RARA-AVIS: Re: male fantasy worlds?

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 23 Aug 2001

Juri wrote:

>I've now read my first Graftons and I must say that I quite liked them
>(well... the first novel and one short story, in "The Mammoth
>Book of Private Detectives, but I intend to read more). Grafton seems to
>have developed a balance between the supposed harshness of the PI character
>and her actual softness.

Well, it's a start. I think Millhone hit her stride a few more books into the series, but that's one of the things I've always enjoyed about the character -- the play between the expectations and limitations placed on the character by readers and herself, and the actual reality. In other words, she's never quite as smart and tough as she thinks she is, but she's usually smarter and tougher than we expect.

And her "softness" has more to do with compassion and sensitivity, rather than weakness, I think. And if it is a weakness, it's a weakness that Mac and Fortune and Archer and Marsh and Nameless and countless others suffer from as well.

I also think "She Didn't Come Home," the story Juri read, is just a classic P.I. short story, well worth searching out. Fortunately it's been anthologized almost as much as Chandler's" Red Rain".

Oh, and Juri, if you're going to read Delores Hitchen, read SLEEP WITH SLANDER and SLEEP WITH STRANGERS, both featuring private eye Jim Sader. These are just great, under-rated reads, easily on a par with Brackett's NO GOOD FROM A CORPSE or Evans/Browne's Paul Pine books.

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