Danylo Rudnicki
Created by Paul Grescoe (1939--)

Think of this as "Mr. Mom P.I." DANYLO RUDNICKI is a Ukranian widower with two teenage daughters, struggling to get by, working as an operative for Trans World security, an American-owned firm in Vancouver, British Columbia, that specializes in insurance claims.

Dan lives in a cedar-shake house in trendy Kitsilano with Larissa, Esther and a cat named Shevenko, and he tools around town in an ancient Austin mini. His best friend and sometime cohort is Vancouver Sun photographer Nadia, whom he met years ago when they were both students at Simon Frasier University (he has a degree in poly-sci).

At 5'7", with a decidedly soft-boiled nature and his heart planted firmly on his sleeve, Danylo may not like much of a threat, but he's a crafty, determined detective with a real talent for pissing off the wrong people (the cops, his employees, the bad guys).

Maybe it's his sense of humour -- as Nadia points out, he's quite fond of some truly dreadful, horrid, excruciatingly bad puns, especially his own, and he has no compunction about sharing them. And he's been guilty of some real groaners. But personally, I find that hard to believe. Likew, everyone loves puns, right? I mean, gee, how could you not love a guy like that?

An appealling character, I thought this guy might be a real contender, but Grescoe only wrote two books in the series. Still, definitely the best Ukranian-Canadian private eye around.

But, amazingly enough, the Grescoe name has returned. In 2001, Paul's son, Taras, published Sacré Blues: An Unsentimental Journey Through Quebec, a great non-fiction book about Quebec and Montreal that's almost as much fun to read as it is to live here.

UNDER OATH

  • "A bizarre tale well told...Rudnicki could become a most welcome descendant of Philip Marlowe."
    -- Victoria Times-Colonist, on
    Flesh Wound

  • "Some detective, this Dan Rudnicki. He spells his last name Rudnicki, which is a fairly common Polish name. Being Ukrainian, the name should be Rudnyckyj. I'd hire an illiterate like that, no way! Oh well, Thomas Banacek, who was light years ahead of this shoegum, was Polish and spelled his name the Czech way, Banacek. In Polish it should be Banaczek. Go figure."
    -- Martin Serkosky, great-great grandson of a Polish Rudnicki

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Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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