Hello, I Must Be Going…

Great Moments of Unconsciousness "If it weren't for concussions I wouldn't get any sleep at all." -- Amos Walker in The Left-Handed Dollar. According to our resident medical expert, Dr. Lawrence R. (Dick) Tartow, M.D, "The most glaring, and still universal medical mistake in P.I. novels is the speed with which people recover from being … Continue reading Hello, I Must Be Going…

Are You Trying to Be Funny?

The Funniest Eyes No, really. Call it "Humour in a Severed Jugular Vein," if you must, but people have been poking fun at the P.I. genre -- and the whole mystery genre, for that matter -- almost as soon as it appeared. But there were a few brave souls over the years who dared to … Continue reading Are You Trying to Be Funny?

The Five Most Realistic PIs In Fiction

According to Elizabeth Breck In October 2021, Elizabeth Breck, licensed private investigator and the author of the Madison Kelly private eye series,  wrote a short piece for CrimeReads  on the five fictional sleuths (and one special mention) who she thought did the job right. The choices surprised me at first, but she makes a solid case for … Continue reading The Five Most Realistic PIs In Fiction

Private Eyes and Their Hobbies

Now don't tell me there's nothing to do... Ever since Holmes picked up that violin, creators have attempted to saddle their detectives with hobbies, in an attempt to humanize them. Here are a few of the more famous pastimes attributed to various eyes: Philip Marlowe by Raymond Chandler Works on chess problems. Moses Wine by … Continue reading Private Eyes and Their Hobbies

Rocky Mountain Eyes

Sleuths, Bounty Hunters and Other Cowboys from Colorado, Montana, Wyoming & Idaho Nick Caine by Donald Zochert Ruby Dark by Bruce W. Most C.J. Floyd by Robert Greer Devlin Kirk by Rex Burns (Denver, Colorado) Johnny Lane by Dave Zeltserman (Denver, Colorado) Jacob Lomax by Michael Allegretto (Denver, Colorado) Milo Milodragovitch by James Crumley (Meriweather, Montana) … Continue reading Rocky Mountain Eyes

One-Short Wonders

The Private Eye, Briefly A Short Suspects List, Compiled by Martin Ross As a grade school wiseass and punching bag (related syndromes), I discovered the thrill of the mystery genre via the Ellery Queen story “Trojan Horse” from The New Adventures of Ellery Queen, which looked in 1968 like it hadn’t been touched since they’d … Continue reading One-Short Wonders

1X, 2X & 3X (The Three Xs)

Created by Robert O. Erisman (text) and Newt Alfred (art) "Baloney!" --3X pretty much sums it up Is this where Marvel's X-Men came from? Except the THREE Xs weren't a bunch of mutant bozos in desperate need of group therapy--they were  a team of Baltimore-based private eyes who first appeared in Mystic Comics #1 back in 1940, … Continue reading 1X, 2X & 3X (The Three Xs)

The Private Integers

Private Eyes You Can Count On... Any excuse for a list, right? Every now and then, we get an eye whose name we never learn. Like the Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op or Bill Pronzini's Nameless. And others were identified mostly--or only--by a number, particularly in the early days of the genre, when the detectives on … Continue reading The Private Integers

“You’re a good man, sister”

Stand-up Secretaries & the Eyes Lucky Enough to Have Them "You're a damned good man, sister" - Sam Spade to Effie Perine in The Maltese Falcon Yeah, yeah, I know... amanuensises, administrative assistants, office managers, workflow technicians... whatever... Effie Perine She manned the offices of Spade and Archer, lighting Sam's smokes, and maybe a whole lot … Continue reading “You’re a good man, sister”

You’re a Mean Man with a Typewriter, Sister

The Hard-boiled Lady Writers of the Pulps The story goes that when big shot Hollywood director Howard Hawks finished reading Leigh Brackett's 1944 crime novel No Good From a Corpse, he was blown away by the snappy patter and the rock hard prose, and figured the writer might be just who he needed for his … Continue reading You’re a Mean Man with a Typewriter, Sister