FIRST CASES: The Private Eyes by Robert J.--Ed. Randisi

FIRST CASES: The Private Eyes

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Most of the 15 stories (1967-92) collected here aren't true debuts, since the detectives of Michael Collins, Lawrence Block, John Lutz, Marcia Muller, Loren D. Estleman, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, Max Allan Collins, Jeremiah Healy, Benjamin F. Schultz, and editor Randisi had already appeared in novels predating these short stories. But all these pieces--like the debuts of Bill Pronzini's Nameless, Joe Gores's Dan Kearny Agency, Rob Kantner's Ben Perkins, and Linda Barnes's Carlotta Carlyle--are doubly fascinating in retrospect. Randisi's concept can't miss, since detectives like Kearny and Perkins who hit the ground running are a joy to revisit, while the lesser efforts starring Sharon McCone and Nate Heller leave you marveling how the characters grew after such routine beginnings. A sequel promising non-p.i. debuts should be equally collectible.

Pub Date: March 18th, 1996
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dutton