Suppose it's a matter of personal taste and experience, but since I haven't read all crime writers/stories--who really has?--what might be the opinion here of the brains versus brawn crime novel genre, the violent, action protagonists and stories as opposed to the more cerebral?

Just wondering.

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“Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse; and with the means at hand, not hand-wrought dueling pistols, curare and tropical fish." Raymond Chandler, The Simple Act of Murder.

Ah, yes.  Those awful mysteries from the so-called golden age.

The estate of Conan Doyle has begun suing people in the US for using the Holmes & Watson characters without paying.  A test case is now in US courts.   Their argument is interesting.  All books before 1923 are usually in the public domain in the US at this time.  The estate says that because the characters themselves are so unique, and were developed over the length of all the books, that the copyright should not expire on the characters until the last of the works is out of copyright.  This will happen in 2022.

Some experts say there is a chance they will win.

It's a really awful argument, and opens up entirely new cans of worms should it actually win. It would bring many, many series characters, like Fu Manchu, back under copyright if that works. 

Les Klinger has brought a case asking the courts to determine Sherlock Holmes to be in the Public domain once and for all. The current rule is life of the author plus 75 years. Conan Doyle died in 1930. Do the math. Holmes is in the public domain, and character development has nothing to do with it.

Didn't say I agree with it, Steve.  Just that that's the estate's argument and some people say they may win.

I'm not interested in using the characters.  If I were thinking about it, I would wait until a decision is made.  No sense in wasting your time.

I have two Sherlock Holmes books in print right now, and I've never heard a peep from the estate. They have no legs to stand on and they know it.

Oops.  Sorry, I didn't know you were involved.

I prefer the more cerebral, myself. It's good to know a protag. or his sidekick can and will drop a bad guy when necessary, but it has to be quick and not part of some excitement that builds to it. The emotions of a thriller aren't that important to me; it's the plot and the road to resolution that intrigue me most. When the car chase or big shoot-out begins, I skip it or quit reading altogether.

When guns turn up in my stories, I try to use them as they are used in real life: never for a good reason. I've covered too gun crimes ever to believe otherwise.

I don't think one necessarily negates the other.Tough guys can be smart guys. Most special operations warriors have college degrees and many have advanced degrees, even the enlisted. It's not unusual to find a Special Forces sergeant with a PhD.


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