Steve Cranmer & Butch Maneri
Created by Steve Knickmeyer

Middle-aged STEVE CRANMER was a cop who later worked for a "classified government agency" where he was injured in the line of duty. He now walks with the aid of Demerol and a cane, which he occasionally uses as a weapon if he needs to. When the first book, Straight opens he has been operating as a P.I. in Oklahoma City for 18 months.

His much younger assistant, BUTCH MANERI, is a "slim, well-muscled redhead" whose professional background we aren't told. They met when Cranmer, working a case, proved that Maneri's sister was guilty of murder -- hardly the usual meeting cute scenario. No wonder their relationship is refered to as "an odd kinship"

Nonetheless, Maneri is very capable, despite his his outward hipster persona (and his proclivity for skirt-chasing). In one memorable instance, he congratulates Cramner on his testmony on the stand by calling out -- in court -- "Way to fire, Dad. You done good."

Cranmer and Maneri often work the same case but independently of each other. Neither is very admirable. Cranmer is a cynical hard-boiled survivor who looks out for number one, whileManeri is a misogynist and a user of women. They are very effective in their work, however.

Knickmeyer claims he was influenced by Elmore Leonard, although if he was, he was certainly ahead of the curve in 1976. But the writing certainly recalls the deadpan drollness of Leonard's work. Quentin Tarintino, Estleman's Peter Macklin and Block's Keller ( for Straight) also come to mind.


  • "I notice that a certain Steve Knickmeyer has reviewed several mysteries recently, including The Hot Kid by Leonard, which is set in Oklahoma, as are the Cramer and Maneri books. Did I ever tell you how much I love serendipity? I wonder if it's the same guy who wrote two P.I. books nearly 30 years ago?"
    -- Eric Chambers

  • "I wonder if this is the same Steve Knickmeyer, a managing newspaper editor in Phoenix, who was sued by several laid-off reporters in the nineties over statements he had made to the Columbia Journalism Review. Knickmeyer allegedly referred to the laid-off reporters as "fat, lazy, incompetent and slow," although he claims he was speaking about reporters who had leaked information to another paper."
    -- the editor


Report respectfully submitted by Eric Chambers.

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