The Mark Savage Books by Stephen J. Cannell
“She had a figure that could get them off the marble slab of the morgue.”
— Mark Savage says…
The greatest producer of private eye television was undoubtedly Steven J. Cannell. The obvious marker is The Rockford Files, but when you toss in everything else he created, wrote and/or produced (City of Angels, Sonny Spoon, Hardcastle & McCormick, etc., etc.) it’s clear he didn’t just traffic in the stuff — it was obvious he was a user as well.
Which is why it was such a kick to see his dweebish P.I. wannabe Lionel Whitney from Tenspeed and Brown Shoe so obsessed with the fictional Mark Savage, Private Eye books. Almost every episode featured Lionel reading aloud (in voiceover) or even quoting from the over-boiled, purplish prose of a Spillane-like gumshoe. And right there, on the back cover of each and every book Lionel clutched in his adoring hands, was a photo of the author of these over-the-top thrillers, one Stephen J. Cannell. Smoking a pipe.
Because, you know, that’s what authors do.
Hell, in the episode, “This One’s Gonna Kill Ya,” Cannell, Stephen J. even makes a cameo appearance at a police station as, yes, the author of the Mark Savage books. And yes, he’s smoking a pipe.
These books don’t exist. But I kinda wish they did.
- The Screaming Dead Man
- The Deathward-Bound Damsel
- The Pearl in the Clamshell Holster
- Kiss, Kiss Kill, Kill
- Death and the Doting Dowager
- The Screaming Bride
- Death Do Us Part
- The Bullet-Proof Professor
- The Purloined Princess and the Poisoned Prince
- The Case of the Avenging Widow
- Death Takes a Left Hand Turn