Lovers in a Dangerous Time
P.I. Romance Novels
Yeah, I know...
But like it or not, the private eye figures prominently in romance novels, particularly romantic suspense novels.
And really, considering the cross-genre permutations the P.I. has gone through (western, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, children's literature, etc.) is the romance genre really all that far out? After there, there have always been romantic undertones to much P.I. literature, going right back to Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, which is essentially one twisted love story, and Chandler's Marlowe may have been the biggest romantic softie of them all.
We're talking real romance here, by the way. Lip-smacking, chest-heaving Harlequin-type stuff. In fact, Harlequin is the publisher of almost all the books listed here. But stop snickering! Although they're now known for their seemingly endless flow of pulp romance titles, this Canadian publishing dynasty actually started as a publisher of a wide variety of genres, including mystery, western, science fiction, sports, adventure, cookbooks, nonfiction and even "literature," as well as, of course, romance. Among the private eye and crime authors they published were Wade Miller, Robert Leslie Bellem, Harry Whittington, Frank Kane, Ronald Cooke, James Hadley Chase, Day Keene, Cleve Adams, David Montrose, Robert O. Saber and David Goodis. I think it's almost a nod to tradition, or something, that they still publish crime and detective fiction, albeit with a heavy romance angle, usually under their Intrigue imprint.
But of course Harlequin isn't the only one. Somewhere along the line, the private eye has become a stock figure in romance fiction; a sort of codeword for manly independence, virtue and a little rough-around-the-edges hotness. Or maybe it's just the trenchcoat. Here are just a few...
- Aidan Brodie by Jenna Ryan, in The Woman in Black.
- Cammie Copello in The Next Right Thing by Colleen Collins
- The Carter Detective Agency by Lori Foster, in Fallen Angels.
- Luke Donovan by Deborah Bryan, in Deathtrap.
- Insurance dick Marina Haine in The Mummy Case by Dawn Stewardson
- Malone by Jenna Ryan, in Belladonna.
- Jake Hawkins by B. J. Daniels, in Hot Shot P.I.
- Jane and Nick by Abby Robinson, in The Dick and Jane.
- Josh January by Jayne Ann Krentz, in The Private Eye.
- Guinevere Jones & Zach Justis by Jayne Castle (pseud. of Jayne Ann Krentz). .
- Valerie LeRoy & Drake Morgan in Sleepless in Las Vegas by Colleen Collins.
- Easy Martel by Sheryl Lynn, in Easy Loving.
- Ann Mellion by Sharon Green in Fantasy Man.
- Duncan Moore by Shannon Hollis in Her Private Eye.
- Samantha Murphy by B.J. Daniels, in Mystery Bride
- Gabriel O'Shaughnessy by Harper Allen, in The Man That Got Away.
- Kelsey St. James by Laura Gordon, in Dominoes
- Paulina Stewart by Joyce Sullivan in This Little Baby.
- Mel Sutherland by Nora Roberts, in Entranced.
- Austin Tack by Sheryl Lynn, in Dark Star.
- Gretchen Wiest by Nancy Warren, in "Going After Adam"
- Teresa Worth by M.L. Gamble, in Dead Magnolias.
- Still to be sorted
- My Lover's Secret by Jean Barrett, featuring P.I. Cleveland McBride.
- Private Eyes by Madeline St. Claire, featuring P.I.s Lauren Pierce and Bill Donelan.
- Shattered Vows by Rebecca York , featuring P.I. Jo O'Malley.
- The Secret Life of Bryan by Lori Foster, featuring bounty hunter Bryan Kelly.
- The Silent Groom by Kelsey Roberts, featuring P.I. Gabriel Langston.
- Sweet Revenge by Jenna Ryan, featuring P.I. Torbel.
- Til Death Us Do Part by Rebecca York, featuring P.I. Jed Prentiss.
- Triplecross by Linda Stevens, featuring insurance dick Lizzy Green.
- Twilight Shadows by Emilie Richards, featuring P.I. Kelley Samuels.