Archives: Lew Archer

The ‘private eye’ in literature begins with the real-life character of Eugene Francois Vidocq

January 25, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: fiction, history, journalism, Private eye, writing.

The place to look for the origins of the literary private eye is in 19th century France with the character of Eugene Francois Vidocq.

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Readers track down more crimes against English; Ross Macdonald; newsletter, Jan. 19, 2018

January 22, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: newsletter.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,379) on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Hi,  Winter has settled in in a big way in my part of the world. Plenty of time for indoor activities, the most important of which is reading. But that’s not the only one. Some writing and some painting • Read More »

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Ross Macdonald takes hard-boiled fiction to new levels of style and plot

January 18, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: fiction, journalism, Private eye, writers, writing.

Just when the reading world thought that the hard-boiled detective novel had reached its zenith with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, along comes Ross Macdonald. The similarities among the lives of Hammett, Chandler, and Macdonald (whose real name was Kenneth Millar) are striking and significant: All had difficult and disruptive childhoods. Each, for a time, • Read More »

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G is for Grafton: Mystery writer Sue Grafton succumbs to cancer at age 77

January 2, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, Private eye, writers, writing.

Sue Grafton’s private eye, Kinsey Millhone, has taken her place beside Hammett’s Sam Spade, Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe, and Macdonald’s Lew Archer.

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