John J. Shannon

Created by Cleve F. Adams (1895-1949, also wrote as John Spain)

JOHN J. SHANNON is the title character in Adams' The Private Eye (1942), Shannon also makes an appearance in No Wings On a Cop (1950), a novella completed by Adams' friend, Robert Leslie Bellem, creator of Dan Turner, that is a sort of prequel, wherein Shannon is still a police officer.

The backcover blurb of my copy of The Private Eye reads:

'The town of Las Cruces was enjoying booming business in vice when J.J. Shannon, a hardboiled private cop, moved in to check a fishy suicide. But when he kidnapped the mayor, caught the police chief in a bribe trap, and managed to get control of the local paper in a fight for justice, he blew the lid off this lawless mining town. Shannon had to dodge lead from a dozen racketeers while he used three beautiful, dangerous dames to trap a cunning syndicate killer!"

As Bill Denton of Rara-Avis put it, " can you pass up something with that on the backcover?

Adams is also the creator of notorious LA gumshoe Rex McBride and mob fixer Bill Rye, not to mention Violet McDade and her partner Nevadea Alvaredo, two of the very first hardboiled lady eyes, who slugged thneir way through a string of stories in the pulps.


  • The Private Eye (1942)
  • No Wings On a Cop (1950; completed by Robert Leslie Bellem)


Some great private eyes who've appearred in only one novel.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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