Re: RARA-AVIS: Professionals and Amateurs

From: Mark Blumenthal (
Date: 02 Feb 2000

Jim Doherty argues,
> >
> Now an amateur who gets involved in one single case, because he's
> wrongfully accused, because he's in the wrong place at the wrong time,
> because of some other odd circumstance, may be credible for a single book,
> but not for a series.
> Cozies, whatever their merits or faults, are generally the province of
> amateurs like Lord Peter, Ellery Queen, or Jessica Fletcher. Hard-boiled
> characters, or at least hard-boiled *series* characters, are pros, and, in
> consequence, have an automatic level of believability that their amateur
> brethren lack.
Jim, When you enlarge your definition of a pro to a lawyer or reporter this is certainly true most of the time, but ofhand I can think of a couple of exceptions: Coben's Myron Bolitar is a sports agent, and Von Elsner's Jake Winkman is a bridge pro. Technically, Block's early Scudder and Coe's Mitch Tobin are not pi's, though they are policemen who lost their job. Mark

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