Eddie Ginley (Gumshoe)

Created by Neville Smith "He looked like the kind of guy your mother would like to marry your sister. If you had a mother. If you had a sister." -- the opening lines from Gumshoe The sleuth, the whole sleuth and nothing but the sleuth... Stephen Frears' served notice with his directorial debut, a slice … Continue reading Eddie Ginley (Gumshoe)

Rex Carver

Created by Victor Canning (1911-86) "What did I learn? ... that there's an office waiting, clients being clever with you, and two roads running away north and south, and that you've got to be honest and take your own road because somewhere at the end of it—with luck—there might be the thing you really want. … Continue reading Rex Carver

James Helder

Created by Victor Canning(1911-86) Although long known for his spy novels, Victor Canning has managed to crank out a few memorable private eyes, such as Rex Carver and Edward Mercer. JAMES HELDER is another, although "memorable" may not be quite the word he—or Canning himself--uses to describe himself. He’s a pivotal character in both novels … Continue reading James Helder

Edward Mercer (Venetian Bird)

Created by Victor Canning (1911-86) Private eye EDWARD MERCER, like most of prolific British thriller writer Victor Canning's other P.I. creations (such as James Helder and Rex Carver) leans more toward the international thriller than the mean streets, but that doesn't mean they're not worth checking out. In Bird of Prey (1950; aka “The Venetian Bird"), … Continue reading Edward Mercer (Venetian Bird)

Francis MacNab

Created by John Ferguson (1873–) Scottish author John Ferguson must have liked the name. He wrote a mystery in 1921, The Dark Geraldine, which featured a Scottish policeman by the name of FRANCIS MacNAB. And then seven years later, in The Man in the Dark (1928), he resurrected the name for another detective, but this time … Continue reading Francis MacNab

Paul Temple

Created by Francis Durbridge (1912-1998) "By Timothy!" Once upon a time, one of the most popular private detectives of all time was PAUL TEMPLE. Unless you were American. But Temple ruled the U.K. and much of the Commonwealth, and his exploits entertained millions of fans around the world. He made his first appearance in a BBC … Continue reading Paul Temple

Jack Morgan, Peter Knight, Dan Carter, Chris Schneider, Craig Gisto, Santosh Wagh, Joey Montague et al (Private)

Created by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro, Mark Sullivan, Mark Pearson, Michael White, Ashwin Sanghi, Rees Jones, Jassy Mackenzie et al I've heard so many bad and even cruel things from writers and readers whom I generally respect about James Patterson's writing--tempered by equally effusive but vague praise by diehard fans--that I really had little real … Continue reading Jack Morgan, Peter Knight, Dan Carter, Chris Schneider, Craig Gisto, Santosh Wagh, Joey Montague et al (Private)

Stephen Inch (The Inch Man)

Created by Lester Powell (1912 -93) STEPHEN INCH was a house detective working in at London's very busy Imperial Crescent Hotel in The Inch Man, a 1951-52 BBC drama series that apparently broadcast live. This was early days--the Americans had only aired the first private eye shows a few years earlier, and everyone was scrambling … Continue reading Stephen Inch (The Inch Man)

Slim Callaghan

Created by Peter Cheyney (1896-1951) Hard-boiled (some would argue over-boiled), bull-in-a-china-shop SLIM CALLAGHAN, prone to lying to just about anyone about just about anything, is--after Lemmy Caution--the most famous of Cheyney's tough guys. Unlike Lemmy, readers are mercifully spared the ersatz Americanisms--Slim is an English tough guy, a private eye working in England. Anthony Boucher even … Continue reading Slim Callaghan

Agatha Raisin

Created by M.C. Beaton Cozy alert! (The character's first name was a clue). M.C. Beaton's AGATHA RAISIN wasn't even a private investigator for a good piece of her career. When she first appeared, in Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death way back in 1992, she was just your typical amateur sleuth-- a successful, middle-aged … Continue reading Agatha Raisin