Quincy Adams Sawyer & Quincy Adams Sawyer (Junior)

Created by Charles Felton Pidgin (1844-1923) Despite over a century of misinformation and conflation, there were actually two detectives named QUINCY ADAMS SAWYER, father and son, both created by Charles Felton Pidgin, although only one was really a private investigator. The first Quincy was more of an amateur lawyer sleuth. He began his career as … Continue reading Quincy Adams Sawyer & Quincy Adams Sawyer (Junior)

John Francis Cuddy

Created by Jeremiah Healy (1948-2014) Private investigator JOHN FRANCIS CUDDY is based in Boston and, at least in the early novels, seemed to have been based quite clearly on that 1980's Boston success story Spenser. He grew up in the Irish-American neighborhood of South Boston, educated by the Jesuits at Holy Cross College, and served in … Continue reading John Francis Cuddy

Dennis Chase (21 Beacon Street)

Created by Leonard Heideman (1928-2007) Quiet, humble DENNIS CHASE (good name, that, if maybe a trifle too on-the-nose, for a P.I.) was the mild-mannered hero of 21 Beacon Street, a short-lived television show on NBC that sounded like a 77 Sunset Strip clone, but wasn't. The bow tie might have been a clue. Instead, it followed … Continue reading Dennis Chase (21 Beacon Street)

Ruth Law

Created by Ken Liu "He misses her, like missing a mirror you’ve broken." In "The Regular," a short story by acclaimed sci-fi writer Ken Liu, we're introduced to RUTH LAW, a coldly efficient half-Chinese, half-American private eye who works out of a tiny office above a butcher shop in Boston's Chinatown. She specializes mostly in "hidden assets, … Continue reading Ruth Law

Patrick Kenzie & Angie Gennaro

Created by Dennis Lehane (1965--) Dennis Lehane's 1994 A Drink Before the War rocked the boat when it came out, and introduced childhood pals turned Boston private eyes PATRICK KENZIE and ANGELA GENNARO. Patrick and Angie grew up in an Irish/Polish/Italian working-class neighbourhood where "your boundaries begin in the schoolyard and last a lifetime" (according … Continue reading Patrick Kenzie & Angie Gennaro

James P. Hillton, Sophia Blossom & Madeleine V. LaCroix

Created by Andrew McAleer "James P. Hilton could have gotten fat on Wall Street with his old man, but like most rebellious Harvard boys, he became a private investigator instead. This is his story."-- the opening of Double Endorsement Lock the doors, here comes trouble. Slacker private eye JAMES P. HILLTON , his partner SOPHIA BLOSSOM, … Continue reading James P. Hillton, Sophia Blossom & Madeleine V. LaCroix

Emma Victor

Created by Mary Wings A former publicist and ex-leftie (whatever that means), EMMA VICTOR is one of the best, as well as one of the longest-lasting lesbian sleuths to make their debut in the eighties. She made her debut in 1987 with She Came Too Late, in which, suffering from burnout, Emma takes a job … Continue reading Emma Victor

Julius Katz & Archie

Created by Dave Zeltserman Pseudonyms include Jacob Stone Hoo-boy, I can't believe it took me so long to get around to doing an entry on this Shamus and Derringer-winning series... JULIUS KATZ is possibly Boston's most brilliant detective -- tougher than Spenser and slicker than Banacek -- even if he does say so himself. Which … Continue reading Julius Katz & Archie

Brady Coyne

Created by William G. Tapply BRADY COYNE is a Boston lawyer, but the books featuring him have very little to do with legal hijinks. He does, however, get involved in a lot of shit, sometimes as a corollary to his legal practice, but more often as a favor to a friend or out of simple … Continue reading Brady Coyne

Max Hale

Created by George Harmon Coxe (1901-84) Charming, well-dressed, well-off and single, Boston blueblood MAX CHAUNCEY HALE is only a private eye as a sort of hobby, although he has been to the State Police Academy. He's certainly not working very hard at it -- he's only taken three or four jobs in the two years his … Continue reading Max Hale