Created by Michael Wiley
Michael Wiley's The Last Striptease (2007) won the Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin's Press Best First Private Eye Novel contest, and introduced ex-cop turned Chicago PI JOE KOZMARSKI, whose biggest strength may be that he's, well, just a regular joe.
I mean, he's got a mother, fer cryin' out loud, and a slew of family drama, including a troublesome young nephew he's taken in. But Joe has other problems on his plate to deal with as well. While on a routine surveillance job, he witnesses a murder; his former cop partner has been shot by the suspect, and a retired judge (and estranged family friend) has asked him to work on behalf of an employee of his, whose been accused of murdering his party girl girlfriend, a Vietnamese-American beauty with a taste for booze, drugs and stripping in front of cameras.
Joe muddles through it all with a plodding, dogged determination, making mistakes along the way (and not always learning from them), but that makes for a nice change from some of the over-boiled histronics that many of his more turbo-charged, infallible fellow fictional eyes indulge in, giving him an affable, regular Joe quality.
And it's served Joe well in two (and counting) sequels, including the Shamus-winning A Bad Night's Sleep (2011).
Michael Wiley is a lit professor at North Florida University specializing in 18th and early 19th century British literature, and also the creator of former death row inmate turned P.I. Franky Dast. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida.
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Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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