Gil Yates

Created by Alistair Boyle

GIL YATES is a real find: a private investigator from–get this!–California!

What’re the odds?

But actually, Gil does carve a bit of a cockeyed niche for himself, as a sort of high-tech, big business, high-priced, Los Angeles contingency expert. But it’s all a delicious blend of mid-life crisis and male wish fulfillment.

Gil’s not even his real name–it’s Malvin Stark. Nor is he, in fact, a licensed detective. He claims his actual line is “Property Management,” whatever that is, and the blurbs refer to him as an “amateur P.I.”

But since his clients lean towards con artists and worse, it doesn’t really matter. The truth is, he became a detective on a whim. He fancies himself a tough guy, but he’s a certifiable wimp (he’s probably the only eye I’ve ever read that Stephanie Plum could easily take in a fight) and he admits it frequently.

And his wimpiness bleeds over into his private life. He’s married to a glassblowing, self-centered woman named Dorcas. It’s small wonder he became a detective, hoping to live out his fantasies, à la Walter Mitty. Middle-aged, in poor shape, bookish with almost no backbone, he still manages to display a lot of tenacity to complete his cases, often barely surviving.

He also has a quirk of mangling phrases like “This does not cut the ketchup” or “I am not a happy campsite”, and more. Quite a good series. After reading books about physically formidable characters like Spenser and Milan Jacovich, Gil is a refreshing change of pace.


  • “The transformation of human doormat Malvin Stark into a Bogie-like tough guy reminds one of Kent Clark dashing into a phone booth only to emerge as Superman. You almost expect to see Yates with a giant “Y” tattooed on his chest. A nicely worked plot and slick dialogue complement the characters in this offbeat P.I. novel.”
    — Mystery Scene on The Missing Link
    “Amusing…noir by way of Wodehouse, Boyle’s light concoction will most appeal to readers looking for whimsy…”
    — Publishers Weekly
  • “There’s a real mystery to be solved here, but the greater pleasure for readers is listening to Gil’s quirky voice and meeting Boyle’s cast of weird and wonderful characters. This book was a long time coming, but oh boy, was it worth the wait!”
    — ALA Booklist (starred review)



  • Allen A. Knoll, Publishers
    The web site for this small press still offers the latest news on the Gil Yates series, and also offers excerpts, a mystery newsletter, and buying information. They also offer info on the Bomber Hanson series by David Champion.
Respectfully submitted by Booster67 with Kevin Burton Smith.

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