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

From: Ed Lynskey (
Date: 13 Aug 2006

Thanks for the good words, Jim. I agree with your comments on Spicer's PI Carney Wilde series. They are special reads and feel like "real" people. I recall liking BLUES FOR THE PRINCE very much. Spicer was a big jazz fan. His step-daughter also mentioned that his CIA buddies were the source material for his spy novels. Plus, I believe he did some intelligence work during WW II.


--- JIM DOHERTY <> wrote:

> Ed,
> 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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