Nicholas Lake

Created by James M. Reasoner

James M. Reasoner, of course, has written private eye stuff before. Besides the thirty-six Mike Shayne stories he wrote as “Brett Holliday” for Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, he’s highly regarded among fans of the genre for Texas Wind, a much beloved P.I. novel, and the Markham short stories, featuring a Chandleresque Texas gumshoe.

But he also wrote several other P.I. stories, including several featuring Delaney, and a couple stories about two — count ’em, TWO! — different NICHOLAS LAKEs.

So Nicholas is not a series character — he just smells like one.

The first Nick is a serious contemporary (well, for 1980) gumshoe who strives to be a professional, although he may have read a few too many old P.I. novels. He appeared in “Kemidov’s Treasure” in 1982. He favours white suits and fedoras.

The second Mr. Lake popped up almost two decades later, in “The East Wind Caper,” set in Honolulu in December 1941. In this version, Nicholas has a Hawaiian stand-up comic for a sidekick/assistant. Reasoner himself likes to think that “the eighties Lake,” as he calls him, “is the grandson or great-nephew of the one from the forties.”


  • “James Reasoner puts his stamp on everything he writes. His work can be funny, violent, sad, even whimsical at times, but it doesn’t matter because the craft and the art are always informed by the wisdom of the man telling the stories.”
    — Ed Gorman, from the intro to Old Times’ Sake


  • “Kemidov’s Treasure” (September 1982, MSMM)
  • “The East Wind Caper” (2001, A Date Which Will Live in Infamy)


  • Old Times’ Sake (2007) Buy this book!
    Includes both Nicholas Lake stories.


Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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