Robert B. Parker's Spenser hooked me on P.I. fiction, but as my knowledge and taste within the genre developed, Spenser began to seem larger than life. He didn't age or feel the effects of a case for more than one book. By this time, I preferred characters who showed more humanity, who did more investigative work than rattling cages and seeing what developed. In a name, I preferred Jeremiah Healy's John Francis Cuddy.
Cuddy and Spenser have similar backgrounds, Cuddy serving in Vietnam as a military policeman, but Cuddy has a less intimidating presence and questioning style, gaining as much if not more cooperation. Like Spenser, Cuddy is monogamous, but the love of his life, Beth, died young from cancer before the series' first book. Though he tries to maintain a new relationship, he remains mindful of Beth, often visiting her grave for insight into cases.
For my money, the Cuddy series is one of the most cohesive and satisfying in all of P.I. fiction, so I'm pleased to share the news that the first nine Cuddy books are now available in Kindle, Nook, Apple, and Google formats from Mysterious Press/Open Road Media:
Blunt Darts (1984)
The Staked Goat (1986)
So Like Sleep (1987)
Swan Dive (1988)
Yesterday's News (1989)
Right to Die (1991)
Shallow Graves (1992)
Act of God (1994)
In celebration of the ebook release, Healy will also publish a new Cuddy novel soon, his first in thirteen years.