Charlie Cale (Poker Face)

Created by Rian Johnson Writer/director Rian Johnson may just be the best undercover friend the P.I. genre has had in a long, long time. First he gave us 2005’s Brick, a sly reworking of noir tropes, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a teenage would-be Marlowe working his wall through the mean hallways of his high school. Then … Continue reading Charlie Cale (Poker Face)

Albert Parkis (The End of the Affair)

Created by Graham Greene Definitely not a private eye tale, or even a mystery, really (at least in the traditional sense), but Graham Greene’s 1951 novel, The End of the Affair does feature private investigator ALBERT PARKIS of the Savage Detective Agency in a pivotal, if secondary, role. In London, as World War II rages and the bombs … Continue reading Albert Parkis (The End of the Affair)

Rick Deckard (Blade Runner)

Created by Philip K. Dick Developed for the screen by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples When the topic of sci-fi/private eyes comes up for air, so does director Ridley Scott's grim and gritty 1982 film Blade Runner, and, occasionally, the 1968 Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? that it was loosely (very … Continue reading Rick Deckard (Blade Runner)

Cash Blackbear

Created by Marcie R. Rendon She’s not a P.I… yet. For you Girl Detective fans who find Nancy Drew a little too, uh, white, may I suggest Murder on the Red River (2021), a knock-you-back debut which introduces RENÉE “CASH” BLACKBEAR, a moody, rebellious nineteen year-old Ojibwe pool hustler, truck driver and aged-out foster child with … Continue reading Cash Blackbear

Cicero

Created by Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) In Defense of Sextus Roscius of Ameria (aka "Pro Roscio Amerino") by Marcus Tullius Cicero, aka “Cicero,” written about 80 BC, may just be one of my favourite private eye novels. Yep, it's a speech, not a novel, but young Cicero's first major defense speech reads like a short … Continue reading Cicero

Zelmont Raines

Created by Gary Phillips As The Jook (1999), Gary Phillips' non-series stand alone, kicks off, ZELMONT RAINES, an African American All-Pro receiver with a string of endorsement deals, is left wondering where it all went. The man who once scored the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl has a blown knee and a weakness for … Continue reading Zelmont Raines

Martha Chainey

Created by Gary Phillips From the creator of Ivan Monk comes a new hero, MARTHA CHAINEY. Okay, so she's not a P.I., and she's not exactly on the side of the angels. But she's a six foot, tough-talking, hard-as-nails African American ex-showgirl now working as a courier for some Vegas thugs, so you go ahead--you … Continue reading Martha Chainey

Danny Clive

Created by Fletcher Flora (1914-1968) DANNY CLIVE is a special investigator for the Grand Jury, hired to bring in an old friend who could put the finger on a local gangster, in the great short story "The Heat Is Killing Me" from the February 1953 Dime Detective. As the buddy's wife says, "Judas. Judas Clive. … Continue reading Danny Clive

Philippe Clerc

Created by Patrick Raynal (1946--) PHILIPPE CLERC isn't really a private detective. But he sure acts like one. Truth is, he's an insurance salesman in Nice. Not the most crooked one in town, perhaps, but not the most honest, either. The beginning of Fenêtres sur femmes (1988; translates as "Window on Women") is in the best P.I. … Continue reading Philippe Clerc

“Corpus Delicti” Mort

Created by Julius W. Long (1907-1955) Defense attorney and notorious barfly CLARENCE DARROW MORT, better known by his nickname "CORPUS DELECTI," liked to drink and hang out in dive bars and dubious nightclubs--and what's wrong with that? He was a regular in the pages of Dime Detective in the mid-forties, staggering from case to case, slightly … Continue reading “Corpus Delicti” Mort