Slightly Tarnished Armor

By Christopher Mills Featuring Matthew Dain May 1999   "I'm afraid the son of a bitch is going to kill me." Her voice was hard, cold; as completely devoid of emotion as a telephone operator's. She took another long drag on her cigarette and closed her eyes as she exhaled. I took another sip of coffee … Continue reading Slightly Tarnished Armor

Hit and Run

By Christopher Mills Featuring Matthew Dain October 2008 I was sitting in my '65 Ford Mustang with a thermos of hot coffee between my legs to keep my nuts from freezing, wincing at the icy wind that howled in off Casco Bay and through the half-open window. I hate stakeouts anyway, and sitting in a thirty-year … Continue reading Hit and Run

Authors & Creators

This site focusses on the detectives; not, for the most part, on their creators, or, as WB head Jack Warner so elegantly put it, those "schmucks with Underwoods." Still, sometimes an author's work can't really be covered solely by a discussion of his or her creations. In some cases, their work is so significant and/or … Continue reading Authors & Creators

The Thrilling Detective Hall of Fame

I've listed these eyes by the decade in which they first appeared, even though an eye's career may span more than one decade, or even not make much of mark for several years after their first appearance. They're counted for what I consider their quality, entertainment value, reflection of their times, influence on the genre … Continue reading The Thrilling Detective Hall of Fame

Zen and the Art of Murder

An excerpt from the novel by Elizabeth M. Cosin Featuring Zen Moses September 2008   CHAPTER ONE It rained the day I said goodbye to my best friend; the kind of storm that was packaged in a San Francisco-like cold front. December in Santa Monica could blow in from the Pacific like the draft from a meat … Continue reading Zen and the Art of Murder

The Dead Beat Scroll

An excerpt from the novel by Mark Coggins Featuring August Riordan September 2019   Chapter One: Golden Fingers The theme music for the quiz show Jeopardy! makes an unsettling ringtone. Although originally composed as a lullaby, its relentless, tick-tock, time-is-running-out associations can’t help but impinge upon your dreams if you’ve already nodded off. Other things that … Continue reading The Dead Beat Scroll

Car Phones!

Six Private Eye Who Had Car Phones      Once upon a time, there were no cell phones... Okay, for those of you who haven't jumped out the window screaming and are still here, you should know that the early adapters were not geeks, nerds and even multi-millionaires. Nope, they were working guys, blue collar schlubs … Continue reading Car Phones!

Kiddie Pulp, Part II

Portrait of the Detective as a Young Sleuth Perhaps realizing how popular mysteries are with young readers, a few P.I. writers have jumped on the bandwagon with stories of their grown-up detectives making their way through the world as children and young adults or, in Harlan Coben's case, saddling his series detective with a precocious high school … Continue reading Kiddie Pulp, Part II

“This is Jim Rockford…”

Some memorable messages left on Rockford's answering machine...   One of the all-time great opening gimmicks for any TV show has to be Jim Rockford's answering machine. Every episode would open with the camera focussing on the machine, with someone (a telephone solicitor, Rocky, Angel, a collection agency, a wrong number) leaving a message, usually … Continue reading “This is Jim Rockford…”

Hagedorn

Created by Peter Collinson Pseudonym of Dashiell Hammett 1894-1961) Hammett scholar Vince Emery, citing William F. Nolan, suggested that Dashiell Hammett's "The Road Home," featuring professional manhunter HAGEDORN and originally published in the December 1922 issue of The Black Mask is in fact "the first hard-boiled detective story," predating Carroll John Daly's "Three Gun Terry," which is … Continue reading Hagedorn