.
    A wonderful post, as ever, Margot – thank you.
    Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year filled with joy.


    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Janet! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. You’ve got a well-taken point that part of the reason we love these characters as much as we do is that they are flawed. Those flaws are part of their makeup, and they wouldn’t be the same without them. As you say, though, it is a fine line, and it’s important not to turn characters into caricatures. Happy New Year to you, too – may 2022 be kind to you!


  6. Hahaha, these are hilarious! Love the idea of Poirot going vegan! 😂

    I’ll add – Elihah Baley (Isaac Asimov) – Understanding Artificial Intelligence by Evlyn Faintes


    1. Thanks, FictionFan! I’m so glad you thought these worked! I don’t think I could really imagine Poirot getting into the vegan life, either… And I absolutely love your suggestion for Lije Baley! It’s just perfect! 🤣🤣 Thanks for adding it.

      Liked by 1 person

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