Private Eyes and Their Hobbies

Now don’t tell me there’s nothing to do…

Ever since Holmes picked up that violin, creators have attempted to saddle their detectives with hobbies, in an attempt to humanize them. Here are a few of the more famous pastimes attributed to various eyes:

  • Philip Marlowe by Raymond Chandler
    Works on chess problems.
  • Moses Wine by Roger L. Simon
    Plays Clue, smokes pot. By himself.
  • Nameless by Bill Ponzini
    Nameless collects old crime and detective pulp magazines, as does his creator.
  • Nero Wolfe by Rex Stout
    Besides eating, Wolfe enjoys raising prize orchids in his west side brownstone in New Yotk City.
  • Mitch Roberts by Gaylord Dold
    Besides chess and fishing, Mitch’s other obsession is baseball. He lives right across the street from the local field in Wichita, and he enjoys nothing more than a good doubleheader on a warm summer’s eve.
  • Shell Scott by Richard S. Prather
    Raised tropical fish.
  • Mitch Tobin by Tucker Coe (Donald Westlake)
    All in all, it’s just another brick in the wall. Mitch relaxes (and possibly keeps himself sane) by building a wall. In his basement. 
  • Harry O by Howard Rodman
    Is it a hobby or an obsession? Harry’s working on restoring his boat, The Answer.
  • Spenser by Robert B. Parker
    Besides cooking and working out, Spenser does some wood-carving, or at least, he used to. In Lullaby (2012),  Ace Atkins brought it back.
  • Captain Duncan Maclain by Baynard Kendricks
    This blind eye Duncan enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles. By touch. 
  • Harry Bosch by Michael Connelly
    Harry digs jazz. On vinyl.
  • Tom Corbie by Philip Jose Farmer
    A bibliophile, Tom has been known to take on some rather suspicious clients, just so he can afford to buy a rare book, such as a very rare edition of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn, illustrated by Grandma Moses.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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