Jaymie Zarlin

Created by Karen Keskinen

Young Santa Barbara private eye JAYMIE ZARLIN has some rather large, iconic gumshoes to fill -- both Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone call the "American Riviera" home.

But so far, so good. Her debut, Blood Orange (2013), which features the missing persons expert taking on her first murder case, was nominated for a Best First P.I. Novel Shamus. But it took me seeing the author in conversation at a freewheeling Bouchercon panel in Long Beach, holding her own alongside such P.I. heavyweights as Sara Paretsky, Gar Anthony Haywood and Michael Wiley, to spring for her book, Black Current, the second in the series.


Ladies and gentlemen, she can call it Santa Barbara if she wants, but spiritually, Jaymie is definitely walking the mean streets of Santa Theresa, the name Macdonald with which tagged this sleepy coastal town, and which Grafton later used. It looks like we have a contender here, and a torch about to be passed.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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