Peter Bragg

Created by Jack Lynch (1930-2008)

What happened?

A tough San Francisco gumshoe, very much at times in the Hammett mold, PETER BRAGG appeared in a string of paperback originals, starting with Bragg's Hunch (1981).

The second book in the series, 1982's The Missing and the Dead was nominated for a Shamus, and Pieces of Death, from later that same year, was nominated for an Edgar.

We're talking good stuff here, tough, taut and terse.

Unfortunately, for some reason later books in the series were packaged -- and subsequently dismissed -- as Men's Adventures, as the publisher tried to cash in, utilizing some pretty tacky and generic -- but instantly recognizable -- artwork not all that disimiliar from Mack Bolan, The Destroyer, The Exterminator, etc., etc. they also began supplying them with a rather generic titling sytem: The titles were the cities in which the action took place (ie: Seattle, San Quentin, Montertey, etc.).

It was an unfortunate decision, because the books were better than that. They were, in fact, damned good, featuring a hard but believable hero, and narrated in a straight, unpretentious manner, literate without being lofty, not unlike the work of Hammett himself.

And then, in 2002, Bragg returned in the self-published Wolf House, a decidedly off-beat late addition to the series that had the formerly no-nonsense private eye working with a psychic.

But for those hankering for the real deal, upstart publisher Brash Books began an ambitious series of reissues, bringing back the first seven original novels (along with their original titles) in September 2014, sporting some mighty tasty, Will Eisner-inspired covers.

Jack Lynch was a reporter who quit the newspaper business for a career as a mystery writer. He was born and raised in Seattle, graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in journalism, and worked as a reporter at several Seattle-area newspapers, before moving on to others in Iowa and Kansas. He moved to the Bay Area in the sixties, working for a while at a brokerage house and as a bartender, before going to work for the San Francisco Chronicle. He left the newspaper after many years to write the eight Bragg novels, earning one Edgar and two Shamus nominations.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Al for the heads up.

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