Northtown Eclipse: hardboiled and harrowing

Original and inventive, Northtown Eclipse takes the typical crime cliché of a seedy private eye and subverts the standard hardboiled detective story into something significantly more substantial. Author Robb White twists the tropes of the genre to tell a much more meaningful story, one which explores the human condition at its most personal – a…

The Fairfax Incident: a PI in the Prohibition era

The title sounds like an X-Files episode, doesn’t it? Instead this is a ‘golden age’ gumshoe story. It kicks off as a private investigation into the apparent suicide of a wealthy businessman – but soon it’s obvious that there’s a lot more going on than a bit of slap and tickle on the side… New…

Missing: pulp fiction on the spooky side

A short novel or a long short story, this well-written gumshoe yarn takes a staple of the old-school PI genre and mixes it with something rather more… sinister. The ex-cop protagonist is, inevitably, something of a loner, and author William Markham pays homage to all the genre requirements – a regular old-style diner for breakfast…

Vicious Dogs: more bark than bite

In the best tradition of the two-time-loser gumshoe detective, private eye Derek Lasker is one step away from sleeping on the streets. He’s run out of cash. He hasn’t had a client in months. He’s no clue where his next low-fat latte might be coming from and he’s reached a crisis of personal hygiene due…

More Faces: short, sharp stabs

Murderers, thieves, political killers and private investigators – these are the people who populate Simon Maltman’s new collection of 12 short stories. I say ‘new’, but if you’ve read his novel, ‘A Chaser On The Rocks’ then you’ll recognise Billy Chapman, a private investigator who plies his trade in the 1940s while Belfast suffered its…

March Violets: a philosophical investigation

The very first of Philip Kerr’s WW2 Bernie Gunther investigations arrives as a republished stand-alone ebook (previously it was packaged up with The Pale Criminal and A German Requiem to form the ‘Berlin Noir’ trilogy) with perfect timing, just as the 12th book in the series is launched. It’s a clever move. March Violets is…

Archie Lemons: died a death

There’s a great story in this snappy detective novel. A nifty murder mystery, with an unlikely anti-hero PI, a sassy female sidekick and a cleverly constructed plot. In the manner of a modern day Sherlock Holmes, Lemons (based in sweltering California and hating every second of its artificial sheen), attends murder scenes, draws sweeping conclusions…