Created by Michael Brett (1921 -- 2000)
He's a big, handsome lug of a guy with black hair and blue eyes. He's appropriately cynical and has a habit of talking to himself. He likes Scotch, good cigars and Samantha Conners, a tour guide at the UN. He tools around town in a three year old Chevy and has been known to use a bug or two. But he's also been known to take a slightly more hands-on approach to cracking a case, so don't mess with him.
His name's PETE McGRATH, and he's a New York City eye who appeared in ten tight, hard and unjustly forgotten paperback originals from the sixties. But if you were expecting these to be some sort of patchouli-scented peace-and-love swinging sixties books, you might be disappointed -- just check out some of the titles... I mean, really, Death of a Hippie?
Lie a Little, Die a Little?
Slit My Throat Gently?
Michael Brett wrote ten McGrath novels in all, as well as a few standalone novels like Diamond Kill and Jungle. He also wrote short stories, appearing in such digests of the time as Alfred Hitchcock Magazine, Manhunt, Double-Action Detective, Mystery Stories and Guilty Detective Story Magazine, and co-wrote Toma, with police detective David Toma, a novelization of the fictionalized TV show about his career.
Brett is often confused with the British author, Miles Barton Tripp, who used "Michael Brett" as pseudonym, but these were entirely different men. A recent message I received from a Rory Brett settles the issue once and for all. Pete McGrath's creator "is not British -- he was born in Patterson, NJ and lived his entire life in NY. I ought to know -- I'm his son."
Rory also cleared up another matter: Michael Brett is also the Mike Brett who wrote two amusing novels featuring a private eye named Sam Dekkers, although Hubin's lists the Mike Brett name as a pseudonym of Leslie Frederick Brett. But again, according to Rory:
AND THEN SOME WEIRD STUFF HAPPENED...