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First Cases: First Appearances of Classic Private Eyes [Audio Cassette]

Robert J. Randisi
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

July 1 2002
A unique anthology presents the short story debuts of fifteen top private investigators, including Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder, Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski, and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone. 12,500 first printing. $10,000 ad/promo.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Publishers Weekly

This indispensable collection is not quite what the title advertises, for many of these PIs cracked their first cases in novels. No matter, for editor Randisi (author of the Nick Delvecchio and Miles Jacoby series) has chosen topflight short-story debuts of bestselling sleuths (e.g., Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone and Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder) and 13 equally worthy PIs. In "Out the Window," a pre-AA Scudder still drinks bourbon with his coffee. "My hand was trembling slightly when I picked up the glass," he says. "It was a little steadier when I set it down." But the same guilt and sense of obligation that drive Scudder today are evident in this early work. Joe Gores introduced Daniel Kearney Associates in "File #1: The Mayfield Case," in which a rookie investigator learns that even apparently simple cases can carry emotional risk. Carlotta Carlyle premiered in Linda Barnes's "Lucky Penny." Driving a cab to supplement her measly PI income, Carlotta must discover why a fare robbed her and promptly threw away the money. With award winners such as Michael Collins, Bill Pronzini, Marcia Muller, John Lutz, Loren D. Estleman, Sara Paretsky and others, this anthology is a must for mystery devotees and a perfect introduction for future fans.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

No fan of the contemporary private-eye genre will want to miss this wonderful collection. Who would even consider passing up early Kinsey Milhone, a young "Nameless," a still-skittish Alo Nudger, or an always-incisive, young John Cuddy? Some of the short stories collected here represent a series hero's first appearance, while others simply predate the author's fame. In addition to the gumshoes named above, editor Randisi also includes stories starring Dan Fortune, Leo Haggerty, Amos Walker, V. I. Warshawski, and Carlotta Carlyle. Among the highlights are Sue Grafton's "Long Gone," in which a mother of three turns embezzler and then turns up dead, and Lawrence Block's "Out the Window," in which Matt Scudder discovers the fate of another lonely soul. Randisi introduces each selection with a brief biography of the character and a note or two concerning the author. An excellent mystery collection; highly recommended. Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for Historical Purposes April 23 2002
Format:Hardcover
"First Cases" is a collection of the first short stories by classic private eye writers featuring their heros (or heroines). That should be the book's caveat, as many of the protagonists had already appeared in full length novel form before these stories were published. The lineup includes such luminaries as Loren Estlemen's Amos Walker, Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder, Bill Pronzini's "Nameless" and Editor Robert J. Randisi's own Miles Jacoby. All of the series characters featured are currently ongoing (or at least were as of 1996, when the book was published). Editor Randisi knows his stuff, having been the founder of the Private Eye Writers of America.
All that said, the quality of the stories varies. Some of the writers had yet to really find their voice and some (especially the older) stories are somewhat by-the-numbers. Nevertheless, the book is an inetersting historical artifactfor those who want insight on how their heros developed. My personal favorites are Block's and Estlemen's. They show again why they are, for my money, the two best and most consistent private eye writers currently working in the genre.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for Historical Purposes April 23 2002
By Brian D. Rubendall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"First Cases" is a collection of the first short stories by classic private eye writers featuring their heros (or heroines). That should be the book's caveat, as many of the protagonists had already appeared in full length novel form before these stories were published. The lineup includes such luminaries as Loren Estlemen's Amos Walker, Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder, Bill Pronzini's "Nameless" and Editor Robert J. Randisi's own Miles Jacoby. All of the series characters featured are currently ongoing (or at least were as of 1996, when the book was published). Editor Randisi knows his stuff, having been the founder of the Private Eye Writers of America.
All that said, the quality of the stories varies. Some of the writers had yet to really find their voice and some (especially the older) stories are somewhat by-the-numbers. Nevertheless, the book is an inetersting historical artifactfor those who want insight on how their heros developed. My personal favorites are Block's and Estlemen's. They show again why they are, for my money, the two best and most consistent private eye writers currently working in the genre.
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