Dis Dissertation, Dat Dissertation…

Doctor, My Eyes? There are tons of dissertations on crime fiction out there, but there are also a few by crime writers themselves. Which makes them not just P.I. Writers but Doctor P.I. Writers! "The Violent Hero, Wilderness Heritage and Urban Reality: A Study of the Private Eye in the novels of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond … Continue reading Dis Dissertation, Dat Dissertation…

Robert B. Parker

(1932--2010) Well, the guy had balls, anyway. It's one thing to be compared to the Holy Trinity of Hammett, Chandler and Macdonald. It's quite another to presume to elbow your way in. Particularly for Chandler fans who saw Parker first step into Chandler's hallowed shoes: his completion of Chandler's unfinished last Philip Marlowe novel, Poodle … Continue reading Robert B. Parker

Sunset

A Son Says Goodbye... W. Glenn Duncan (1940-2019) Sunset. A secluded location on the shores of Lake Texoma, Texas. The sun wavered on the horizon across the water. Hung there like it knew its job was to finish setting, but it wanted to give our motley group just a little more light, more warmth, more … Continue reading Sunset

Eugène François Vidocq

(1775-1857) EUGÈNE FRANÇOIS VIDOCQ was the world's first private detective, as we generally understand the term. He also  killed his first man at fourteen, and once posed as a cannibal in a traveling show. Well, maybe. I say "maybe" because almost everything we know about Vidocq comes from Vidocq himself and other, often contradictory sources. Like … Continue reading Eugène François Vidocq

Erle Stanley Gardner

Pseudonyms include A.A. Fair, Grant Holiday, Carleton Kendrake, Charles J. Kenney, Charles M. Green,  Kyle Corning (1889-1970) Although critics sneered and many felt that Erle Stanley Gardner was not a very good writer (Rex Stout, for example, once claimed that the Perry Mason books weren't even novels), ERLE STANLEY GARDNER was one of the bestselling writers of … Continue reading Erle Stanley Gardner

The Literary Life of Ralph Dennis

By Richard A. Moore RALPH DENNIS (1932-1988) was born in South Carolina and had a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina, where he also taught. For mystery fans, Dennis will always be associated with the City of Atlanta, the locale for the twelve novel series about Jim Hardman, former cop and unofficial private … Continue reading The Literary Life of Ralph Dennis

Fredric Brown

Pseudonyms include Bob Woehlke (1906-72) "There are no rules. You can write a story, if you wish, with no conflict, no suspense, no beginning, middle or end. Of course, you have to be regarded as a genius to get away with it, and that's the hardest part -- convincing everybody you're a genius." -- Fredric … Continue reading Fredric Brown

Ed Lacy

Pseudonym of Leonard S. Zinberg Other pseudonyms include Steve April, Russell Turner (1911-1968) Author Ed Lacy (born Leonard S. Zinberg) is best known for creating the first truly-credible black private eye, Toussaint Moore, in his 1956 novel Room to Swing, for which he won the Edgar for Best Novel. Lacy, in fact, was white, although … Continue reading Ed Lacy

Norbert Davis

Pseudonyms include Harrison Hunt, Cedric Titus (1909-1949) "Norbert Davis is a natural. If we were to pick anyone who, in spite of all human trials and tribulations, looks upon life resignedly and mostly as all fun, our nominee would be Bert." -- Joseph T. Shaw,  in an unpublished intro to The Hard-Boiled Omnibus Chandler cited one … Continue reading Norbert Davis

Bill Pronzini

Pseudonyms include Jack Foxx, Alex Saxon, Brett Halliday, William Jeffrey, Romer Zane Grey, and Robert Hart Davis (1943 --) BILL PRONZINI is simply one of the genre's masters. Top of the Line. An Ace Performer. The Bomb. He seems to have taken a crack at just about everything in the mystery genre: noirish thrillers, historicals, locked-room … Continue reading Bill Pronzini