Myron Bolitar
Created by Harlan Coben

One of the most popular recent series features sports agent MYRON BOLITAR. Nope, he's not a private eye in the traditional sense, but in the act of protecting and defending his clients' interests, he ventures into some pretty familiar gumshoe turf. Call him a troubleshooter/private eye, in the same way William DeAndreas' Matt Cobb or Spencer Dean's Don Cadee is. And the fact that Myron's smart-ass exterior hides a heart of pure mush makes him an even more appealing character.

A star college basketball player whose knee injury prevented him from turning pro, Myron turned to Harvard Law School grad and a second career as a big shot sports agent, whose clients seem to habitually get into some rather peculiar jams. The novels all take place in the sports milieu, offering behind-the-scenes look at some of the seedier aspects of that world, from merchandising to drug abuse. Even Myron seems to be addicted to some fiendish chocolate substance... Yoo-Hoo!

And, in true 90's fashion, Myron has a kickass sidekick for when the going gets tough: Win, a dapper, WASPy type who looks like he just stepped off the cover of GQ. But don't let that fool you. Imagine Spenser's Hawk, if he looked like Niles on television's Frasier.

Oh, and with a real job -- Win is also the "top producer" or "number one producer" at Lock-Horne Securities on Park Avenue. In fact, Myron rents office space from Win for his own company, MBSportsReps (the MB stands for Myron Bolitar). As well, Win manages the investments of Myron's clients.

Myron met Win when they both attended Duke, where they were recruited by the FBI, and served as undercover investigators (yeah, right!). According to Chapter 19 of Fade Away, "Myron and Win had worked on cases with a special and almost contradictory nature: high profile with theneed for undercover. They had been perfect for such situations--who, after all, would suspect a former basketball star and a rich, Main Line prep of being undercover agents? They could travel in whatever circles they wanted to and not raise suspicion. Myron and Win didn't have to create a cover; their reality was the best on the agency had. But Myron was never full-time with them. Win was their fair-haired boy; Myron was more a utility fielder Win called in when he thought necessary."

Not that Myron doen't need a little help himself. Besides Win, he relies on Esperanza, his saucy business associate. A gorgeous Latin woman, "Esperanza had been spotted by a modeling scout when she was seventeen, but her career took a few weird turns and she ended up making it big in the world of professional wrestling, where she'd been known as Little Pocohontas, the jewel of the Fablulous Ladies of Wrestling (FLOW) organization."

Also helping out occasionally, though often against his will, is NYPD homicide detective Roland Dimonte, Myron's reluctant police contact. Uncouth, sloppy, politically incorrect, he has the fashion sense of ...well, I'll let you decide: "He was out of uniform, but you wouldn't ever call him 'plainclothes.' He wore a green silk shirt and jeans that were too tight and too dark blue. The bottoms were tucked into purple snake-skin boots; the color faded in and out with any angle change, like some psychedelic Hendrix poster from the sixties. Dimonte gnawed on a toothpick, a habit he picked up, Myron surmised, when he spotted himself doing it in the mirror and decided it looked tough."

Jessica Culver is Myron's on-again/off-again girlfriend. She's a gorgeous woman and a famous writer who flits in and out of Myron's life, usually with disastrous results.

And, of course, there's Myron himself, who has more little surprises and quirks up his sleeve than a dog has fleas. I mean, how many kick-ass detectives still live with their parents? In the basement, no less? A fun series, winner of various Edgar, Shamus and Anthony awards, which started as PBO's, but quickly graduated to hardcover, with plenty of dry humour, right-on wisecracks and tilt-a-whirl plotting.

And if you dig Myron, you've got to check out the Mickey Bolitar young adult novels, featuring Myron's trouble-prone teenage nephew, first introdcued in Live Wire (2011), who moves in with Myron.

UNDER OATH

  • "If you've been entertaining doubts about the future of the mystery -- fugeddaboutit! It's in good hands with Harlan Coben!"
    -- Lawrence Block

IN THE NEWS

  • (February 2000) Myron McBeal? According to Harlan Coben's newsletter, Fox Television has optioned his crime-busting sports agent Myron Bolitar for a TV series. "Things are progressing nicely which means something should go wrong any day now. Twentieth Century Fox Studios hired me to write a one-hour pilot, which wasn't as bad as having your wisdom teeth pulled out, though I may find similarities. So now we'll see what happens. No, I know nothing about casting, though I still see Myron as Emo Phillip's comeback role."

NOVELS

SHORT STORIES

  • "The Rise and Fall of Super D" (2006; included in the U.S.edition of Coben's 2006 standalone thriller, The Innocent)

RELATED LINKS

  • The Myron Bolitar Web Site
    A website dedicated to Myron Bolitar and Harlan Coben, maintained by Paul Ullucci. You can also subscribe to Harlan's newsletter.
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  • The Only Good Agent is a Fictional Agent
    Myron Bolitar himself is interviewed by Gary Shelton, the popular sports columnist at the St. Petersburg Times. Find out what Myron has to say on a variety of topics, including his big date with Tonya Harding. Only thing though, is this this Shelton guy spoils the ending to "Darkest Fear." Someone should tell him not to give away endings.

Contributed by Kevin Burton Smith, with a lot of help from Marcus Lindy Sortijas.


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