RARA-AVIS: My votes....

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 15 Apr 2002

Ah, gee, if I don't vote, I'll kick myself.

Maybe I'm more Machiavellian than most, but I couldn't help looking to see how other people voted, and acting accordingly, ignoring shoe-ins (do Chandler/Hammett/Macdonald really need my vote?) in order to boost my own particular favourites and/or obsessions. But still, it did surprise me how many of my other favourites and obsessions didn't make my final cut.

Big shock, I'm sure, that all of them are more or less private eyes, mostly in series. Except for the Bat dude, of course.

17. Batman (comics/novels, short stories, lunch boxes, action figures, etc., various authors) 19. Ben Perkins (series, Rob Kantner) 59. Cliff Hardy (series, Peter Corris) 67. Dan Fortune (series, Michael Collins) 72. Dave Brandstetter (series, Joseph Hansen) 120. Frank Clemons (trilogy, Thomas Cook) 152. Jack Liffey (series, John Shannon) 153. Jack Reacher (series, Lee Child) 165. Jo Gar (short stories, Raoul Whitfield) 173. John Marshall Tanner (series, Stephen Greenleaf) 201. Mac (series, Thomas Dewey) 215. Max Latin (short stories, Norbert Davis) 225. Mitch Roberts (series, Gaylord Dold) 234. Ms. Tree (comics, short stories, Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty) 246. Nick Stefanos (series, George Pelecanos) 249. Op with No Name (SOLOMON'S VINEYARD, Latimer) 253. Paul Pine (Halo series, Howard Browne) 292. Sid Halley (trilogy, Dick Francis) 297. Slot Machine Kelly (short stories, Dennis Lynds)

Write-in: Jim Rockford, by Stephen J. Cannell and Roy Huggins (two original novels, a couple of novelizations). I like my votes. I think they reflect a good cross-section of the P.I. genre, past, present, and in a few cases, hopefully future. Certainly, anyone who's gone through the trinity will find plenty of good reading in the suggestions above.

As for the validity of the whole exercise, hell, I don't know. I think a secret ballot would have produced far different, and possibly more honest, votes. For one thing, as miker suggested, I would have voted for Agatha Christie.


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