Created by Barry Fantoni
This isn’t the first time author BarryFantoni has taken a good-natured poke at private eyes. A long-time contributor to British satirical magazine Private Eye (just coincidence, I’m sure) and a cartoonist for the Times, he wrote a couple of spot-on spoofs of the genre back in the eighties, featuring 1940s gumshoe Mike Dime.
But when he announced his retirement from Private Eye in 2010 (after 47 years!), he said he planned to write a few memoirs, and then dive back into detective fiction, with a novel “about the world’s oldest detective who is old and useless and talks about his illnesses.”
Well, in 2012, that novel came out.
Harry Lipkin, Private Eye is the title, and the star of the show, you’ll be surprised to hear, is… HARRY LIPKIN, an 87-year-old Jewish shamus who lives in Warmheart, Florida, just a bit outside of Miami. He drives a 40-year old Impala and has a sharp tongue, a surly disposition, a P.I. license, a loaded .38, and a spare set of dentures . He also has plenty of time on his hands.
Harry’s sympathetically drawn, if not always particularly likable, and while he moves rather slowly, he does eventually get to where he’s going.
So he busies himself working cases for his neighbours. After all, his mom lived to be 103. What the hell else is he going to do?
- “I love this man. I want to eat blintzes with him and talk about macular degeneration all day. What I’m trying to say is: This is a seriously funny book.”
— A.J. Jacobs