First Appearances of Classic Private Eyes

Robert J. Randisi, Editor Dutton Books $22.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-525-94104-0
This indispensable collection is not quite what the title advertises, for many of these PIs cracked their first cases in novels. No matter, for editor Randisi (author of the Nick Delvecchio and Miles Jacoby series) has chosen topflight short-story debuts of bestselling sleuths (e.g., Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone and Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder) and 13 equally worthy PIs. In ""Out the Window,"" a pre-AA Scudder still drinks bourbon with his coffee. ""My hand was trembling slightly when I picked up the glass,"" he says. ""It was a little steadier when I set it down."" But the same guilt and sense of obligation that drive Scudder today are evident in this early work. Joe Gores introduced Daniel Kearney Associates in ""File #1: The Mayfield Case,"" in which a rookie investigator learns that even apparently simple cases can carry emotional risk. Carlotta Carlyle premiered in Linda Barnes's ""Lucky Penny."" Driving a cab to supplement her measly PI income, Carlotta must discover why a fare robbed her and promptly threw away the money. With award winners such as Michael Collins, Bill Pronzini, Marcia Muller, John Lutz, Loren D. Estleman, Sara Paretsky and others, this anthology is a must for mystery devotees and a perfect introduction for future fans. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 266 pages - 978-0-451-19016-1
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7871-2281-2
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