As long as this subject has come up, I hope I'll be forgiven for linking to this entry in my "I Like 'Em Tough" column from the MYSTERICAL-E website. It mentions Donald Hamilton at some length, along with hybrid practitioners as Elmore Leonard, Loren Estleman, Robert B. Parker, etc. You can find it here:
I've linked to it before, but it may be new to some of you.
By the way, apropos of nothing to do with this particular thread, Archie Goodwin WAS a licensed private eye. Indeed, during the multi-volume Arnold Zeck saga (Zeck being the Moriarty of the Wolfe series, much as Archie is its Watson and Inspector Cramer its Lestrade), when Wolfe suddenly dropped out of sight, hung out his own shingle and operated as a one-man agency.
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