RARA-AVIS: Re: Bart Spicer article at Noir Originals

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 13 Aug 2006


Excellent article on Spicer. I was particularly pleased by your comprehensive coverage of his post-Wilde work.

One thing about Carney Wilde that has always struck me is how Spicer turns the "Marlowe Paradigm" on its head.

Wilde starts out as a firm follower of the paradigm
(one-man agency, 1st person narrator, ex-cop, etc) in all respects save age (and, at 29, he misses that by a single scant year).

Yet over the course of the series, Wilde builds his tiny agency from a one-man hole-in-the-wall office to one of the largest investigative/security agencies in Pennsylvania (I wonder if it's since been absorbed by Securitas, like Pinkerton, Burns, Wells/Fargo. etc), completing undercutting the lone wolfe aspect of the PI mythos.

The other thing is that, despite all the murders he solves, Wilde is seen doing things that real PI's might reasonably do. Security at a department store, responding to a bank robbery alarm that his company has installed, etc.

The building of a PI agency from a one-man show to a huge, successful business won't be seen again until Max Allan Collins's historical Nate Heller series, and the more realistic look at PI work (with the possible exception of Stanely Ellin's THE EIGHT CIRCLE) won't be seen again until Joe Gores's DKA series.


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