Eli Paxton

Created by Mike Resnick

“Marlowe’s my dog. I don’t like him much, and he’s not real fond of me…”
— Eli in The Trojan Colt

Noted sci-fi writer (and closet mystery fan) Resnick cried havoc and let slip a shaggy dog of a tale in 2001’s Dog in the Manger.

Down-but-not-quite-out fiftyish private eye ELI PAXTON is a likable enough guy, a sad sack Everyman who’s not too smart and not too dumb, a former Chicago cop who’s relocated to Cincinnati and set himself up as a private investigator. When he’s hired to find a missing show dog. Seems that the mutt of merit, the top Weimaranner in the country, disappeared while being shipped via plane from one city to another.

But as Eli pursues his investigation, he notices that everyone at the airport involved in the shipping and receiving of the prized pooch seems to be turning up dead.

It’s an enjoyable enough romp; a comfort read that takes many of the genre’s more beloved tropes around the block for a walk. Resnick doesn’t break any new ground, but he doesn’t have to–his affection for the genre is obvious. And the case is nicely wrapped up at the conclusion with Eli ending up who with Marlowe, a little mutt of his own — who promptly pees on him.

And so it goes. Eli returned in two more novels, as well as a short story, all with animals in the title, and they’re all unapologetically lightweight, but spot-on enjoyable.

Mike Resnick was the author of over sixty novels, more than two hundred fifty stories, and two screenplays, and the editor of at least forty anthologies. He won five Hugo Awards and scored a record-breaking thirty-six or so nominations, and won the Nebula Award. But he’s also dabbled in the P.I. world, not just with Eli, but also with a trio of hybrid fantasy novels featuring gumshoe John Justin Mallory. Resnick lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he and his wife once bred and exhibited show collies.


  • “I did something I rarely do these days — I read it in a single sitting. I think you’ll do the same.”
    –Ed Gorman



  • “Even Butterflies Can Sting” (2000, Magic Feathers: The Mike & Nick Show)


Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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