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

Frankie Quinn (Francesca Quinn, P.I.)

Created by John Christian Plummer Even by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries standards, the first TV movie/episode of Francesca Quinn, P.I., which the Girl Detective and I watched the other sunday night, was disappointing. We certainly weren’t expecting anything particularly hard-boiled, noir or even “gritty"—that’s not what Hallmark does. But they have managed to put out … Continue reading Frankie Quinn (Francesca Quinn, P.I.)

Guy Noir (The Prairie Home Companion)

Created by Garrison B. Keillor "It was Valentine's Day in Minnesota. It was cold and dark and bitter and that was just the people." "A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. . . . But on the 12th Floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to … Continue reading Guy Noir (The Prairie Home Companion)


Created by John Camp Pseudonyms include John Sandford I always thought the KIDD series was unjustly neglected. A unique creation, particularly for its time (the late 1980s), he was a sort of high-tech scam artist/computer whiz/Travis McGee type with a very stretchy set of ethics and one cracker of a hacker who would--for a price--make … Continue reading Kidd

Nils Shapiro

Created by Matt Goldman Minneapolis private eye NILS SHAPIRO used to be a cop. And a husband. Now he's neither. He's getting by, coasting on being a smart-ass, but he's still very much feeling the loss of both. Even though he knows he shouldn't. Yeah, it's familiar territory for the shamus game, but author Matt Goldman breathes … Continue reading Nils Shapiro

Mac McKenzie

Created by David Housewright Ex-Twin Cities cop RUSHMORE "MAC" McKENZIE works some pretty quirky cases in David Housewright's engaging, noir-tinged series, including investigating the mysterious death of some bees at a honey farm in Tin City (2005), or mucking around with spiritualists (real or imagined) in From the Grave (2020). But what the hell does Mac … Continue reading Mac McKenzie

Holland Taylor

Created by David Housewright When we first meet him, HOLLAND TAYLOR is a energetic young St. Paul private eye who needs to calm down. He tends to mouth off to the wrong people (cops, gangsters), and he's not above pulling some practical jokes. Still, like The New York Times says, "If his... author ever lets … Continue reading Holland Taylor

Martin McDonough

Created by Bruce Rubenstein Hard-drinking, hard-boiled private peeper MARTIN McDONOUGH goes down the surprisingly mean streets of St. Paul, Minnesota way back during Prohibition, when gangsters like Dillinger and Karpis used the place for a hideout from the Feds with the full support of the local cops, who hang around a dive called Tin Cups, … Continue reading Martin McDonough

Gopher State Gumshoes

Minnesota Eyes Augie Boyer by Bart Schneider (Minneapolis/St.Paul) Martin McDonough by Bruce Rubenstein (St. Paul) Rushmore "Mac" McKenzie by David Housewright (St.Paul) Guy Noir by Garrison Keillor (St. Paul) Nathan Phillips & Roy Hartley by Nick O'Donohoe (Minneapolis) Cork O'Connor by William Kent Krueger (Aurora) Peggy O'Neil by M.D. Lake (University of Minnesota) Gun Pededsen … Continue reading Gopher State Gumshoes

Cork O’Connor

Created by William Kent Krueger Go back, go back, go back to your woods... Former Chicago cop CORCORAN "CORK" O'CONNOR has seen enough. Part Irish and part Anishanaabe Indian, all he craves is the peace and solitude of the north Minnesota woods outside of Aurora, Minnesota (population 3752). Alas, folks just don't seem willing to … Continue reading Cork O’Connor