Great reading for anyone who writes or read crime fiction, or is simply interested in what real private investigators actually do, Writing PIs has a fine retort to that recent NY Times review of Inherent Vice masquerading as a think piece declaring the death of detective fiction. Check it out.
One of the Guns, Gams and Gumshoes, Colleen, just finished writing an article about female private eyes in literature, so it was surprising to read the November 14, 2014 article “The Death of the Private Eye” by John Semley in the New York Times and see references to only men being shamuses in hardboiled fiction.
There Were Lady Dicks, Too
The hardboiled private dicks in pulp fiction’s hard-hitting, heart-pumping stories included numerous female characters as the main protagonists, although you’d never know it from Semley’s text:
“The hard-boiled gumshoes were men…”
“If the private dick has all but disappeared, something of his DNA is woven into the biology of the authority-bucking hackers…”
“This is the real essence of the P.I….despite his venality…”
Miss Marple: An Amateur Sleuth
Semley does, however, give a passing nod to Miss Marple (“the old-school gumshoe feels as irrelevant as Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple felt a generation before”)…
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