Walter Brackett

Created by Derek Marlowe (1938-1996) WALTER BRACKETT is a British eye, a lonely ex-pat middle-aged widower not getting any younger, down on his luck and a long, long way from home in Derek Marlowe's 1974 standalone classic, Somebody's Sister. Melancholy? You’re soaking in it. If Chandler seems too upbeat for you, and Hammett just a … Continue reading Walter Brackett

Bernardo Thomas

Created by Louis Williams Supposedly one of the great one-shot private eyes, the only appearance of BERNARDO THOMAS was in Tropical Murder, a paperback original published by Tower Books in 1981, shortly before they went belly-up. But hoo-boy, does it sound tempting. I'm not even sure anymore who first raved to me about this, although I … Continue reading Bernardo Thomas

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

One and Done

Some Notable Private Eyes Who've Appeared in Only One Novel Although the success and popularity of the literary private eye seems to be built on series characters, there have been some memorable private eyes who've only appeared in one novel. We even once polled readers of this site back in 1998, although we’ve slowly added … Continue reading One and Done

Max Raven

Created by O.G. Benson (1927-2002) "My fist hit him and the scream died as a gurgle in his throat. I hit him again and felt the jar wrench my shoulder. He slid down the wall like a punctured bag of sand and I kicked him in the face." MAX RAVEN's a Chicago P.I., still smarting … Continue reading Max Raven

Steve Lawson

Created by U.S. Andersen (1917-1986) U. S. Andersens 1956 paperback original, Hard and Fast, has the distinction of being written entirely in the present tense. Which is the only difference between it and a thousand other hard-boiled P.I. books from the 1950s & 60s. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Hard and Fast observes … Continue reading Steve Lawson

Murray Kirk

Created by Stanley Ellin Rich, classy man-about-town MURRAY KIRK is a former hotshot young lawyer who takes over as the head of New York's very respectable Conmy and Kirk Detective Agency in Stanley Ellin's Edgar-winning standalone The Eighth Circle (1958). There's no low rent office with a bottle in the drawer for this baby. Nope. Murray's … Continue reading Murray Kirk