Zachariah Smith
Created by L.L. (Linda) Thrasher

"That's me, Arrow Investigations. I wanted to change the name to Cat's-Paw, Incorporated, but my sister said no one would get it. It's from an old fable about a cat sleeping by a fire where a monkey was roasting some chestnuts. When the nuts were done, the monkey used the cat's paw to pull them out of the fire so he wouldn't burn his own fingers. People hire me to pull their chestnuts out of the fire."

Slightly flaky twenty-nine year old ZACHARIAH SMITH is Mackie, Oregon's best (and only) private eye, a strapping young feller, with a whole mess of boyish charm and looks that don't seem to be scaring women away. Too bad he tends to let his little head do the thinking. Still, he's basically a nice guy. Zach and his twin sister Carrie grew up in Mackie (with a few wild years in California, before ma and pa decided to move back). Back home, Zack eventually settled down, got married, became a cop. And then things went south. His wife left him Zack more or less fell apart. He left the force a step ahead of being canned, and went to work for Jake Matthews, a local PI. Well, Jake's ship came in, in the form of a winning lottery ticket, and now Zack's Mackie's designated gumshoe.

He lives in a half-finished house he hasn't worked on since his wife left him, and mopes a lot. His sis calls it "a bad case of inertia." So, when opportunity knocks with a missing daughter job, he jumps at the chance.

In reviewing his debut, 1991's Cat's Paw, Inc., The New York Times suggests that Zach should "tone down the sophomoric patter and get a grip on his...libido." Me, I thought it was a pretty impressive debut, and I was (still am) hoping for a sequel. Evidently, I'm finally to be rewarded. In 1999, Write Way published Dogsbody, Inc., the second Zachariah Smith novel. And there seems to be a possible third entry in the series some time in the future.

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