Dek Elstrom

Created by Jack Fredrickson Wry, spry and "creatively unemployed," Chicago's VLODEK "DEK" ELSTROM is a hapless, soft-boiled private eye in a hard-boiled world, scrounging to pay the rent on his fixer-upper turret and feed his junk food habit. And he's not suffering from an abundance of pride or ego. So... whatever it takes. As long … Continue reading Dek Elstrom

Ron Shade

Created by Michael A. Black This P.I. can definitely kick your ass. That's because RON SHADE is not just a tough Army vet turned tough-guy Chicago P.I.--he's a tough Army vet turned tough-guy Chicago P.I. really into competitive kickboxing. So don't get him pissed, okay? In his debut, A Killing Frost (2002), he's hired to find an … Continue reading Ron Shade

James Reardon (The Killers)

Created by Ernest Hemingway Adapted by Anthony Veiller It feels like some sort of cheat to credit Ernest Hemingway as the "creator" of hard-working tough guy insurance dick JAMES REARDON here, since Papa's snippet of a short story (originally published in 1927), didn't even have a detective--by any name--in it. It simply related the tale … Continue reading James Reardon (The Killers)

Johnny Maguire

Created by Richard Himmel (1920-2000) Although he's almost forgotten today, author Richard Himmel was tagged as one of the greatest hard-boiled crime writers of the Fawcett Gold Medal era, starting things off with his first book, I'll Find You in 1950, only the second book GM ever published. But the book, which introduced his series … Continue reading Johnny Maguire

My Scrapbook: Be Careful Out There!

It Ain't All Booze, Bullets and Babes...(or "How Two Wrights Make a Wrong") Folks send me stuff all the time, but this clipping sent to me from John Larsen from the January 22, 2021 Chicago Tribune just really stuck in my craw.  It's one hell of a way for a hardworking gumshoe to start off the … Continue reading My Scrapbook: Be Careful Out There!

Kalinda Sharma (The Good Wife)

Created by Michelle King and Richard King Alicia: Are you gay? Kalinda: I'm private. CBS' hit legal drama The Good Wife, which ran from 2009 until 2016) was NOT a P.I. show. But one of the major characters on it was, and for a few glorious seasons, we were treated to occasional glimpses of KALINDA SHARMAN, … Continue reading Kalinda Sharma (The Good Wife)

Nick Bancroft

Created by Bob Liter Pseudonyms include Cyn Castle (1923-2008) NICK  BANCROFT is a sometime-freelance investigative reporter and sometime private eye who's the sole operative of AAA Investigations in Central City, Illinois (loosely based on Peoria), in a series of breezy, medium-boiled books by the late Bob Liter. Nick's just a regular guy, a working joe … Continue reading Nick Bancroft

Nick Cranley

Created by Michael Storme Pseudonym of George H. Dawson Other pseudonyms include Michael Storm (1918-1979) The very first book featuring NICK CRANLEY, Make Mine a Shroud (1949), promised “a never-ending vortex of excitement ... tough mobs ... police that mean business; and gals that mean business too – but not the same kind," while the second suggested we'd find … Continue reading Nick Cranley

Mark Brandon

Created by Vernon Warren Pseudonym of George Warren Vernon Chapman (1925-96) "Sleep? Who wanted to sleep, it's for permanent when you're dead, and everyone dies...." -- Brandon turns positively Marlowesque in Runaround (1958) MARK BRANDON is a Chicago P.I. who appeared in a string of rather Chandleresque British hardcovers in the late fifties, one step … Continue reading Mark Brandon

Sandy Stern

Created by Scott Turow (1949--) "A defense lawyer is like a person feeling along a wall, looking for a light switch in the dark." -- Sandy Stern, quoted in The Laws of Our Fathers ALEJANDRO "SANDY" STERN is no private eye. And he's sure no Perry Mason. But like Erle Stanley Gardner's famous creation, Sandy is a … Continue reading Sandy Stern