Eamon Gold

Created by Richard Helms

Now here’s a real San Francisco treat.

EAMON GOLD is the real deal, a City-by-the-Bay ex-cop turned private dick with a taste for Glenlivet, Spenseresque wisecracks and tossing darts around his office. He has an office near Fisherman’s Wharf (over a small art gallery owned by his sweetie, a smart and statuesque hottie named Heidi), and an old Victorian place on Russian Hill. He also owns a small place near the beach, where he indulges in his hobby–hand-crafting stringed instruments.

But don’t let all the sawdust and the guitars and lutes fool you–Eamon’s not some quirkier-than-thou shamus trying to cut himself apart from the herd by being different. If anything, his essential appeal rests in the fact that he’s your basic meat-and-potatoes eye and that his creator, Richard Helms (no, not the C.I.A. guy!) is simply one helluva storyteller, a master chef who knows when to stir the pot–and when to let the ingredients just speak for themselves.

Gold is methodical and conscientious–not surprising, given his hobby, perhaps–but he gets the job done. Sorta like his creator.


Helms has over a dozen novels in print now, and has been nominated numerous times for the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society Derringer Award, (remaining the only author ever to win that award in two different categories in the same year (2008, for “Paper Walls/Glass Houses,” published in The Back Alley Webzine; and for The Gospel According to Gordon Black,” published in The Thrilling Detective Web Site [Hey! That’s us!]).

Eamon isn’t the only private eye character that Helms, one of the hardest working writers in the shamus biz, has written. He began his career writing about New Orleans gumshoe Pat Gallegher. Like Gallegher, Helms has been an actor, a racing car driver, college professor and is currently a forensic psychologist in North Carolina. An expert on sex crimes, he’s served as president of the North Carolina Association for Management and Treatment of Sex Offenders. He retired in 2002 to take a position with a small college near his home, where he worked as a Student Counselor and taught the occasional psychology course. In 2013, he launched a new P.I. series, featuring 1950s Miami eye Cormac Loame who journeys into Havana on a wandering daughter job, just as Castro and Che are making their move, and he’s gone on to create quite a few more interesting gumshoes, including Tommy Crane and Vicar Brekonridge. And all that hard work finally paid off. After being a Shamus finalist about a zillion times, he finally won in 2021, for Best Original P.I. Paperback, for the Eamon Gold novel, Brittle Karma.

Rock on, Mr. Helms.


  • “Both the initial entry and Cordite Wine… offer a return to classic “dick lit” (i.e., private eye fiction) in a classic location. ‘We believe that there is a strong niche market out there for traditional, hard-hitting, knuckles-and-know-how private eye fiction,’ executive editor C.E. Gaulden says, ‘and Back Alley Books was originally founded to serve that niche market. Richard Helms’s two consecutive Shamus Award nominations, in 2003 and 2004, testify to his understanding of and skill with this genre in his Pat Gallegher series, and we are very excited about the prospect for even more success with Grass Sandal.’
    — Publishers Weekly
  • Cordite Wine is tough, funny, exciting, and very good!”
    -​- Robert B. Parker



  • “The Gospel According to Gordon Black” (Fall 2007, Thrilling Detective Web Site)
    Winner, 2008, Derringer Award for Best Short Story
  • “The King of Gonna” (May/June 2018, EQMM)



  • July 27, 2021
    THE BOTTOM LINE: This wisecracking, Shamus-winning San Francisco PI (and luthier) is the real deal—”tough, funny, exciting & very good!” And he won’t string you along, so don’t fret. Congrats, Rick!
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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