The Big Stretch

The Longest-Running Series, By Number of Novels(Not including short stories, collections or omnibus editions) According to all the evidence I could gather, if you’re counting by books, the Larry Kent series by "Larry Kent," a house name, is the longest-running P.I. series of all-time, while Le Manchot by Quebecois author Pierre Saurel (assuming he actually … Continue reading The Big Stretch

Stand-Alone Private Eye Novels

The November 1998 P.I. Poll The private eye novel has been a mainstay of the mystery genre forever, it seems. Think of all the classic private eye series, from Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Jonathan Latimer's Bill Crane to Robert B. Parker's Spenser or Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone. And yet, and yet, and yet... But what … Continue reading Stand-Alone Private Eye Novels

A Great and Unexpected Honour

The Thrilling Detective Web Site is in The Library of Congress! Who knew? When long-time friend of this site and hotshot librarian Randal S. Brandt said I was listed in the U.S. Library of Congress as a source, I wasn’t even quite sure what he meant. Randal works at The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, one … Continue reading A Great and Unexpected Honour

You say it’s your birthday?

100 Years of the Hard-Boiled American Private Eye (1922) EDITOR’S NOTE: The  following article, in slightly different form, first appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of Mystery Scene (#173), but it makes for a nifty intro to the upcoming panel at Bouchercon 2023 that I’ll be moderating, entitled “You Can’t Kill Me—Why the P.I. Won’t Die." Sadly, … Continue reading You say it’s your birthday?

Down in Mexico

Mexican Eyes Tom Blane by Louis Trimble (Mexico City) El Borbah by Charles Burns Al Colby by David Dodge (Mexico City) Nick Grande by Bob Chinn (a "wide open city") Mike Land by Fred Dryer & Victor A. Schiro and Peter Gethers & David Handler (Cabo San Lucas) Mariano Mercado by D.L. Champion (Mexico City) … Continue reading Down in Mexico

“Secret Dead Men”

An excerpt from the novel by Duane Swierczynski The year is 1976. Meet Del Winter, hard-boiled dick. But Winter isn't like the other shamuses you find here at THRILLING DETECTIVE. For one thing, he's back from the dead. For another, he has a strange ability: Winter can absorb other recently-departed souls and store them in … Continue reading “Secret Dead Men”

“Special Delivery”

By Hugh LessigAn Alamo Barnes StoryApril/May 2000   The body arrived in the newsroom around mid-morning. It came in a reinforced cardboard box from American Bathroom Fixtures that supposedly held a recessed bathtub. At least that's what it said on the outside. No one paid any attention to it. Corporate flaks mail their stuff to … Continue reading “Special Delivery”

“The Gift of Wallace Random”

By Hugh Lessig A Picasso Smith Story January 1999 Chapter 1 Wallace Random got shellshocked at Iwo Jima, and he came home wide-eyed and full of secrets. He took government checks and wrote letters to his Aunt Tot in Eugene, Oregon, whom I suspected did not exist. He spent his nights drinking sasperella at The … Continue reading “The Gift of Wallace Random”

… and Throw Away the Key!

Locked Room & Impossible Crime P.I. Mysteries   S. S. Van Dine's Philo Vance, possibly the only detective more annoying than Hercule Poirot, may indeed need a kick in the pants, but there are actually plenty of locked-room capers and other impossible crimes that good ol’ regular- joe private eyes have cracked over the years. Here … Continue reading … and Throw Away the Key!

Murder, My Suite

House Dicks While you’re checking in, they’ll be checking you out... Tony Reseck by Raymond Chandler (The Windermere Hotel, Los Angeles) Marty Bond by Ed Lacy (The Grover, New York City) Gil Vine by Stewart Sterling (Plaza Royale, New York City) Johnny Killain by Dan J. Marlowe (The Duarte Hotel, New York City) Joe Grundy … Continue reading Murder, My Suite