Otis Beagle & Joe Peel

Created by Charles K. Boston
Pseudonym of Frank Gruber

The slick and ethically elastic team of Los Angeles private investigators OTIS BEAGLE and JOE PEEL was the product of the multi-talented pulpster Frank Gruber.

Otis is the front man, 6’3″ and 210 lbs., all “flashy and phony,” a “quite criminal investigator” as one blurb puts it. He’s the owner of the Beagle Detective Agency. Young, good-looking Joe’s his sole employee/partner in crime.

Beagle and Peel are up for almost anything, although their favourite shakedowns usually involved blackmail in one way or another. When one of their scams invariably fails, they end up having to play real detectives to keep out of jail. Which doesn’t exactly endear them to the authorities, and they’d like nothing better than to shut down the agency. Fortunately, Otis’ attorney “Pinky” is almost as slick as he is.

Gruber was one of the most prolific of the great pulpsters, creating several different private eye series. Beside Beagle and Peel, he wrote about Fletcher and Cragg, and Simon Lash and Eddie Slocum, and came up with TV hybrid P.I./cowboy Shotgun Slade. He also wrote a long series of short stories about crime-solving encyclopedia salesman Oliver Quade. Gruber recounted his colourful experiences in The Pulp Jungle (1967).


  • By Frank Gruber, unless otherwise noted
  • The Silver Jackass (1941; by Charles K. Boston)Buy this book
  • Beagle Scented Murder (1946; aka “Marked for Murder”) Buy this book
  • The Lonesome Badger (1954; aka “Mood for Murder”) Buy this book


Preliminary report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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