"The Senior Sleuths" Mysteries
Murder and Mayhem in a Modern Noir Style
In these modern noir stories, the hard-boiled detectives are soft-boiled sleuths whose inner shell is softer and gentler, although their outer shell is still tough. Of course, it doesn’t matter—hard-boiled or soft-boiled—they can still be nearly beaten by the bad guys. But it is always the mystery and solving it that matters most.
Film noir movies are from the era of the great mystery writer’s books including those by Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ross Macdonald and others.
According to Eddie Muller, Noir Alley host on TCM, “Film noir peaked as a popular genre of film during the mid-1940’s into the 1950’s. These films gave rise to iconic antiheroes like detectives Sam Spade, Mike Hammer and Philip Marlowe. Though the stories change, the mood is the same in a film noir.” Muller describes the characters, “The men and women of this sinister cinematic world are driven by greed, lust, jealousy, and revenge.”
In the second decade of the 21st century, the once hard-boiled masculine detective now has a new, softer voice, and there are new heroes and antiheroes. These stories have soft-boiled sleuths operating in a modern noir setting. Of course, the books still include killers, murder and mayhem, offset by the senior sleuths, a bookie and someone in witness protection who helps save the day at times.
Level Best Books plans to publish the delightfully humorous antics and serious crime-solving of “The Senior Sleuths.” Book One: Dead in Bed is due out February 6, 2018, and Book Two: Dead in Seat 4C, later in 2018. Book Three: Dead on the 17th of the Month, which is the last part of the three-book series, will be published in 2019.
Like Nick and Nora Charles from “The Thin Man” series, Dick and Dora Zimmerman from “The Senior Sleuths” solve crimes, especially murders with a twist such as the incident when a dead body is found in an icebox with a note that says, “Contents rotten.”
Still in their early sixties, the Zimmermans not only have the time—but the money, the smarts and the chutzpah—to get involved even when they are warned by police and criminals to stay away. Moreover, other condo residents where they live in Manhattan and Vegas seek Dick and Dora’s help whenever they suspect any foul play!
Dick and Dora often mix wit and humor when facing danger… and solving a murder. The protagonists are accompanied by great cohorts—such as Zero the Bookie, Frankie Socks and even 89-year-old Bertie Gladstone—who help them catch the murderers.
Typical film noir scenes use shadows, dark streets, neon signs, murderers and murders, plus ominous actions and characters. The bad guys are motivated by the always take place in a city like New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
In the same kind of dark, urban setting, Dick and Dora Zimmerman, along with a bunch of other unusual characters, strive for justice. That’s not always an easy thing to accomplish when the bad guy is just as determined to strive to do evil.