Re: RARA-AVIS: Tucker Coe (was...Marshmallows of the world unite

MT (
Mon, 14 Sep 1998 09:24:57 -0500 Peter Walker (not that other Peter Walker) ponders:

<<Do you think there are a lot of similiararites (heel of a word, that)
with the early Tucker and the early Scudder? Both are 'disgraced'
ex-cops turning to PI work to try to resolve something. Both have the
'feel' and settings. Westlake and Block were mates so maybe they hit on
the idea over a drink and let it run. Just a thought.>>

Those were the dog days for the P.I. genre, which had been semi-comatose
for a decade. It's possible that Coe's creation of a fully dimensional
P.I. with a real life and real problems was an attempt to bring the
genre up to date; and quite likely Block attempted to do the same thing,
though his Scudder series was written later. In any case, the five
Tucker Coe books hold up very well two and a half decades later - a
couple of them, _Murder Among Children_ and _A Jade in Aries_ remain
outstanding examples of the genre. I notice some influence of Thomas
Dewey on Tucker Coe's realistic and basically pessimistic approach to
the P.I. story.

By the way, what happened to the idea of each of us collecting a "best
of" list of crime fiction books? I have a draft of sorts, not definitive
yet. What's nice about this is that it made me take a look at what I
have and what I remember. Also, to weed out a couple dozen books that
don't cut the mustard (or that, at the very least, I never want to read

To avoid clogging up the list, maybe someone should volunteer to receive
and collect these "best of" lists and keep them available somewhere (the
FAQ?). I am not volunteering myself because this fall I have a very busy
schedule with deadlines and so on.


Mario Taboada
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