Delilah West

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."



  • "A Change of Clients" (November 1974, AHMM; also 1999, First Cases 3)
  • "Bad News" (1994, Deadly Allies II)
  • "Deal with the Devil" (1994, Maxine O'Callaghan Bibliography 1974-1995)
  • "Diamonds Are For Never" (1998, Lethal Ladies II)
  • "Somewhere South of Melrose" (1999, Murder at the Movies)
  • "Going to the Dogs" (2005, Creature Cozies)
  • "Belling the Cat" (2014, Bad News and Trouble)

The first, unpublished stoy, finally in print.


  • A Change of Clients and Death Is Forever (1999)
  • Bad News and Trouble: The Delilah West Stories (2014).. Buy the book. Kindle it!

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith, with much thanks to Victoria Esposito-Shea for her help with this one.

| Home | Detectives A-L M-Z | Film | Radio | Television | Web Comics | Comics | FAQs | Search |
| Trivia | Authors | Hall of Fame | Mystery Links | Bibliography | Glossary | Advertising |
| This Just In... | Word on the Street | Non-Fiction | Fiction | Staff | The P.I. Poll |

Remember, your comments, suggestions, corrections and contributions are always welcome.
At the tone, leave your name and number and I'll get back to you...

Copyright 1998-2019, All rights reserved. Come visit The (New) Thriilng Detective Web Site.

Web site by The Thrilling Detective Web Guy