Timothy Cone

Created by Lawrence Sanders (1920-98)

"Listen, I just don't like people who think they own the world."

-- Timothy Cone, explaining his passion for justice, in Timothy's Game

TIMOTHY CONE's a big, tall, scrawny kinda guy, eccentric and obsessive as all get out, a loner with stooped shoulders, a shambling gait, big ears, in constant need of a shave.

Yep, we're deep into Lawrence Sanders territory here, but Timothy's a far cry from the dapper Archie McNally or any of Sanders' other slick investigators. Cone's perpetually rumpled and seems to exist mostly on a diet of junkfood, Popov vodka, and other people's cigarettes. Yep, he's dirt cheap, too. Appealing, right?

The only reason anyone puts up with him is that he's a brilliant detective who routinely saves his employer, Holdering and Company, a firm specializing in corporate intelligence, millions of simolies.

Of course it helps that he's having an affair with his direct superior, Samantha Whatley, who's in charge of all investigators at Holdering, and doesn't seem particularly fond of Cone -- her favourite term of endearment seems to be "ass-hole."

The arraction, then, must be that he's, uh, "hung like a donkey." Like I said, we're in Sander's turf here.

A decorated Marine who saw action in Vietnam, Cone may be unorthodox, but part of his success must lie in his passion for "getting the bad guys." As he puts it, "Sure I believe in rules...I spent three years of my life with no rules, and I didn't like it. I want rules. Standards. If you can't measure up, get off the world. That's what we're dealing with: people who don't follow the rules. Fuck 'em!"

Timothy appeared in two collections of novellas, although, as far as I can figure, none of the novellas appeared anywhere but in the collections, except for one story that supposedly popped up in Playboy.

I dunno -- Sanders was no critics darling, but I rather liked these books.

Sanders created several other private eyes and investigators, including Samuel Todd, Joshua Bigg, Dora Conti and Wolf Lannihan.


  • "What Sanders doesn't know about insider trading, crooked takeover bids, blackmail, greenmail and the way cops and racketeers think and talk is nobody's business. And he knows quite a bit about human psychology, too."

-- Publishers' Weekly on Timothy's Game

  • "... unusually sloppy, thoroughly hackneyed offering from an uneven, crass mass-producer... Grossly synthetic and thoroughly unappealing: only for Sanders' most undiscriminating fans."

-- Kirkus Reviews on Timothy's Game


  • "The Wall Street Dick" (1987, The Timothy Files)
  • "The Whirligig Action"(1987, The Timothy Files)
  • "A Covey of Cousins" (1987, The Timothy Files)
  • "Run, Sally, Run" (July 1988, Playboy; also Timothy's Game)
  • "A Case of the Shorts" (1988, Timothy's Game)
  • "One From Column A" (1988, Timothy's Game)


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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