Have You Heard the News?

Wherein I talk a little about what’s up in the P.I. world, for better or worse, and point toward a few recent links I thought may warrant further investigation. Feel free to comment below, or follow me on Twitter. And scroll on down to see what’s new on this site.


  • The Best Mysteries of the Year 2021 (Call for Submissions)
    The folks at New York’s landmark Mysterious Bookstore are now screening submissions for The Mysterious Bookshop Presents the Best Mysteries of the Year 2021 through the end of the year. It’s the first in what will hopefully be a long running anthology series, and they’re certainly kicking things off with a bang: the guest editor is Lee Child, and the series editor–in case you didn’t see it coming–is Otto Penzler. Maybe you heard of him. For more details…
  • The Return of Detective Fork!
    He may not have been the most polished piece of cutlery in the drawer, but it’s good to see Silver City’s very own private eye Detective Fork back in action. A regular of our Web Comics section back in the day, I always had a soft spot for this heart-felt spoof by artist/writer Kevin J. Guhl. And now, after a thirteen year absence, the trenchcoat and fedora-wearing eating utensil is currently available on duckwebcomics.com!
  • Big Sky P.I.
    ABC television has announced the November 17 debut of Big Sky, a promising new P.I. series, featuring a Montana female private eye, Cassie Dewell, and based on a series by C.J. Box. The showrunner is David E. Kelley, who’s given us everything from The Practice and Ally McBeal to last year’s edgy Stephen King adaptation, The Outsider, so it might be worth checking out. Mind you, I had high hopes for last year’s Stumptown as well, and ABC pulled the plug on that one a few months ago.
  • Thrilling Detective Mentioned in Ellery Queen!
    Hmmm… I’m grateful for the kind recent mention in EQMM’s BLOG BYTES column (I’m grateful for any attention, really). They even go sar far as to mention it’s “a resource-heavy location that provides endless hours of exploration.” Kind words, indeed.
    But they failed to mention (or didn’t notice?) that my site’s mostly dedicated to private eyes. I’ve already been told I’m missing Columbo. And Kojak. And James Bond…
  • The Modern Detective: Inside The Secret World Of Private Investigators
    Real-life private eye Tyler Maroney, author of the terrific new The Modern Detectiveon how corporate intelligence is reshaping the world, for better or worse.  (September 2020, CrimeReads)
  • An Equalizer Reboot?
    With the foul taste of Spenser Confidential and HBO’s Perry Mason still lingering in our mouths like unwelcome guests, CBS has just announced that they’ve given a pilot green light to a re-imagining of the classic TV series, The Equalizer, with Queen Latifah stepping in as vigilante-for-hire Robert McCall. Will she be Roberta McCall? Hard to say–details are scant at this point, although those taking offense at this latest reboot should consider this: after already cannibalizing the original for Denzel, what’s left to save, anyway? Still, I really wish the film and television industries had more writers and producers who could actually imagine, not just re-imagine.
  • Got Pulp?
    There’s some big news for pulp fans from Steeger Books–they’re about to release the first six volumes in their much awaited Black Mask Library, featuring series characters, short stories and stand-alone novels, showcasing some of the best of Black Mask from the thirties and forties, including collections featuring Robert Reeves’ Cellini Smith, D.L. Champion’s Rex Sackler, Merle Constiner’s Luther McGavock, Ed Lybeck’s Harrigan of The New York Leader, and Stewart Sterling’s undercover cop Johnny Hi Gear. Also available is the first reprint ever of legendary editor Joseph T. Shaw‘s hard-boiled crime novel, Blood on the Curb, originally published in 1936. Additional installments, we’re told, should be released in the near future. Sure.
  • Netflix is Thinking of a Chinatown “Prequel”
    And they’ve already recruited Robert Towne (the original writer of both Chinatown and its sequel, The Two Jakes) and David Fincher to write a pilot. What do I think of this? As little as possible.


By no means comprehensive, but the following are some of the new or recently updated entries  and features on the site, as well as a few that just tickled my fancy. Hopefully, they’ll tickle yours, too.


Did Dashiell Hammett Change the Way America Drinks?
Respectfully compiled by Kevin Burton Smith. Hammett photo is © The Hammett Estate.


4 thoughts on “Have You Heard the News?

  1. Hello, I just read your interview with Robert Crais re Demolition Angel and I was shocked. Pleasantly. Impressed. So how do I ‘follow you’–I am not very erudite in these matters. Eg, I follow Crais, ‘website’. I SEE your website but not sure how to ‘subscribe’, if thats the right word. Med school was easy, this isn’t. Thanks!
    Froggie (my writing handle)



      Oh, wait, sorry, I thought you were “Kyle.” To follow me, there should be a small widget in the bottom right of each page, when viewing the site on a computer. On phones and tablets, it’s at the very, very bottom.


  2. I’m new to this site and love to read a good detective book. I’ve been reading Robert Galbraith, CJ Sansom and Delores Redondo just to name a few and was wondering if you could recommend a good thriller. Sorry to be so blunt but there are so many authors out there but I would really like to know one from your personal choice. Many thanks, Anthony


    1. Jeez, put me on the spot, why doncha? 🙂

      But if you enjoyed Galbraith, you might get a kick out of the similar-in-tone ODDS AGAINST, by the late, great Dick Francis. Francis’ empathetic handling of damaged detective Sid Halley still rings true and clear all these years later. If you like that one, Francis wrote a lot of books.


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