I just spent some time searching the net for Gumshoe novels. I find several pages, but I am specifically seeking stories set in the 30's and 40's.

And is there a difference between a gumshoe and a detective? I find conflicting answers to that question. I know a gumshoe is a detective, but isn't there an issue of style?

Merci buckets for the upcoming conversations.

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A gumshoe is merely a detective, so named because of rubber-soled shoes that would allow him to be stealthy. At least that's how I heard it. I think most of the time people equate gumshoe with a private detective.

I'd highly recommend the work of Raymond Chandler, particularly THE LONG GOODBYE and THE BIG SLEEP. You might also look at Hammett's nameless detective (an insurance investigator). If you want to find out just about everything there is to know about detective fiction, check out this link:

I am very familiar with Hammett's work. Some of my favorites, as a matter of fact. Will have to look into the Chandlers.

I don't know the difference between Gumshoe and Detective - I thought they were the same. Try Lise McClendon's One O'Clock Jump and Sweet and Low Down. Also, This Dame For Hire and Too Darn Hot by Sandra Scoppettone.

My belief of a gumshoe is simply this; after hours of stakeouts where they couldn't smoke---they would inadvertantly step on the gum that they had chewed & discarded...

As far as 30's to 40's stuff---check out Loren D. Estleman's Whiskey River, prohibition bootlegging & Jitterbug, the 40's war and foodstamps and the Detroit scene when the auto industry switches to making war machines. Totally fascinating. Cops & Crooks galore...
Join the rara-avis discussion list, even if only to lurk, and you'll find a wealth of information about 30s and 40s gumshoes. http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/


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