Hey Cisco, Hey Pancho – Sidekicks in Crime Fiction


So my daughter’s Freshman seminar class at William and Mary this fall was Arthur Conan Doyle fiction. One of the books that they used in the course was titled Read On… Crime Fiction Reading Lists For Every Taste. The reading list that appears in the title of this post is appropriate for the book I just finished and the one that I’m currently reading. Both authors Robert Crais and James Lee Burke appear on the list which is as follows:

Neon Rain – James Lee Burke – this is the second Burke book I read Burke’s Cisco is Dave Robicheaux and Pancho is Clete Purcel. From the book:

Burke’s books are filled with dangerous, violent men and Clete Purcel is one of them” …… In Neon Rain, Robicheaux finds himself in deep trouble when he refuses to give up on an investigation that has links to the Mob, Latin American drug lords and the Nicaraguan Contras. It’s a good thing Clete Purcel has his back.”

L.A. Requiem - Robert Crais – Crais’ lead character is Elvis Cole and his sidekick Joe Pike. In this book the story focuses on Joe Pike. Pike is accused of murder and Elvis sets out to prove that Joe is innocence.

A Study in Scarlet – A.C. Doyle – Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson probably the most famous crime fiction duo!

Black Betty –  Walter Mosley – “Easy” Rawlins and “Mouse” Alexander have an uneasy partnership. “There are times when Mouse is as likely to shoot easy as to assist him, but he has also stepped in to save Easy’s life.”*

Double Deuce - Robert B. Parker  - Spenser and Hawk another famous duo made more popular by the TV series. “Hawk a former Mob enforcer, is a frequent companion of Spenser. Hawk is cool, tough, and can be extremely scary when needed all excellent assets in a sidekick”*

Wicked Break – Jeff Shelby – Noah Braddock and Carter Hamm surfer bodies. Noah is an occasional PI and when he need muscle Carter Hamm is there to back him up. I’ve never read these books but they sound good and will have to check them out!

Black Orchids – Rex Stout – Nero Wolfe who does not leave his apartment  needs someone to do the footwork Archie Goodwin serves that purpose! This is another series I have not read but should!!

I’m sure there are more but this is a good list to start with if you like this type of book!

Quotes taken from Read On…Crime Fistion Reading Lists for Every Taste, Barry Trtt, Libraries Unlimited, Westport, Connecticut, London, pp 30-32,

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