Julius Katz & Archie Smith

Created by Dave Zeltserman

Hoo-boy, I can't believe it took me so long to get around to doing an entry on this Shamus and Derringer-winning series...

JULIUS KATZ is possibly Boston's most brilliant private eye -- tougher than Spenser and slicker than Banacek -- even if he does say so himself.

Which he does.


But he's also almost certainly the laziest, much preferring the drinking of wine to the actual working of a case, and when you get right down to it, he's pretty much a fraud. He owes a good chunk of his reputation -- and his solution rate -- to Archie, a super-smart tiny microcomputer doodad with a mind of its own; a two-inch piece of advanced technology that Julius wears as a tiepin."

For some reason, Archie thinks he's a hard-boiled gumshoe with a biting wit and no patience for his employer's many character faults, serving as not just Julius' ever-present database but as his conscience; prodding him to action and constantly on his case about doing the right thing.

It's a clever spin on Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin schtick and the series has been a fan favourite since the first story, "Julius Katz," appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in 2009 and promptly nabbed a Shamus Award for best story from the Private Eye Writers of America, and a Derringer Award for best novelette from the Short Mystery Fiction Society. The sequel, "Archie's Been Framed," won Ellery Queen's Readers Choice Award.

For those who think the premise is ridiculous, consider that before turning to writing crime fiction full-time, the author spent twenty years developing network management software for several of the world's leading technology companies. He's also the creator of private eye Johnny Lane, and has won acclaim and numerous awards for his crime fiction, including his "Man Out of Prison" trilogy.


  • You've got to laugh at the grudge-bearing abilty of an author who names a dislikable character after a reviewer who gave him a so-so review twelve years earlier. Check out the name of the client in Julius Katz and Archie (2011).


  • "Julius Katz" (September/October 2009, EQMM)
  • "Archie's Been Framed" (September/October 2010, EQMM)
  • "One Angry Julius Katz and Eleven Befuddled Jurors" (June 2012, EQMM)
  • "Archie Solves the Case" (May 2013, EQMM)
  • "Julius Katz and a Tangled Webb" (March 2014, EQMM)
  • "Archie On Loan" by Dave Zeltserman (September/October 2016, EQMM)


  • "Julius Katz" & "Archie's Been Framed" (2011)...Kindle it!

Collects the first two stories.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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