Re: RARA-AVIS: Professionals and Amateurs

From: Mark Sullivan ( AnonymeInc@WEBTV.NET)
Date: 02 Feb 2000

I think Jim captures the key separation point for amateurs:

"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, or because of some other odd circumstance, may be credible for a single book, but not for a series."

This would tend to distinguish so many, but not all, of the characters of Willeford, Goodis, Thompson et al. from cozies. These are people, often ordinary, who find themselves in an extreme situation. It is fascinating to see how they react. However, if you try to build the character into a series, you have to add an element of professionalism or you have a cozy.

When will people realize that they are playing Russian Roulette when they socialize with a cozy detective -- having dinner with Jessica Fletcher has more fatal consequences than flashing hundred dollar bills in a drug zone late at night.


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