Bony — properly speaking, Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte — is the protagonist of a long-running Australian series of detective novels by Arthur Upfield. The first novel of the series, The Barakee Mystery
, was published in 1929, and sequels continued to appear until the author's death in the 1960s
A university-educated police officer, Bony is half-Aboriginal but was orphaned at a very early age and raised in the white man's society. He got his name at the orphanage after being found teething on a volume of Napoleon Bonaparte
's memoirs. He is also familiar with Aboriginal culture, which often proves useful, and frequently works undercover, using his "half-caste" heritage to disguise his level of education.
The novels were adapted for radio early on, and for television in the 1970s
under the title Boney
. In the 1990s
, there was a TV series called Bony
starring Cameron Daddo as Detective David Bonaparte, supposedly a descendent of the novels' Bony.Tony Hillerman
was influenced by this series.
The novels provide examples of:
The adaptations provide examples of:
- Ascended Extra: Constable McGorr only appeared in one novel, Murder Must Wait, but was made a regular character in the 1970s series so that Bony would have somebody to explain his thought processes to.
- Everybody is Single: In the novels, Bony is middle-aged and married; in the 1970s TV series, he's twenty years younger and single.
- Setting Update: The 1970s TV series was set in the 1970s.
- Spin-Offspring: The 1990s TV series.
- The Watson: Constable McGorr in the 1970s series.