Re: RARA-AVIS: PI Novels fom 1960 to 1972?

Date: 06 May 2006


Re your request below:

> Aside from the two Macdonalds, Robert Parker, and
> Spillane, could you give me the titles of some good
> hardboiled PI novels published within the 1960 to
> 1972 timeframe?

Dennis Lynds, Bill Pronzini, Joseph Hansen, and (I think) Roger L. Simon all started within that timeframe.

Lynds's first Dan Fortune novel, the Edgar-winning ACT OF FEAR (as by "Michael Collins"), appeared in 1967, and Pronzini's first "Nameless" novel, THE SNATCH, in 1969. Lynds's first Kane Jackson novel, A DARK POWER
(as by "William Arden"), came out in '68 or '69.

Joseph Hansen's first Dave Brandstetter book, FADEOUT, was published in 1970.

I THINK the first Moses Wine novel, THE BIG FIX, just barely makes your cut, coming out in 1972. It was set during the '72 presidential election anyway. However, it might have been published in '73 or '74, just outside your timeframe.

A lot of authors who started in the '50's or earlier continued to be active in the '60's and early '70's. The most popular (aside from Spillane) was probably still Richard S. Prather. Any Shell Scott that was either published by Pocket Books or in hardcover by Trident appeared during your time frame. THE TROJAN HEARSE, published in '64, is set during the '68 presidential campaign.

Stephen Marlowe's Chet Drum also continued to be active until '68. Any novel in that series using the title pattern DRUM BEAT - [PLACE NAME or GIRL'S NAME] was published in the '60's.

Thomas B. Dewey's Mac continued to be popular in hardcover. A SAD SONG SINGING, set during the
"hootenanny" folk song vogue of the early '60's, is regarded by many as one of the best entries in the series. It seems to me that Dewey's PBO PI, Pete Schofield, might have made his debut in the '60's, but I'm not absolutely sure of that. There were certainly Schofield books that were published in the '60's.

Michael Avallone's Ed Noon, G.G. Fickling's Honey West, Talmage Powell's Ed Rivers, Frank Kane's Johnny Liddel, and Henry Kane's Pete Chambers all had at least one, and usually more, entries in their respective series published during your timeframe. In addition to continuing his Chambers series, Henry Kane actually introduced a new series character, Inspector MacGregor (NYPD honcho who retires and starts his own agency; hence a rank title instead of first name), in 1965 with THE MIDNIGHT MAN.

Those are just a few. Kevin can no doubt think of many more.

BTW, Robert B. Parker didn't introduce Spenser until 1974, so he's outside your timeframe.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 06 May 2006 EDT