Remember the 1980’s era of mystery shows? Today everything seems to be police or crime scene procedurals, but back in the 80s it was all about the private investigator, whether they be professional or amateur.
It was a different time, when home computers were new and the internet not yet a reality. Conducting research involved visiting a library or city hall, not Google. Looking back it’s funny to see just how many of those old-school mysteries would have been solved by someone with an iPhone in under five minutes, or how simply having a cell phone would have kept people out of mortal danger.
In many ways it was the beginning of the end for the old school detective format, before Magnum had to evolve and get an email address and Facebook page.
As you can tell, I’m a fan of the era. Magnum P.I. was one of my favorite shows, but I don’t deny liking others like Murder She Wrote, Moonlighting, or Remington Steele.
I didn’t like everything about them, mind you. The constant hitting of the reset button ticked me off, for one thing, as well as the general lack of consistency and consequence from one season to the next. Also, I never really trusted Jessica Fletcher…
So it’s hardly a surprise that I decided to try my hand at the genre, and found that I really liked it. A couple years back I wrote a mystery called Getting Rid of Gary, which I promoted as murder mystery without the murder. And now the sequel to that book, The Plutus Paradox, is being released tomorrow!
Ha! My wasted childhood in front of the television was actually research. Take that, Guidance Councillor!
These books center on James and Lettice Cote, a private investigator who isn’t quite as adventurous as he’d like to be, and his intelligent but unconventional wife. The inspiration behind them was one of my favorite mystery novels, The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. Nick and Nora Charles had the absolute best relationship and it was something I wanted to try and capture in my own way, though with a bit less alcohol involved.