Created by Neil Albert
DAVE GARRETT is a disbarred lawyer turned Philadelphia private eye, not exactly setting the world on fire. He drives a Honda Civic with more than a few years and miles on it, and he owns two guns, although he confesses he’s never really had to use either. His disbarment is, likewise, not the result of any sort of high drama but simply a rather sad set of circumstances and poor judgment -- he got caught trying to take his wife’s final law exam (she suffered from anxiety attacks). So he lost his job... and eventually his wife.
Despite all of this -- or perhaps because of it -- Dave’s become a man of principle, an obsessively honest, decent guy working as a detective, intent on doing the right thing. Oh, he’s still willing to bend a few small rules, if he has to. But he tries to keep his word, and he’s uncommonly loyal to his clients; and his small, one-man agency has thus earned a good reputation in Philadelphia law circles.
And the first novel, 1991's The January Corpse, has got to be one of the most memorable private eye novels of the nineties I've come across, with one hell of a corkscrew ending. But the whole series is well worth reading. Fans of Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer and Stephen Greenleaf's John Marshall Tanner in particular will be impressed. An excellent series; intelligent, provocative, literate.
-- Bonnie Montgomery, from The Rap Sheet
This piece from May 2008, which appeared in The Rap Sheet, pays tribute to one of my favourite "forgotten" novels, in response to a challenge from Patti Abbott.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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