How Do You Like Your Detectives?


The young man's expression soon gave way to wariness as he looked Bruce over. There was a sudden alertness in those slim shoulders and Bruce figured the kid had seen some trouble. Enough to know Bruce looked like the kind of guy to be mixed up in it.

"Relax. I don't know you and no one's payin' me to." 

Bruce Shannon is rugged and rough around the edges. He drinks, he smokes, he has a healthy appetite (that goes for food, too), and he'll be damned if anyone's gonna give' im grief about it. He's lived too long and seen too much to worry about where he's gonna end up. The way he sees it, you're gonna reach the end of the line someday, so why not enjoy the ride?  He's an investigator for hire during the dirty 30s, doing what he needs to do to solve a case, but always in the interest of the client. For him, finding a balance between vice and virtue is a constant struggle.

In fiction and the movies, there are all kinds of detectives with a host of quirks and foibles. From Raymond Chandler's tarnished knight, Philip Marlowe; Dashiell Hammett's resilient, Sam Spade; to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous substance-abusing sleuth, Sherlock Holmes.

Philip Marlowe

Murder, My Sweet
Lindsay Marriott: I'm afraid I don't like your manner.
Philip Marlowe: Yeah, I've had complaints about it, but it keeps getting worse.

 Sam Spade

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: I haven't lived a good life. I've been bad, worse than you could know.
Sam Spade: You know, that's good, because if you actually were as innocent as you pretend to be, we'd never get anywhere.

 Nick Charles

Nick Charles: The murderer is right in this room. Sitting at this table. You may serve the fish.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes: ...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth...

Lt. Columbo

Paul Galesko: [gesturing at Columbo's camera] Lieutenant, may I ask, what's the meaning of that?
Lt. Columbo: You noticed. I'm sorry, sir, I tried to be inconspicuous.
Paul Galesko: Well, you failed, miserably.

Adrian Monk

Bingo Addict: Do you want to rub my lucky troll? It's good luck. 
Adrian Monk: Uh, no, thank you. 
Bingo Addict: Go ahead. Rub the troll. 
Adrian Monk: No thank you. Uh, I've been rubbing trolls all day. 
Bingo Addict: If you don't rub the troll, it's bad karma. 
[Adrian finally resorts to rubbing the troll aggressively with his shirt sleeve]

William Murdock

Constable George Crabtree: Oh, sir! You have to try one of these. I've had four already this morning; it's the damnedest stuff.
Inspector William Murdoch: What is it?
Constable George Crabtree: Coffee! I've only ever heard of it. Big in Europe, apparently.
Inspector William Murdoch: [Murdoch tastes it and grimaces] Terribly bitter.
Constable George Crabtree: I thought so too at first, but it grows on you.
Inspector William Murdoch: Why on earth would they serve this when we have tea? I don't see *this* catching on.
Constable George Crabtree: Oh, I wouldn't be so sure, sir."

So what's your favorite type of detective? Hardboiled PI? Victorian Sleuth? Urban Maverick? Do like them sinful or sweet? Inquiring minds want to know.

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