ACE CARPENTER is a Southern California P. I. created by Hamilton T. Caine (actually Stephen Smoke, founder and editor of Mystery Magazine). In fact, Smoke worked out the character in a handful of short stories in that magazine, before making the jump to novels.
Ace's debut, 1981's Carpenter, Detective, was nominated for a Best Paperback Original Shamus, and there was a sequel, Hollywood Heroes, that popped up five years later.
As I recall, I enjoyed the books, partcularly the first one. I thought they were pretty good solid P.I. fare, and they certainly deserved better than Living to Die, a criminally inept 1991 B-flick starring (and directed by) Wings Hauser.
Not that it's apparently slowed down Smoke, any. He's become something of a renaissance man, with his fingers in a lot of pies. He's a musician and songwriter, author of over two dozen books, including the inspirational hard-boiled P.I. series featuring Nick Sands, and filmmaker/multi-media artist. Besides founding the short-lived Mystery Magazine, he published one of the first online mystery magazines, Hamilton Caine's Mystery Digest, on CompuServe way back in 1984.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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