(aka "Matt Shade)
Created by G.B. Joyce
"I played with a bunch of names you'd recognize: Gretz, Mess, Mario. I played against all the others who mattered. I didn't last long in the league: 457 career games. One year near the end I got called up from Hartford for a single game and was told I was being sent back down before I untied my skates. You can buy my rookie card for a nickel. For every league game I played, I played two in the bus leagues. My last four seasons I spent on a European tour--Germany, Switzerland, Russia, and Finland.
-- Brad reveals his career highlights in The Code
"Congratulations, Dad, you're officially a dick!"
-- Jules (on television) finds out her dad has been
Former pro hockey player BRAD SHADE has bounced all over the NHL (including a stint playing for the Habs), never quite becoming the superstar he'd always wanted to be, but never quite giving up either. But after years of running down his hockey dreams, he finally hangs up his skates for good and takes a job as a talent scout for the LA Kings.
Brad's a pretty cool guy, all things considered, possessed of a sharp wit, and a wry observer of the game both on and off the ice. Oh sure, during his career on the ice, and even post-hockey, he's been a bit of an asshole, but he's getting better.
Then, in the first book in the series, The Code (2012), Brad takes on a new gig -- that of amateur sleuth, when beloved coach "Red" Hanratty, a hockey legend, is brutally murdered at a charity game in in Peterborough, Ontario.
It was an auspicious debut, and did well enough, particularly in Canada, to spawn a sequel, The Black Ace (2013), with Brad once again stumbling into a death investigation -- this time the apparent suicide of a former teammate
But how many bodies can a hockey scout stumble across before the police get suspicious -- or readers start throwing books against walls?
So, in the Canadian TV series based on the books, the disappointingly titled Private Eyes (Really? Could they get any more generic?), Brad (now called "Matt" and played by Jason Priestley) finally gets a good reason to find dead bodies. He teams up with a female gumshoe from Toronto, Angie Everett of Everett Investigations. After a string of diminishing career prospects (including an embarrassing stint as a sportscaster) and a few other gaffes that haven't done his personal reputation any favours in the years since he stopped playing, hooking up with the squeaky clean Angie seems like a good way to redeem himself in the public eye. And he seems to have a knack for detective work. Mind you, it doesn't hurt that Angie -- you'll be shocked to discover -- is rather attractive.
In fact, in a candid interview, Priestley admitted they were "trying to make a low budget version of Moonlighting." Or was it Castle?
And this being Canada, Brad/Matt had to have a child, a precocious (but legally blind) daughter, 14-year old Juliet. But you can call her "Jules."
And if you thought the title of the show was generic, wait'll you hear the show's theme.
Yep. It's Hall and Oates' "Private Eyes."
Yet, somehow, I kinda enjoyed it. It's no great work of art, but there's something blandly reassuring about it; the video equivalent of comfort food.
The author, an award-winning sportswriter based in Toronto, has written about "sports and more important things for newspapers and magazines for thirty years."
-- Publishers Weekly
-- Roy MacGregor
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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