Kip Morgan

Created by Louis L'Amour (pseudonym of Louis Dearborn LaMoore, 1908-1988)

KIP (his mom was a fan of Rudyard Kipling) MORGAN is a former prizefighter (light heavyweight) trying to make a go of it as a private detective in 1940's Los Angeles. He appeared in several short stories in the pulps of the era, written by author L'Amour, best known of course for his western novels.

Part of the stories' charm lay in their versimultude -- Lamour was once a fighter himself, and this previous career gives Kip a decided advantage: he can sure handle himself in a brawl, which comes in handy since he seems to get in a lot of them in the course of his investigations. the other advantage is that he has plenty of contacts among the often shifty denizens of the boxing demimonde.

The action-packed Kip stories, along with several other examples of L'Amour's short crime fiction all written for the pulps (including one for the legendary Black Mask) were eventually collected in 1983's The Hills of Homicide. Several featured another private eye, Neil Shannon.


  • "The detective genre fascinated me right from the beginning of my professional writing career. I had traveled around cities a good deal all over the world and of course one of the major differences between the detective story and the frontier story is that the former usually takes place around a city. I've also known many police officers through the years from whom I learned a great deal, I met a lot of characters through my professional prizefighting daysIn beginning to do detective stories, I just applied the situations that I knew and with which I had made myself familiar through experience or research."

-- Louis L'Amour


  • "Phantom Fighter" (January 1942, Thrilling Sports; aka "Dream Fighter")
  • "Dead Man's Trail" (August 1947, Thrilling Detective)
  • "Corpse on the Carpet" (May 1948, Popular Detective)
  • "With Death in his Corner" (December 1948, Thrilling Detective)
  • "Stay Out of My Nightmare"(November 1949, Detective Tales)
  • "The Street of Lost Corpses" (January 1950, Detective Tales)



Famous Writers Who Have Dipped Their Toes in the P.I. Pool

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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