<<I suppose we have Robert B. Parker to blame for a lot
of this, but to me he always managed to do it with a wink and
a smile. Crais, at least in the early work, comes at you with
an elbow to the gut.>>
If we are going to assign blame, Chandler has to me mentioned
first. I think the wisecracking PI should have been left
alone after Chandler practically exhausted the concept.
Howard Browne did it as well as Chandler, but his novels are
much more tightly written so that the snappy comebacks don't
play such a prominent role. My problem with wisecracking
detectives is suspending disbelief: a detective has to keep a
low profile while investigating. Going around being a
smartass seems the last thing a PI could get away with.
I think Thomas Dewey was aware of the Chandler danger and
therefore made his Mac detective into a quiet and efficient
guy, the opposite of a wisecracker. His novels have aged
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