Re: RARA-AVIS: Professionals and Amateurs

From: Mark Blumenthal (
Date: 04 Feb 2000

Mark Sullivan:
> But let's get concrete here, it's time to name names. Can you actually
> name successful (as in believable, not sales) series that meet your
> criteria? The only one I can think of is Joe Lansdale's great Hap and
> Leonard series. And that is very much an exception, as well as
> exceptional, case in my mind
I think it depends on how we define professionals. Travis McGee is technically not a professional, nor is Jereome Doolitle's Tom Bethany. Pete Hautman's Joe Crow was a cop for a while, but makes his living playing poker and doing assorted jobs. KS' Clay and Karras would be classed amateurs. I don't think any of Ross Thomas' protagonists are cops or pi's. To start this thread Jim included lawyers or newspapermen like Fletch as professionals even though technically they don't fill the definition of people whose occupation is very likely to encounter crime. According to today's sports headlines even Coben's Myron Bolitar could logically get involved if he were to attempt to protect a client. I think we can exclude most white collar jobs and retired beekeepers as believably often being involved in violent situations, but there is probably a pretty wide spectrum that could fit that definition. I guess having your protagonist only being restricted to certain criteria really limits the choices for an author who wants to write a hard boiled series, but it can be done. Mark

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