Re: RARA-AVIS: Not "just the facts, Ma'am?

David Lane (
Sun, 09 May 1999 20:02:36 +0100 In article <000e01be99bd$da4b7700$33682499@default>,
blumenidiot <> wrote:

> "...Without official status ... Only in their reaction can he hope to
> find revelation."

A reasonable interpretation, I would expect similar comments from other

Implicit in all private eye and all private detective novels from the
beginning. If you look around at the critical literature you will find a
number of variations on this. My preferred way of talking of P.I. stories
is to say that they are just a series of interviews.

> How true was this in the pre 1960 writing of P.Is, and has the genre
> changed since?

1960? Hmmm. Is this when the police procedural hits the road? The police
of course have forensic labs, SOC and a large number of guys to go around
knocking on doors and, in the U.K., they have various laws to help compel
the public or rather witnesses to help.

Most modern writers of P.I. stories tend to have various side-kicks to do
the dirty work for them. Unfortunately this has IMO a tendency to keep the
private eye in his ivory tower and be detached from the story and its
characters. This no doubt is why they have so much time to spend with
their pussy cats or their favourite single-issue campaign.


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