Pete Amsterdam

Created by Laurence Shames

“I never meant to be a private eye. The whole thing, in fact, was my accountant’s idea. A tax dodge. A half-joke.”

That’s PETE AMSTERDAM‘s story, and he’s sticking to it.

But the P.I. license really is just a scam his accountant cooked up to write off the cost of Pete’s new wine cellar, and the tiny Yellow Pages ad they took out is just for show. After all, it’s not like Pete has to work for a living. He’s quite rich, thank you, though through no fault of his own. The lucky sod’s content to live the life of Riley (ask your grandparents), living in Key West, Florida, surrounded by his wine collection and music library. Hell, he’s even chucked his ambitions to be a writer.

Like, why bother?

So when a transvestite who’s supposedly been dead for years turns up while Pete’s soaking in his hot tub, asking for his help, Pete turns him/her down. Alas, it doesn’t quite stick. Soon the reluctant dick is up to his neck in buried loot, a sexy blond yoga teacher who doesn’t shave her armpits (“I tried not to admit I found it awully sexy”), a local crimelord, a gangster who runs a gambling ship, his nympho daughter and –come along, everybody say it–MURDER!!!!

The Naked Detective (2000) is Florida crime novelist Laurence Shames’ eighth caper in his loosely connected but on-going Key West series, which features a mostly revolving cast of whack jobs, alongside an ancient, allegedly retired gangster named Bert the Shirt and his neurotic chihuahua, Nacho, who wander in and out of the action, and are the series only recurring characters. Pete finally returns, as reluctant as ever, several books later, in 2023’s Relative Humidity, where Pete falls hard for a pickleball instructor who the Mob may have targeted for a hit.



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks, Duke.


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