Phil Beaumont & Jane Turner
Created by Walter Satterthwait
Now, here's a truly historic private eye series. PHIL BEAUMONT is an op for the Pinkerton Agency (shades of Hammett!), who often works with rookie JANE TURNER, who partially narrates the stories in a series of chatty, revealing, and amusing letters to an old school chum. Beaumont, named in homage to the Hammett hero, narrates in alternating chapters with Jane, adapting a terse, dry style that Hammett would have used.
Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini drop by in the first book, Escapade," and Ernest Hemmingway, Gertrude Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas, not to mention Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, and Ford Madox Ford pop up in Masquerade, set in 1920's Paris.
At first glance, these may seem like rather light-flavored entertainment in a romantic/historial/mystery vein, but readers beware: there's something dark and unsettling moving under the surface of these novels that has surprisingly sharp teeth, and that's nowhere more apparent than in the third book in the series, 2005's Calvacade, which finds the two working the mean streets of pre-WWII Germany, investigating an assassination attempt on... Adolf Hitler. Highly recommended.
Author Satterthwait also writes about contemporary San Diego sleuth Joshua Croft.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Big Al Hubin for the heads-up on this one.
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