John Marshall Tanner

Created by Stephen Greenleaf "...they don't put towns in jail. They probably should, but they don't." -- Tanner in Grave Error A sort of edgier spin on the old Perry Mason/Scott Jordan bit about the lawyer who thinks he's a private eye. JOHN MARSHALL "MARSH" TANNER is a San Francisco private eye who, technically, is … Continue reading John Marshall Tanner

Tom Bethany

Created by Jerome Doolittle A Boston (well...Cambridge) private eye with a difference. Mind you, in these post-Spenserian, aren't they all? Body Scissors (1990), the novel that introduced TOM BETHANY, a man with a colourful past, was an auspicious debut. He'd been, among other things, a soldier in Vietnam, a world-class amateur wrestler (he would have … Continue reading Tom Bethany

Anna Lee

Created by Liza Cody Back in the early eighties, while everyone was huffing and puffing Stateside about Sharon, Kinsey and V.I., across the pond British author Liza Cody was writing an amazing story arc about a young female P.I.'s journey from innocence to a hard-fought world-weariness. One of the very best of the female investigators, … Continue reading Anna Lee

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

Bill Crane

Created by Jonathan Latimer (1906-1983) Jonathan Latimer's first book, 1935's Headed For a Hearse, was one of the first hard-boiled screwball comedies, following closely on the heels of the previous year's The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. But where Hammett only toyed with the idea, contenting himself with cocktails and banter, Latimer went whole hog. … Continue reading Bill Crane

Brock Callahan

Created by William Campbell Gault (1910-97) One of the best, and also one of the very last P.I. writers to have truly written for the pulps (he wrote over 300 short stories for them), William Campbell Gault created ex-LA Rams guard turned Beverly Hills private eye BROCK "THE ROCK" CALLAHAN. One of the first of … Continue reading Brock Callahan

Nick and Nora Charles

Created by Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) Nora: "I read where you were shot five times in the tabloids." Nick: "Not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids." -- from The Thin Man (1934 film) The glitzy adventures of Dashiell Hammett's retired private eye NICK CHARLES and his rich, beautiful (and not quite as ditzy as … Continue reading Nick and Nora Charles

Dave Brandstetter

Created by Joseph Hansen Pseudonyms include Rose Brock & James Colton) (1923-2004) "My joke was to take the true hard-boiled character in an American fiction tradition and make him homosexual. He was going to be a nice man, a good man, and he was going to do his job well.” -- Joseph Hansen "But with … Continue reading Dave Brandstetter