Created by Maxine O'Callaghan (1937 --)
Orange County, California is the stomping ground of street-smart private eye DELILAH WEST, who's been around longer than even Sharon, Kinsey or V.I. She made her first appearance in a short story in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine way back in 1974, predating all of them. But for some reason, the critical attention and commercial success of her sisters-in-crime eluded Deliliah and her creator, Maxine O'Callaghan.
Too bad. Because while Delilah may not have had the spark and zip of the others, she was a more-than-enjoyable and credible P.I. A former cop, she goes into the shamus game with her husband Jack. But when he's murdered, she starts playing it for keeps in a series of books and stories that at the time drew praise for their emotional realism and snappy plotting.
In July 1999, at the Eyecon, held in St. Louis, the Private Eye Writers of America righted that wrong, and very deservedly bestowed The Eye, its Lifetime Achievment Award upon Maxine. I wasn't there, but more than one P.I. fan present, according to sources, was heard to mutter, "It's about time."
The first, unpublished stoy, finally in print.
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