31+ Best Detective Quotes For Budding Crime Fighters

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Dec 12, 2023 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Mar 13, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Cute little detective working with evidence at table

You will seldom see a person who isn’t interested in the work of a detective.

Detectives are an interesting part of the world of crime. From real-life detectives to fictional characters, our favorite detectives have got a hold over our minds.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is such a successful detective that is loved by many. If you are an aspiring crime fighter, going through detective quotes can work as a kickstart to your career. So why not read on for a topsy-turvy journey into the universe of crime and punishment?

If you find these detectives' quotes fascinating, do check out these Sherlock Holmes quotes and 'True Detective' quotes for more quotes from great detectives.

Famous Detective Quotes

Can you write down these famous detective quotes in a notebook to flaunt your knowledge about the world of detectives!

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

Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Man With The Twisted Lip’.

2. “Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.”

‒ Raymond Chandler, ‘The Big Sleep’.

3. “Crime is common. Logic is rare.”

‒  Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Adventure Of The Copper Beeches’.

4. “What a newspaper prints is news – but not always truth!”

‒ Agatha Christie.

5. “Yes, it was dangerous, but we are not put into this world, Mr. Burton, to avoid danger when an important fellow creature's life is at stake.”

‒ Agatha Christie, ‘The Moving Finger’.

6. “Every man at the bottom of his heart believes that he is a born detective.”

‒ John Buchan.

7. “The study of crime begins with the knowledge of oneself. All that you despise, all that you loathe, all that you reject, all that you condemn and seek to convert by punishment springs from you.”

‒ Henry Miller.

8. “The day that man discovered the tools to kill another human being, he also brought into being a weapon that could boomerang upon him at any time.”

‒ Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay.

9. “A conventional crime story is simple - it's just a corpse in the river or something, and a detective with an alcohol problem.”

‒ David Lagercrantz.

10. “Chuckling to herself, Nancy said aloud, ‘Romance and detective work won't mix tonight!’...”

‒ Carolyn Keene, ‘The Bungalow Mystery’.

11. “I despise the wet weather; all it does is wash away the crime scene evidence when you need it the most.”

‒  Heinrich Lunge, ‘Monster’.

12. “It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in.”

― Raymond Chandler, ‘The Big Sleep’.

Anime And Cartoon Detective Quotes

Detectives can be found on our screens as well as in our books. When it comes to best detective quotes, cartoon detectives and animated detectives deserve a lot of credit. Here are some cartoon detective quotes for all the best detectives to explore!

13. “Looks like we've got another mystery on our hands.”

‒ Fred Jones, ‘Scooby Doo’.

14. “The real evil is the power to kill people. Someone who finds himself with that power is cursed. No matter how you use it, anything obtained by killing people can never bring true happiness.”

‒ Soichiro Yagami, ‘Death Note’.

15. “Laws aren’t perfect, because humans who created laws aren’t perfect. It’s impossible to be perfect. However, the laws are evidence of the human struggle to be righteous.”

‒ Soichiro Yagami, ‘Death Note’.

16. “Humans are suspicious and jealous creatures. When they see something perfect, they wanna find a flaw.”

‒ Hattori Heiji, ‘Detective Conan’.

17. “Justice isn’t something that you can just proclaim. It’s a feeling you should keep near your heart.”

‒ Miwako Sato, ‘Detective Conan’.

18. “You have to calmly dissect and scrutinize everything. Dig up the truth as rationally as you can, even if you have to sacrifice your own happiness in the process.”

‒ Heinrich Lunge, ‘Monster’.

19. “The harder the game is to solve, the more fun you can have, right?”

‒ Kogoro Akechi, ‘Ranpo Kitan’.

Quotes From TV Show Detectives

Some of the best detectives that have stuck in our minds are from our favorite TV shows. Here are a few quotes from TV show detectives that are considered among the best quotes from all detectives for good reason.

Some of them even explain why it is dangerous to be a detective. Can you spot a quote from any of your favorite TV detectives in this list?

20. “This is a world where nothing is solved. Someone once told me, 'Time is a flat circle.' Everything we've ever done or will do, we're gonna do over and over and over again.”

Rust Cohle, ‘True Detective’.

21. “I’m not a psychopath, Anderson. I’m a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research.”

‒ Sherlock Holmes, ‘Sherlock’.

22. “You know what’s bothering me about this case? It makes me ashamed to be a man.”

‒ Alec Hardy, ‘Broadchurch’.

23. “If you’re gonna lie, you have to be consistent.”

‒ Alec Hardy, ‘Broadchurch’.

24. “How do we get ahead of crazy if we don’t know how crazy thinks?”

‒ Bill Tench, ‘Mindhunter’.

25. “When we know who the criminal is, we can understand what set him off.”

‒ Holden Ford, ‘Mindhunter’.

26. “There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and mystery writers. I’m the kind that pays better.”

‒ Richard Castle, ‘Castle’.

27. “I see their pain. On some level I even understand their pain. I just can't feel their pain.”

‒ Dexter Morgan, ‘Dexter’.

28. “The trifecta: weapon, ammo, and impaired judgment. Throw in a little domestic violence, and you have the perfect recipe for a family slaughter.”

‒ Dexter Morgan, ‘Dexter’.

29. “A big part of the job is looking for the worst in people. Turns out I excel at that.”

‒ Jessica Jones, ‘Marvel’s Jessica Jones’.

Interesting Detective Quotes

Aspiring detectives listen up! Take a break from admiring only the movie detectives and read these interesting and amusing detective quotes to give even more insight into the work of detectives.

30. “A detective story generally describes six living men discussing how it is that a man is dead.”

‒ G. K. Chesterton, ‘A Miscellany Of Men’.

31. “The private detective of fiction is a fantastic creation who acts and speaks like a real man. He can be completely realistic in every sense but one, that one sense being that in life as we know it such a man would not be a private detective.”

‒ Raymond Chandler.

32. “There is no branch of detective science which is so important and so much neglected as the art of tracing footsteps.”

‒ Arthur Conan Doyle.

33. “There is no detective in England equal to a spinster lady of uncertain age with plenty of time on her hands.”

‒ Agatha Christie, ‘Murder At The Vicarage’.

34. “Unless you are good at guessing, it is not much use being a detective.”

‒ Agatha Christie.

35. “There are only two kinds of books which you can write and be pretty sure you're going to make a living — cook books and detective stories.”

‒ Rex Stout.

36. “Naturally a detective doesn't want to look like a detective, and give the whole thing away right at the start.”

‒ P. G. Wodehouse, ‘The Man With Two Left Feet’.

37. “Detective fiction... confirms our belief, despite some evidence to the contrary, that we live in a rational, comprehensible and moral universe.”

‒ P. D. James, ‘Talking About Detective Fiction’.

At Kidadl, we have created lots of family-friendly quotes for everyone! If you liked these detective quotes, why not check out these ['Brooklyn 99' quotes], or 'Rush Hour' quotes for more quotes from great detectives?

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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