Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Minor Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are asked to give our Top Ten Minor Characters. Even though the major characters are where the focus is--sometimes there are minor characters that stick with us and maybe even steal the show. Here's my list:

1. Mr. Thipp's mother in Whose Body? by Dorothy L Sayers. She is such a minor character that she doesn't even have a name. She's just the mother of the man in whose bath a naked corpse has been found. But she absolutely steals the scenes in the courtroom.

2. The Dowager Duchess of Denver in various Lord Peter Wimsey stories by Sayers. I love her round-about way of talking that somehow always gets right to the point. One of those "fluffy" women who always see and understand more than anyone thinks.

3. Mr. Butler in the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood. Anyone who can continue to run Phryne's household when one never knows what will be needed next--a nice cocktail, a fast car, a small firearm, something to kosh a criminal over the head with, or a nice intimate dinner for the latest conquest--gets special kudos. Unflappable and ever ready whatever Phryne may need.

4. Magersfontaine Lugg: Albert Campion's man in the Margery Allingham series. Not quite a butler and not very polished, but always there when you need him. He as the charm of the diamond in the rough.

5. Captain Hastings: Ever faithful companion to Hercule Poirot. Tends to have his mind on the pretty girl in the case rather than the clues, but definitely ready to aid Poirot whenever necessary.

6. Galahad Threepwood: Brother to Lord Emsworth in P. G. Wodehouse's Blandings Castle stories. Author of a scandalous manuscript of memoirs and quite a lively story-teller.

7. Sergeant Mullins in the Frances & Richard Lockridge series starring Pam & Jerry North. Mullins knows that the crime is going to be a "screwy" one whenever the Norths are involved.

8. Marion Halcombe in The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. In my opinion the best character in the book. She's got spirit and is very independent.

9. Miss Habersham in Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner. Not intended to be a main character, but without her the crime wouldn't be solved and an innocent man would hang or be lynched.

10. Spider, the dog, in The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. I love Spider--she's got a lot of character for a little dog and is quite brave in some of the spookier scenes.


Ronnica said...

I'll second you on Marion.

Yvette said...

A terrific list, Bev. I'm not familiar with all of them but they sound good to me anyway. :)

Thipp's mom, she was a hoot. Not as deaf as we are, perhaps, led to believe nor as 'out of it'.

The Dowager Duchess of Denver, yes! Great choice.

I've got WOMAN IN WHITE here waiting patiently. Everytime I pick it up, some other book interferes. :)

Birdie said...

Fantastic list!
I'm especially on board for the Dowager Duchess of Denver. She really is a joy. I envy Harriet Vane having a mother-in-law like that!

And Mrs. Thipps cracks me up: "Don't you get swearing young man, sitting there in the presence of Providence, as you may say."

wutheringwillow said...

Love the list!

Marion Halcombe from The Woman in White is also one of my favourites.

I'd rate Mrs. Oliver as my favourite Hercule Poirot over Hastings. Mrs. Oliver is so under-appreciated!