Vinnie Altobelli

Created by Milton Bass (1923-2014) After a massive heart attack levels him, San Bernadino cop VINCENT "VINNIE" ALTOBELLI is forced to retire, and is left "walking on eggshells -- afraid of over-exertion, sex and spaghetti" in the 1993 paperback original, The Half-Hearted Detective. So what's a guy to do? Apparently the obvious, non-stressful thing -- … Continue reading Vinnie Altobelli

Steve Ford

Created by Mark Cullen and Robb Cullen "Never mess with a man's dog." -- the film's tagline Once Upon a Time in Venice is a pointless slice of straight-to-streaming cheese starring Bruce Willis; the cinematic equivalent of a self-published novel by an enthusiastic wannabe whose only reference point seems to be other straight-to-streaming crime movies … Continue reading Steve Ford

Jimmy Adams/Jimmy Lee

Created by A. Boyd Correll (1907-85) So, I get letters like this sometimes: Dear Mr. Smith, Weirdly enough, this morning I discovered a PI not on your list - and probably not worth adding! His name's Jimmy Adams, and he appeared in a novelette titled "An Item of Murder" in Street & Smith's Detective Story … Continue reading Jimmy Adams/Jimmy Lee

Dan Adams

Created by Lawrence Kimble Rugged and still studly Rod Cameron played DAN ADAMS, a retired naval intelligence officer turned soft spoken San Diego private eye in COronado 9, a short-lived syndicated show from 1960. The title of the show came from Dan Adams' street address on Coronado Island, the affluent San Diego suburb that was Dan's stomping … Continue reading Dan Adams

77 Sunset Strip (Stuart Bailey, Jeff Spencer, Rex Randolph and “Kookie”)

Created by Roy Huggins (1914-2002) "Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb!" Private eye STUART BAILEY was originally (and intentionally) quite a Chandleresque fellow, trudging through the mean streets of Los Angeles alone, carrying the weight of the world along with him in The Double Take, a quite satisfying 1946 P.I. novel by Roy Huggins. He … Continue reading 77 Sunset Strip (Stuart Bailey, Jeff Spencer, Rex Randolph and “Kookie”)


Created by Ron Goulart (1933--) So when I first stumbled across this story in an old issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, I'm thinking, "A-ha! Another southern California private eye from Ron Goulart!" And it turns out the story, "Undertaker, Please Drive Slow," is pretty damn excellent. We don't even know LOWE's first name. All we … Continue reading Lowe

John Easy

Created by Ron Goulart (1933--)    Oh, the sheer grooviness! JOHN EASY's a private eye, Southern California division., sub-category: the 1970s. He's "tall, wide-shouldered man of thirty-two, dark and rough-edged" with a taste for expensive sportscoats... and turtlenecks. A no-nonsense kinda guy with little patience for evasiveness. Brusque, tends to interrupt people, bring 'em back … Continue reading John Easy

Nikki Griffin

Created by S.A. Lelchuk So now we have NIKKI GRIFFIN, cast by some as the perfect vigilante hero for the #metoo age. Her powerful debut’s a ballsy mashup of agitprop and vengeance porn; a cautionary tale (or thrill read) full of sadistic, abusive men (Boo! Hiss!) and a violent, unbalanced avenger who often makes Lisbeth … Continue reading Nikki Griffin

Shell Scott

Created by Richard S. Prather (1921-2007) Richard S. Prather's SHELL SCOTT was, without a doubt, the second most commercially successful private eye of the fifties (over forty million books sold!). He appeared in a long string of over three dozen Fawcett/Gold Medal PBOs, collections and countless short stories, and even lent his name to the … Continue reading Shell Scott