Gentlemen, Name Your Poison

Dabblers, Inhalers & Other
Substance-Abusing Eyes

"Most of the time, sleuthing is not the most rewarding work. However, being a drug addict has its charms."

-- New York eye Dick Shamus muses on his life

Of course, substance abuse is nothing new for P.I.s. Think of the seven-percent solution coursing through the veins of the godfather of all private eyes, Sherlock Holmes right through to the drug and booze-addled eyes of the king of substance abuse, James Crumley. Obviously, I've just started this list, so any help would be greatly appreciated....

Don't Bogart That Joint, My Friend

Given its wide availability and popularity, it's actually a wonder more P.I.'s don't smoke dope. Just statistically, it would seem to me that more of them would. And some of them definitely should.

Mike Hammer, Vachss' Burke and V.I. Warshawski could all definitely do with something to take the edge off, if you ask me. Mind you, there have been a few partakers of the demon weed, but pot and hash smokers seem almost criminally under-represented in P.I. fiction. Maybe it's time we got the affirmative action people to work on this glaringly-obvious case of discrimination, before a class-action suit is launched that could cost the publishing industry millions.

Mind you, with wacky tobacky now being legalized in many states, maybe we'll be seeing more gumshoes lighting up.

Smokin' pot, playin Clue spo-dee-do...

"Kids today think they invented this stuff?" Coincidentally, Jake was played in a TV movie by Robert Mitchum, who once went to jail for inhaling.

Besides smoking pounds of dope, Matt pops mountains of pills, snorts yards of cocaine, drinks like a fish, and generally spends most of his time under the influence. But dope seems to be his poison of choice.

Dan, although he's more partial to pills, has been known to partake, and even shares a joint with a young runaway he was hired to find in one instance.

Strachey lights up now and then--it ain't no thang -- it just seems part of the whole 70s culture that these books were created in...

In Right as Rain (2001) the investigative team and their respective "twists" top off a double-date with a shared joint.

The Big H

Coke Adds Life

A seven percent solution, if you don't mind.

Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette

  • Nameless by Bill Pronzini (at least, until a cancer scare)

Cigar Smokers

Pipe Smokers

The Great One even measured the difficulty of a case by how many pipes would need to be smoked before arriving at its solution.

Equal-Opportunity Abusers: "What is it? Oooh, they'll take it"

Dan was always more partial to pills, but he was known to partake of many a varied substance.

Booze, pills, heroin, morphine and some other pills he just found in his pocket.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Ron DeSourdis for his help with this one. Next round's on me...


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