Dylan Klein

Created by Reed Farrel Coleman
(1956 –)

Looking for jobs in all the wrong places.

Rough around the edges DYLAN KLEIN is a rather quirky aspiring writer from New York City who’s also a sometimes-professional, sometimes-amateur sleuth, and definitely marches to the beat of his own drummer. He seems to change careers about as often as Coleman’s other series character, sometime P.I. Moe Prager. And every new occupation inevitably seems to lead to more trouble.

When we first meet him, in 1991’s Life Goes Sleeping, Dylan is at his mother’s funeral, and scrounging to make ends meet as a low-rent insurance investigator. A brief stroll down memory lane to Brighton Beach hooks him up with a man who hires Klein to to track down a man whose life he claims to have saved in World War II.

In Little Easter (1993), Klein is no longer in New York City, but tending bar in a small town on the outskirts, and working towards his goal of becoming a writer, when he gets involved in the investigation of the death of a distraught woman who walked into the bar one snowy night and was murdered moments after leaving.

By the time of his third appearance, They Don’t Play Stickball in Milwaukee, he’s actually become a full-time detective story writer (with a possible movie deal in the works based on one of his novels, no less!). This doesn’t stop him from playing real-life detective, as he sets out to find a favorite nephew who’s gone missing from his college near the Canadian border.

The Klein books are full of hard-boiled, pulpy thrills, and occasionally over-boiled prose, but Coleman’s gift for the telling detail, strong plots and his deft touch with characterization lift them above the crowd. Recommended.

Coleman is best known as the man behind the award-winning Moe Prager series, another series starring New York gumshoe Gulliver Dowd, and, under the Tony Spinosa byline, writes about ex-cops Joe Serpe and Bob Healy who go into various businesses together, including oil delivery and private investigation. More recently, he’s taken over Robert B. Parker’s popular Jesse Stone series.

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Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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