Walter Brackett
Created by Derek Marlowe (1938-1996)

WALTER BRACKETT is a British-born P.I., a middle-aged widower not getting any younger, down on his luck and a long, long way from home in Derek Marlowe's 1974 standalone classic, Somebody's Sister. He's your typical downbeat gumshoe, operating a slowly failing agency in San Francisco. His former partner is in a rest home, and Brackett dutifully visits every week.

It's upon returning from one of those weekly visits that Brackett finds the cops waiting -- evidently a young girl who was killed in a traffic accident on the Golden Gate Bridge had his business card on her. The girl, it turns out, was once a potential client. Already curious, Brackett readily accepts an invitation from the only witness to the "accident" to come see him at his hotel, only to discover the witness has been murdered.

It's a good, solid story, a clever tale well told, with several intriguing twists, and Brackett is an appeallingly hard-boiled character, likable and sympathetic, but tough when it comes to the crunch, a character I really wouldn't have minded reading more about..

Alas, Marlowe (his real name?), a British thriller writer probably best known for the leCarre-esque spy novel Dandy in Aspic (1964), chose not to make Brackett into as series character.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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