“Just One of Those Things”

A Mary Kelly Story by D.L. Browne Fall 2001 The Chinese have a saying: "Dangerous enemies will meet again in narrow streets." The way I remember it, business was slow that November. Carl von Ossietzky won the Nobel Peace Prize and everyone was learning to Rumba. We were between World Wars and the Pinkertons over … Continue reading “Just One of Those Things”

Rod Case

Created by John K. Butler (1908-64) Hoo-boy! They sure had some peculiar occupations, those hard-boiled dicks of the pulps. ROD CASE was--I kid you not!--a hard-nosed "special agent" for the Los Angeles-based General Pacific Telephone Company in a handful of short stories that ran in Black Mask in the early 40's. He was somewhat of … Continue reading Rod Case

Jupiter Jones, Bob Andrews & Pete Crenshaw (The Three Investigators)

Created by Robert Arthur, Jr. (1909-1969) “The question mark is the universal symbol of something unknown. We are prepared to solve any puzzle, riddle, mystery, enigma, or conundrum which may be brought to us.” -- Jupiter Jones in The Secret of Terror Castle Purists may snicker, and suggest there's no real reason to include this … Continue reading Jupiter Jones, Bob Andrews & Pete Crenshaw (The Three Investigators)

Ford Morgan & Roy Shepherd

Created by Michael Collins In 1995's The Cadillac Cowboy, Michael Collins gave us not one, but two intriguing detective characters to add to our list. While neither LANGFORD "FORD" MORGAN or ROY ROGERS SHEPHERD are actually private eyes per se, they're both far too good at what they do to be dismissed as mere amateurs. And … Continue reading Ford Morgan & Roy Shepherd

Ethan Reckless

Created by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips It's Los Angeles in the 1980s, and former sixties radical and current troubleshooter (or is that troublemaker?)  ETHAN RECKLESS is on the prowl, going down mean streets Chandler could never have imagined; streets teeming with sex, and drugs and rock'n'roll, filled with more than a dollop of male wish … Continue reading Ethan Reckless

You Can’t Keep a Good Gal Down

An Interview with Gloria Fickling, the Real Honey West   “Honey West here.” That’s how Gloria Fickling answered her phone when I reached her in her study in “beautiful” Laguna Beach Gloria, for those of you who don’t know, is Gloria Fickling, the female half of G.G. Fickling, the husband-and-wife team (her “sweet darling” husband, … Continue reading You Can’t Keep a Good Gal Down

Dashell “Dash” Malone

Created by Dave Ebersole and  Delia Gable Maybe Ricky Nelson was right--you can't please everyone. But theatre director and playwright Dave Ebersole and illustrator Delia Gable certainly gave it a good shot, with the creation of  Dash, a comic book series put out by tiny Northwest Press, featuring DASHELL "DASH" MALONE, a gay private eye in 1940s Los Angeles … Continue reading Dashell “Dash” Malone

Steve Michaels

Created by Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) Perhaps my favourite story (and the most recent) in Killer, Come Back to Me (2020), Hard Case Crime's spiffy 2020 collection of Ray Bradbury's crime and detective stories, was “Where Everything Ends.” Originally published in the 2010 omnibus collection of the author's Death Is a Lonely Business (1985), A Graveyard for … Continue reading Steve Michaels

Oscar Hellian

Created by John Bolton From out of Europe (I think), via Dark Horse's global comics anthology Cheval Noir (French for Dark Horse, natch!) comes 1940's Hollywood dick OSCAR HELLIAN. Divorce may be his bread and butter, but he still has to share office space with Myra, who runs a secretarial agency, and Dan, an aspiring photographer … Continue reading Oscar Hellian

Alex Vega & Max Caplan

Created by Louisa Luna "There was always a worse thing that you couldn't see, and it was closer than you thought."-- a maxim of Alex's old boss in fugitive recovery Wary, thirty-something loner ALEX VEGA has taken her old boss's maxim to heart--she's definitely a gal who sees things as half-empty, and all the yoga in the … Continue reading Alex Vega & Max Caplan