Leo Haggerty
Created by Benjamin M. Schutz

One of the better post-Spenser PI's, LEO HAGGERTY is a Washington, D.C.-based private investigator with a mustache, a receding hairline à la Jack Nicholson, and enough little quirks to make him worth remembering. Like Spenser, he's a bit of a renaissance man, obsessed with the moral dilemmas of his profession, a literate jock-type with a sometime sidekick who's more ruthless and has less scruples than he has (Arnie Kendall, a Vietnam vet/martial arts expert/bounty hunter) and a smart, sexy girlfriend who helps our hero understand himself (Samantha Clayton, a successful novelist). Even better, though, is that Leo tends to be a little less smug and flippant, and a little bit harder and more cynical than his Beantown rival. Unfortunately, while Spenser keeps rolling on, Leo seems to have disappeared.

Schutz has won a couple of Shamuses for Leo. A Tax in Blood won for Best Novel in 1987 and "Mary, Mary, Shut the Door" won in 1993 for Best Short Story. He's also been nominated a few times. And, in my exceedingly humble opinion, A Fistful of Empty is possibly one of the best PI novels of all time. So, the question is, "What ever happened to this guy?"

The answer, it seems, is that Ben Schutz is still around, but not writing novels anymore. He does occasionally pop up with a short story, though, including the excellent "Whatever It Takes," which appeared in the October 2000 issue of EQMM, and introduced private eyes/process servers Sean and Matt Ellis. And I came this close to meeting him at the 2001 Bouchercon





Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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