RARA-AVIS: Re: The Annual P.I. Obit

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 22 Feb 2006

Bob wrote:

> I've lurked for a while with pleasure, but this is the first time I've
> posted. Several have mentioned that the PI needs to catch up with the
> times, specifically technologically, but I'd say the PI novel
> (certainly with Chandler, Hammett, etc., if less so in the procedural)
> has always been about voice, and what is needed is not references to
> Paypal, but an entertaining voice that clearly exists in the world in
> which Paypal also exists. Once that voice is found, the details tend
> to take care of themselves. Nail down a modern voice as vivid and as
> funny as Marlowe's was, and I could listen to him talk about his
> computer monitor all day long.

By George, I think he's got it. That's exactly how I feel.

And I think most of the guys I mentioned in my last post have that voice, or are rapidly developing it.

By the way, technology may change, but let's not pretend computers are omnipotent-- or infallible. All the databases in the world can't tell you where somebody is -- only where they're supposed to be. And some sorts of cases -- runaways and bodyguard work spring to mind immediately -- can't be solved by computer work alone (if at all, in some cases).

Eventually, someone has to push back the keyboard, get off their ass and do the actual legwork.

And readers will follow them every step of the way, if the voice is worth hearing.

Kevin Burton Smith AT LAST! The Thrilling Detective Web Site Holiday 2006 Issue With Sarah Weinman, Mike MacLean, The Cheap Thrill Awards and Detective Fork http://www.thrillingdetective.com

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Feb 2006 EST