Mici Anhalt

Created by Lillian O’Donnell
(1926-2005)

Not really a P.I., MICI ANHALT is an investigator, though. For the New York City Crime Victim’s Compensation Board, and in her three book-length cases, she comes off more like a private eye than some paper-packing social worker, even if she is, tangentially, a government worker.

An ex-ballerina and a former worker for Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s staff, Mici’s full of post-sixties, left-leaning, bleeding heart political sentiment, which often brings her into conflict with the bureaucracy of the Board. A decent series, well-written, with a strong, appealling character, but, given the likes of the more hard-boiled female eyes that soon followed, such as Kinsey Millhone or V.I. Warshawski, it seems rather dated and even quaint at times.

Still, a satisfying series, for the most part, and O’Donnell deserves more credit than she gets, for being one of the first to introduce a female police officer, feisty Lieutenant Norah Macaulhay, as the lead character in a book series. But she was no fool, either, and following the female private eye book of the eighties, she returned to the genre in 1990 with a newer female eye, Gwenn Ramadge, who also makes New York her home.

NOVELS

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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