Eddie Dancer
Created by Mike Harrison

Canada's Cowtown finally gets its own hard-boiled eye.

At first glance, EDDIE DANCER is just your typical tough-guy, wise-ass private eye. What he has going for him is that Calgary, Alberta is his home turf -- a decidedly fresh setting for a P.I. series (the only other Calgary eye I can think of is television's Tom Stone, which ran for a couple of years a few years back on the CBC).

After a brief career (two years!) with the city cops, Dancer decides to go solo. In his first recorded case, 2005's All Shook Up, he's approached by a bank robber to track down his missing partner (and the missing share of a score). He turns him down, but gets sucked into the case anyway when the allegedly missing partner pops up asking him to track down the first guy. From there, it's just a short hop, step and a jump into a morass of purportedly retired bikers, scummy tatoo parlours, a possible scam invlolving the penal system and a nasty plague that seems to be striking down the city's hookers.

It's a good thing, then, that Eddie has his good buddies Nosher and Splosher, a pair of odentical twin Cockney auto mechanics, and the deadly Danny Many Guns, to watch his back, in a debut that shows a lot of promise, the "out there" pulpiness of the plot held in check by the down-to-earth setting, some darkly humourous scenes that bode well for the series and a few honest-to-goodness fresh ideas -- like who was the last P.I. to get around on a motorcycle?

Unfortunately, in the sequel Wild Thing (2006), Eddie eschews the earthbound charms of Canada's Cowtown for a road trip to England to help out a psychologist buddy who has been accused of several murders. Seems it all has something to do with a 200-year old manuscript by hypnotist Franz Anton Mesmer who "may have been dabbling in dark forms of mental manipulation."

Mike Harrison, who was born in the U.K., is a full-time realtor in Alberta.

NOVELS

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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