The theme of co-operative teamwork in a police procedural was also mentioned by Peter at Detectives Beyond Borders in relation to his first foray into the Martin Beck series, Roseanna.
The concept of having a team of characters allows the author much greater scope in delving into the personal lives of the protagonists and contrast their lives and investigative techniques.
All investigators have their strengths, for instance in the Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano mysteries, one of my favourite team police procedural series, Catarella is not the sharpest pencil in the box.
'Hey, Cat, you still there?'
'Yes, sir , Chief, I ain't budged. I'm still here. I's jes thinkin'.'
A good three minutes passed.
'Try to think a little faster,Cat.'
[from Excursion to Tindari]
But when it comes to computers, and having friends who are useful, Catarella is an ace performer.
'Cat, do you know you are brilliant?'
'For as how the way I 'splained what that Dr Latte wit' an s at the end said?'
'No, because you managed to open the second file.'
'Ahhh, Chief! I straggled all night wit' it! You got no idea what kinda trouble I had! 'It was a past word that looked like one past word but rilly was --'
'Tell me about it later, Cat.'
[from The Paper Moon]
This is one of the outstanding teams in crime fiction with Catarella, Mimi Augello, Fazio, and Swedish blonde Ingrid, when Montalbano needs some fast driving, all featuring regularly in the books.
As a team they are possibly up there with Sjowall and Wahloo's Martin Beck, Lennart Kollberg, Gunvar Larsson, Einar Ronn and Benny Skacke, or Ed McBain's Steve Carella, Bert Kling, Meyer Meyer, Cotton Hawes and Arthur Brown.
Which is your favourite team of more than three detectives in a crime fiction series? Do you like the same detective to feature as the lead in each book, or do you like a variation in who plays the major part in an investigation?