The above illustration, "Blowing Bubbles," has been adapted for use here by generous permission from the artist, Cyril Rolando.

April 11, 2010

Detectives Around the World Week

Today begins the week-long culmination of the brain child of Jen Forbus: Detectives Around the World Week.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Jen sent the word out: Get on board, pick detectives from all over the universe, and spend a week celebrating those detectives and locations. Did any of us conscripts really know what we were in for?

Well, here it is, the official kick-off for this week of all things PI, and Jen starts the ball rolling with the final round of her World's Favorite Detective tournament. It's all down to the modern darkness of Harry Bosch versus the nuanced shadows of Philip Marlowe. Bosch has kicked butt all the way to the final, even disposing of the great Sherlock Holmes without his gun ever leaving his nightstand. Marlowe hasn't had such an easy time of it, he's had to fight the whole way even against the likes of - cough, sputter! - Hercule Poirot. So does classic Marlowe even stand a chance against the uber-popular Bosch? At this point, anything but a convincing victory by Bosch must be considered an upset.

Not to put too fine a point on it, I'm cheering for Marlowe all the way. And not just because I have him winning in my brackets either. I'm for Marlowe because of influence, style, wit; because of mean streets; because there is some hint of seedy glamor attached. And yes, because of Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, James Garner, Powers Boothe, Elliott Gould, Robert Montgomery, and Dick Powell. Have you seen Harry Bosch on the big screen lately? No, I thought not. And just maybe that has less to do with how hard it is to get a film made than how much better Marlowe adapts to cinema: two television series and more than half a dozen feature films. Meanwhile Bosch has had 18 years to come up with even one film (Blood Work, you may recall, was not a Bosch vehicle), and fans are still waiting. (And check out the pic of Marlowe book shopping. Guess I'd close up shop and have a drink with him, too, and ... er ... do a bit of "close reading."

Just so I leave you in no doubt: GO MARLOWE! ("Go Bosch"?? Say it quick, it sounds like a kind of sausage, doesn't it?)

Tomorrow, I'll kick off The Drowning Machine edition of Detectives Around the World Week. You'll be faced with a puzzle to help you identify the detective whose exploits I'll be featuring. Every day this week, Monday through Friday, there will be a puzzle or trivia question all leading up to a prize. Yes, for real! Courtesy of Aunt Agatha's New & Used Mysteries, the winner at week's end will receive a $35 gift certificate along with a copy of my chosen author's most recent novel. You'll learn what that novel is by Tuesday, that is if you don't figure it out on Monday.

How the contest works: Each day the puzzle or question will be found at the end of that day's post. All you have to do is post your response in the comment section before the next day's post. Each correct answer counts as one chance in a drawing held at the end of the week. So come back every day, post a correct answer every day, and you can have as many as five chances to win! Easy peasy! Oh, and to prevent copycat answers, comments will be moderated this week, starting right now. It's fine to be a detective, not so good to piggyback on someone else's detective work!

Don't forget: Tomorrow's puzzle will be about identifying my PI. I'm even going to give you an early clue. But if you know the answer, DON'T POST YOUR ANSWER TODAY. Tomorrow. Wait until tomorrow to post! Here's your clue. The business in this photo can be found on the bottom floor of my PI's office building:


  1. I'm with you concerning Philip Marlowe, Naomi. While I've enjoyed the first four Harry Bosch novels in the series, I don't love the character as others do. You know where my sentiments lie ;-). Plus, Michael Connelly's version of L.A. is not mine (nor of Robert Crais)--hell, Connelly doesn't even live here anymore. So, GO MARLOWE! Thanks for this.

  2. I enjoyed the Bosch series for the first several books. I was as mad keen for him as any fan. But somewhere along the way, I stopped seeing the stories and started seeing the construction of the stories. I see the wizard behind the curtain, I guess.The pulleys and levers and gears.

  3. Wow! This is great Naomi. So much fun. And you've done an amazing job with your week. I'm so excited. Grinning ear to ear. Of course I may be passed out from exhaustion by Saturday, but it'll be a fun ride!

  4. The hardest part, Jen, was the post about location. I'm still not sure it's finished. Or even coherent.

    If I'm this tired already, you must really be feeling the pain. And I'm sure that you, like me, have reviews and reading backing up like the freeway at rush hour. So when the week is over -- it ain't over!