Harry Caul (The Conversation)

Created by Francis Ford Coppola Gene Hackman nails the character of HARRY CAUL, a twitchy, shopworn surveillance expert hired to do a little wiretapping in The Conversation, Francis Ford Coppola's explosive and darkly disturbing Watergate-era morality tale of slimy corporate treachery and dirty secrets. You'll feel like taking a shower after this one. Harry may … Continue reading Harry Caul (The Conversation)

Hawk (A Man Called Hawk)

Created by Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) Developed for television by Stephen Hattman and William Robert Yates "You push yourself till you can't stand the pain, then you push yourself a little bit more.'' -- Hawk counsels black youth He's big, he's Black and he's mean. And he knows you didn't watch his show!!! It's generally … Continue reading Hawk (A Man Called Hawk)

Cal Lightman (Lie to Me)

Created by Samuel Baum Presenting the human lie detector as prick... Lie to Me is yet another post-millennial television how about "private investigators" who aren't quite "private investigators." But while he may not be a private eye, trained psychologist and human lie detector DR. CAL LIGHTMAN does indeed offer the Washington, D.C. based and well-respected (if … Continue reading Cal Lightman (Lie to Me)

Giff Speer

Created by Don Tracy Pseudonyms include Barnaby Ross, Roger Fuller (1905-1976) GIFF SPEER is a special agent of sorts for the Military Police, occasionally even going undercover to investigate crimes involving the U.S. Army. So what's he doing here? Well, about halfway through the series by Don Tracy, following events in Pot of Trouble (1971), Giff … Continue reading Giff Speer

Chet Drum

Created by Stephen Marlowe Pseudonym of Milton Lesser Stephen Marlowe wrote a quite popular, but now almost-forgotten series for Fawcett/Gold Medal about globe-trotting private eye, CHESTER "CHET" DRUM. It's a shame they've slipped into relative obscurity, because they were quite well written and often very engaging books, and brought a new wrinkle into the Shamus … Continue reading Chet Drum

Leo Haggerty

Created by Benjamin M. Schutz (1949-2008) One of the better post-Spenser P.I.'s out of the 1980s was LEO HAGGERTY, a Washington, D.C.-based private investigator with a mustache, a receding hairline à la Jack Nicholson, and enough little quirks to make him worth remembering. Like Spenser, he's a bit of a renaissance man, obsessed with the moral … Continue reading Leo Haggerty

Steve Bentley

Created by Robert Dietrich Pseudonym of E. Howard Hunt Other pseudonyms include John Baxter, Gordon Davis and David St. John (1918-2007) "(D.C. is) a great town if you've got the stamina of a Cape buffalo and the wealth of a Punjab prince." -- Steve comes clean on D.C. Here's a rare case in the P.I. … Continue reading Steve Bentley

Jack Bodine

Created by Thomas Bunn (1944--) Hmmmm.... wonder if he's any relation to Jethro? Lansing, Michigan gumshoe JACK BODINE puts his P.I. ticket on the line frequently, because he tends to take his cases very personally. In the first novel, Worse Than Death (1989), for example, he becomes emotionally attached when he takes on a case involving a … Continue reading Jack Bodine

Willa Pennington

Created by Aimee Hix "He picked up the bottle. It was surprisingly sexy, the way he eyed me the whole time he put the bottle to his mouth, closing his lips around the rim slowly, and took a long swallow. He never took his eyes off me even as he put the bottle basck dowen … Continue reading Willa Pennington

Joe DeMarco

Created by Mike Lawson Just in case the current administration doesn't make you feel queasy enough about Washington politicians, there's always JOE DeMARCO. He's a D.C. troubleshooter, a sort of "congressional fix-it man," who (mostly) works for House Majority Leader John Mahoney, in a series of well-regarded, politically-charged novels by Mike Lawson. The author is a … Continue reading Joe DeMarco