Tommy “Dapper” Luoo

Created by John Triptych

Although primarily a sci-fi writer, John Triptych has written and published two books (so far) about TOMMY “DAPPER” LUOO, a Chinese-American private eye in 1940-50s Los Angeles, and he intends to keep going.

As the author says, “If you like hard-boiled detective fiction with equal helpings of James Ellroy, Walter Mosley, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, and Dashiell Hammett, check ’em out.”

When we first meet him, in The Boy in the Gutter (2020), it’s 1947, and Tommy’s a Chinese-American with a taste for clothes (hence the nickname), studying accounting at UCLA. He still lives at home, is a member of the cross country team and fantasizes about being a private detective (he smokes Chesterfields, just like Bogart does in The Big Sleep).

But when the sexually mutilated body of a young Asian boy is found in the alley behind his parent’s Chinatown restaurant, he decides to poke around a little.

After all, the LAPD is too busy scratching their asses and collecting graft to put much effort into the murder of some “Oriental,” so what harm could a little poking around be?


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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