RARA-AVIS: My votes

From: K Montin ( kmontin@total.net)
Date: 04 Apr 2002

The top three are in order of preference, the top ten kind of, and the rest fairly haphazard. Most of them are people I like; a couple are definitely not nice, but interesting.

1. Artie Wu & Quincy Durant (series, Ross Thomas). They are a great team: smart, tough, colloquial, devious, yet honourable. (These two are practically the only pair still stuck together as one entry.) 2. John Rebus (series, Ian Rankin): A character who develops well through the series. 3. Hoke Moseley (series, Charles Willeford): Likeable, pragmatic. 4. Detective Sergeant Department of Unexplained Deaths (Factory series, Derek Raymond): Philosophical, melancholy, sentimental even--but insightful. 5. Angela Gennaro (series, Dennis Lehane): Principled, yet not averse to violence when necessary. 6. Lew Archer (series, Ross Macdonald): I discovered him early and for years read whatever Macdonalds I could find. 7. Travis McGee (series, John D. MacDonald): Ditto. Should I confess that for a while I used to get Ross and John D. (Archer and McGee) mixed up? Unbelievable, isn't it? 8. V.I. Warshawski (series, Sara Paretsky): She's independent, resourceful, intelligent. I've read 'em all, though not necessarily when they first came out. 9. Martin Beck (series, Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo): A great series, but rather hard to find. Beck and the other cast of characters go through a lot of changes over time. 10. Eddie Coyle (THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, George V. Higgins): Read the book recently. A well-drawn character. 11. Milo Milodragovitch (series, James Crumley): Just got on to Milo and Shugrue and read two in a row. For some reason, I like Milo better. 12. Dave Brandstetter (series, Joseph Hansen): Gay detective, good stories. 13. Marcus Clay (series, George Pelecanos): Very sympathetic in King Suckerman. Haven't read the others. 14. Hawk (Spenser series, Robert Parker): Maybe not the original psycho sidekick (was that decided?), but definitely a prototype. Not all that psycho, either. 15. C. W. Shugrue (series, James Crumley): See Milo above. Intriguing character. 16. Philip Marlowe (series, Raymond Chandler): I'm just returning to the source (read The Big Sleep a couple of weeks ago, plus an anthology of short stories) and rediscovering why Chandler is the master. He gives a lot less background on Marlowe than contemporary writers do of their protagonists, but the dialogue is priceless. 17. Chili Palmer (GET SHORTY and BE COOL, Elmore Leonard): A cool guy (well played by Travolta, I thought). Be Cool is not nearly as good as Get Shorty. 18. Frederick J. Frenger, Jr. (MIAMI BLUES, Charles Willeford): If you like psychos with a good side ... (Alec Baldwin was good in the part, too.) 19. Mouse (Easy Rawlins series, Walter Mosley): Not much to like about Mouse, really, but he's an interesting character. 20. Lionel Essrog (MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN, Jonathan Lethem): Very original voice.

Other favourites who didn't qualify Jane Whitefield (not Whitfield) (series, Thomas Perry): Not colloquial enough to be hardboiled, but I like her a lot. Knows martial arts and Indian lore, can work the system to give people new identities. George Smiley (series, John Le Carr驺 Too uppercrust to be hardboiled, but a wonderful character.


PS Primieval (223) should be Primeval

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# majordomo@icomm.ca.  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 04 Apr 2002 EST