My Scrapbook: The Hard-boiledness Scale

Ten Hard-boiled Dicks, Rated All of the American private eyes have tough exteriors and are well-skilled at delivering a punch. Some, such as Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, are unremittingly hard-boiled. Others reveal a soft centre at times and occasionally pull their punches. The leading private eyes are here rated 1 to 10 for "hard-boiledness." Thus … Continue reading My Scrapbook: The Hard-boiledness Scale

Hello, I Must Be Going…

Great Moments of Unconsciousness "If it weren't for concussions I wouldn't get any sleep at all." -- Amos Walker in The Left-Handed Dollar. According to our resident medical expert, Dr. Lawrence R. (Dick) Tartow, M.D, "The most glaring, and still universal medical mistake in P.I. novels is the speed with which people recover from being … Continue reading Hello, I Must Be Going…

Are You Trying to Be Funny?

The Funniest Eyes No, really. Call it "Humour in a Severed Jugular Vein," if you must, but people have been poking fun at the P.I. genre -- and the whole mystery genre, for that matter -- almost as soon as it appeared. But there were a few brave souls over the years who dared to … Continue reading Are You Trying to Be Funny?

It’s Hammer Time!

Send-ups and Put-Downs of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer "I passed this kid sucking a lollipop. Don Brown dead, and him sucking a lollipop. I rammed it down his throat. I hate injustice." -- from "Don Brown's Body" by Jean Kerr As literary poobah Christopher La Farge pointed out in an article on the Mickey Spillane … Continue reading It’s Hammer Time!

The Five Most Realistic PIs In Fiction

According to Elizabeth Breck In October 2021, Elizabeth Breck, licensed private investigator and the author of the Madison Kelly private eye series,  wrote a short piece for CrimeReads  on the five fictional sleuths (and one special mention) who she thought did the job right. The choices surprised me at first, but she makes a solid case for … Continue reading The Five Most Realistic PIs In Fiction

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 … Continue reading Private Eyes and Their Hobbies

Rocky Mountain Eyes

Sleuths, Bounty Hunters and Other Cowboys from Colorado, Montana, Wyoming & Idaho Nick Caine by Donald Zochert Ruby Dark by Bruce W. Most Devlin Kirk by Rex Burns (Denver, Colorado) Johnny Lane by Dave Zeltserman (Denver, Colorado) Jacob Lomax by Michael Allegretto (Denver, Colorado) Milo Milodragovitch by James Crumley (Meriweather, Montana) Luis Montez by Manuel Ramos … Continue reading Rocky Mountain Eyes

One-Short Wonders

The Private Eye, Briefly A Short Suspects List, Compiled by Martin Ross As a grade school wiseass and punching bag (related syndromes), I discovered the thrill of the mystery genre via the Ellery Queen story “Trojan Horse” from The New Adventures of Ellery Queen, which looked in 1968 like it hadn’t been touched since they’d … Continue reading One-Short Wonders

The Private Integers

Private Eyes You Can Count On... Any excuse for a list, right? Every now and then, we get an eye whose name we never learn. Like the Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op or Bill Pronzini's Nameless. And others were identified mostly--or only--by a number, particularly in the early days of the genre, when the detectives on … Continue reading The Private Integers

One of the Fifty Things TV Guide’s Matt Roush Loves About TV

#41: Private Eyes In the December 14, 2002 issue of TV Guide, critic Matt Roush (senior critic, and editor of The Roush Review) listed "Fifty Things I Love About TV." Among such notable (or sometimes quirky) choices such as Everybody Loves Raymond, Turner Classic Movies and 1973's CBS's Saturday evening lineup, was this entry (at … Continue reading One of the Fifty Things TV Guide’s Matt Roush Loves About TV