Truman Smith

Created by Bill Crider
Pseudonyms include Nick Carter, Jack MacLane, Jack Buchanan

Galveston is the unique turf of TRUMAN SMITH, retired Dallas private eye. Pushing forty, obsessed with the disappearance of his sister, his only living relative, Truman quits the shamus game and moves back home to Galveston, off the Texas coast. There, he makes a living of sorts, doing odd jobs, living in the top half of an abandoned Victorian house full of second-hand furniture, old paperbacks, early rock’n’roll 45’s and an ornery old orange tomcat he calls Nameless. Despite a bum knee that ended a promising football career, Tru manages to keep in shape, which comes in handy when he decides come out of retirement to help out someone every now and then.

Truman is a likable, easy-going kinda dick, whom some people compared to Parker’s Spenser, and I can certainly see the similarities: they both love to read, they both follow a personal code of honour, and they’re big fans of their own wit, but Truman is a little more laconic and a little less is a less glib.

Genial Texan gent Bill Crider wrote the Blog Bytes column for Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine for over a decade, but he’s best known for his crime novels and stories — he was responsible for at least five ongoing mystery series, most notably the one featuring Sheriff Dan Rhodes. Truman’s debut, Dead on the Island (1991), was nominated for the Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel, and he also writes a fun series of short stories featuring Bill Ferrel, a Hollywood dick who somehow seems to always ends up tracking down missing animals.



  • “A Matter of the Heart”  (1994, Murder for Mother)
  • “Poo Poo” (Spring 1998, Louisiana Literature)


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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