Re: RARA-AVIS: Just curious

From: George Upper (
Date: 23 Apr 2002

--- "Sara L. Bickleigh" <> wrote:
> "Christian fiction" is booming, or so my friends who
> read it tell
> me, and I know evangelical writers of varying
> degrees of skill
> have turned out inspirational versions of just about
> every genre
> except hard horror

Revelations? Well, except for the happy ending, anyway.

> and porn.

Song of Solomon?

> So I'm wondering: Has
> any writer of
> faith-compatible fiction produced a [I'm running out
> of
> adjectives] PI?
> SLBickleigh
> (I will now, among jeers, catcalls and, for all I
> know, whistles,
> slip back into lurkdom.)


There are a number of PI's to whom religion is important, although not in the way (protestant evangelical) that I think you mean. Matt Scudder and his buddy Balou end up at Mass every once in a while, and Dave Robicheaux is a pretty devout Catholic himself when he isn't on a drinking binge. A lot of popular PI fiction is desidedly atheistic in outlook--the Spenser novels come to mind--whereas a writer like John D. MacDonald is exceptionally humanistic.

That said, I know I've seen some Christian PI stuff around--back in my younger days, I started a hard-boiled novel along these line, actually, but never finished it, and the world is a better place for it, believe me. It's tough to balance turning the other cheek with the toughness that hard-boiled requires (and don't even get me started on colloquialisms). I know, I know...turning the other cheek is actually the tougher choice. But it doesn't FEEL that way.

Anyway, a quick check of in the intrigue & suspense section shows plenty of intrigue & suspense, and a few mysteries, but no PI's. Maybe I need to dust off that old manuscript after all.


===== George C. Upper III, Editor The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal

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