|The Early Shanahan novels|
I haven’t been the only one. In fact I wasn’t the first one or necessarily the most prolific. The acclaimed Michael Z. Lewin not only originated the first series featuring a fictional Indianapolis P.I., but is also credited with popularizing the idea of a regional P.I. series. Many others followed. My Deets Shanahan character also came after Lewin’s Albert Samson.
Lewin and I are roughly the same vintage. However he began writing younger in his life. Counting his Leroy Powder cop series, Lewin has used Indianapolis as a setting for 11 crime novels with a history going back to 1971 with his first Samson novel, Ask The Right Question, among those being re-released as I write.
There are those, of course, who dismiss genre fiction, including the P.I. novel as something less than respectable. The Shanahan mysteries are definitely genre fiction, as are the Samson novels. We gain a sense of the place in time in a way that may not be academic, but in a fluid, experiential way.