The Naughty List The following hard-boiled and noir crime novels and/or authors(some featuring private eyes)  have all been banned or restricted at one time or another. Not that they necessarily stopped anyone from reading them, but they tried. Of course, any raving peabrain with an axe to grind can challenge a book, but it takes … Continue reading Banned!

Chinese Eyes

Eyes of the Red Dragon Bob O'Hara by Gilbert Thomas (Hong Kong) Huo Sang  by Cheng Xiaoqing Lao She & Judge Dee Ren Jie by by S.J. Rozan & John Shen Yen Nee Mei Wang by Diane Wei Liang (Beijing) Respectfully compiled by Kevin Burton Smith.  

The Big Reads

The Longest Private Eye Books Back in the good old days (whenever the hell that was) private eye yarns rarely took over 200 pages to tell. They were tight and right, punchy and potent, lean and mean and they got the job done. Think of all those beloved paperbacks that could once legitimately be named … Continue reading The Big Reads

The Big Stretch

The Longest-Running Series, By Number of Novels(Not including short stories, collections or omnibus editions) According to all the evidence I could gather, if you’re counting by books, the Larry Kent series by "Larry Kent," a house name, is the longest-running P.I. series of all-time, while Le Manchot by Quebecois author Pierre Saurel (assuming he actually … Continue reading The Big Stretch

Stand-Alone Private Eye Novels

The November 1998 P.I. Poll The private eye novel has been a mainstay of the mystery genre forever, it seems. Think of all the classic private eye series, from Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Jonathan Latimer's Bill Crane to Robert B. Parker's Spenser or Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone. And yet, and yet, and yet... But what … Continue reading Stand-Alone Private Eye Novels

A Great and Unexpected Honour

The Thrilling Detective Web Site is in The Library of Congress! Who knew? When long-time friend of this site and hotshot librarian Randal S. Brandt said I was listed in the U.S. Library of Congress as a source, I wasn’t even quite sure what he meant. Randal works at The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, one … Continue reading A Great and Unexpected Honour

You say it’s your birthday?

100 Years of the Hard-Boiled American Private Eye (1922-2022) EDITOR’S NOTE: The  following article, in slightly different form, first appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of Mystery Scene (#173), but it makes for a nifty intro to the upcoming panel at Bouchercon 2023 that I’ll be moderating, entitled “You Can’t Kill Me—Why the P.I. Won’t Die." Sadly, … Continue reading You say it’s your birthday?

Down in Mexico

Mexican Eyes Tom Blane by Louis Trimble (Mexico City) El Borbah by Charles Burns Al Colby by David Dodge (Mexico City) Nick Grande by Bob Chinn (a "wide open city") Mike Land by Fred Dryer & Victor A. Schiro and Peter Gethers & David Handler (Cabo San Lucas) Mariano Mercado by D.L. Champion (Mexico City) … Continue reading Down in Mexico

“Secret Dead Men”

An excerpt from the novel by Duane Swierczynski The year is 1976. Meet Del Winter, hard-boiled dick. But Winter isn't like the other shamuses you find here at THRILLING DETECTIVE. For one thing, he's back from the dead. For another, he has a strange ability: Winter can absorb other recently-departed souls and store them in … Continue reading “Secret Dead Men”

“Special Delivery”

By Hugh LessigAn Alamo Barnes StoryApril/May 2000   The body arrived in the newsroom around mid-morning. It came in a reinforced cardboard box from American Bathroom Fixtures that supposedly held a recessed bathtub. At least that's what it said on the outside. No one paid any attention to it. Corporate flaks mail their stuff to … Continue reading “Special Delivery”