Sid "Silky" Pincus
Created by Leo Rosten (1908-97; aka Leonard Q. Ross)

Ever wondered when someone would create a nice Jewish P.I.? Well, look no further, bubeleh.

SILKY PINCUS is a genuinely nice guy, an ex-cop and Vietnam vet who runs a Manhattan detective agency called Watson and Holmes, Incorporated, with his partner, Michael X. Clancy, located at 60th and 1st. He also owns a huge mutt called Isadore Goldberg, formerly owned by a rabbi, who only obeys commands spoken to him in Yiddish, and will only eat Kosher dog food.

Fortunately, the other half of the team, Mike, although Irish, is also pretty handy with Yiddish -- he speaks it better than most New York Jews.

There are two books in the series, Silky (1979) and King Silky! (1980). Both are full of action and humour, a mix that isn't always that easy to pull off. Sure, the jokes are often excessively broad and a bit heavy on the wink-wink nudge-nudge, and the seemingly endless stream of malapropisms, fractured English, bad puns and Yiddish phrases can get tiring, but somehow Rosten makes it work, for the most part. And there's more than enough shooting and killing to satisfy anyone just looking for some good ol' private eye action. These ARE fun books. Really.

Author Leo Rosten came to the States from Poland at the ripe old age of two, and has received a Ph.D from the University of Chicago, did post-grad work at the London School of Economics and lectured on English and Political Science at such big-shot places as Stanford, UCLA, Yale, and New York University. He's the author and/or editor of over thirty books, including such novels as Captain Newman, M.D. and The Education of Hyman Kaplan (and its sequel Oh Kaplan! My Kaplan!) Anyone perplexed by the amount of Yiddish in Silky! will be relieved to know Rosten has thoughtfully included a glossary in the back, using information garnered, no doubt, from his books The Joys of Yiddish and Leo Rosten's Treasury of Jewish Quotations. He also wrote the short story upon which the film noir classic The Dark Corner , featuring private eye Bradford Galt, was based.


  • "... (the Silky! books) are like dry martinis: exciting, spirit-lifting and intoxicating."
    -- Baker and Nietzel, in One Hundred and One Knights
  • "Marvelous originality...irressistible!"
    -- William F. Buckley, Jr.


  • Silky! (1979)
  • King Silky! (1985)

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith and Dale Stoyer.

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