Re: RARA-AVIS: Just curious

Date: 23 Apr 2002


Re your question below:

> . . . I'm wondering: Has
> any writer of
> faith-compatible fiction produced a [I'm running out
> of
> adjectives] PI?

There were a series of PI novels produced for the Evangelical Christian market that touted themselves as being in the "tradition of Hammett, Chandler, and Macdonald." Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the writer. They're the only honest-to-God contemporary PI novels I've ever seen in this market. If you're really interested, I'll try to find out.

Jim Walker, who writes a series of historical mysteries for the Evangelical market (i.e. MURDER ON THE TITANIC) also wrote a series of westerns featuring a frontier era PI named Zac Cobb, a former Confederate soldier who moves to California and becomes an undercover investigator for Wells Fargo.

I've generally enjoyed Walker's books, FWIW.

There are at least three series of PI novels that have a Christian, but not Evangelical protestant, orientation. One is by William Love. It's basically a clerical take on the Nero Wolfe series. The two main characters are a wheelchair-bound Roman Catholic bishop who solves murders with the help of his Archie Goodwin-like administrative assistant, a smart-aleck young man who is both Jewish and a licensed PI. Love, like the late William Kienzle, is a laicized Catholic priest. If you like Rex Stout, these are clever, well-written re-workings of the Wolfe/Goodwin paradigm.

Shamus-winner Terrence Flaherty writes a series about Owen Keane, who is a sort-of PI (haven't read these so I'm not sure of the format), who is either a former Catholic seminarian or a laicized Catholic priest.

Kevin Smith can give you better info on the third. It features a nun (or maybe a former nun) who's a licensed PI.


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