It was selected by The New York Times as one of the seven best mysteries of Critics and fans regard the Cuddy series was one of the better ones during the Eighties and Nineties. Fans of Robert Parker and Stephen Greenleaf would probably like this book. This entry was posted on Monday, August 26th, at am and is filed under Book Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2. You can leave a response , or trackback from your own site. The John Cuddy books were among my favorites for the genre and the series had consistent quality book to book. Name required.
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In effect, I had two great careers and no life, so I had to choose between them, and I thought I probably couldn't become a better teacher, since my edge there was my practice experience as a trial lawyer. I thought I could become a better writer, and branch out from private eye novels, and at least I've accomplished the latter. When you started writing the Cuddy books, did it help that you had a legal background?
Or was lawyering such a distinct discipline from being a private eye that your history in the law was of negligible use? The advantage to having been a trial lawyer is that I was able to explore as a mystery writer those cases that kind of fall between the cracks in the formal system. Accordingly, I've written about John Cuddy searching for the son of a judge when that pillar of the community didn't seem to want his own son returned to him Blunt Darts , ; about whether a hypnotized person can be a competent courtroom witness So Like Sleep , ; and about whether we have a right to assisted suicide, a la Dr.
Kevorkian Right to Die , For those readers who are not familiar with the Cuddy series, give me your quick take on who your detective is and what his place is in the world.
Publication Order of John Francis Cuddy Books
He served in Vietnam as a military police MP lieutenant, surviving the war only to return home to the States and lose his young wife, Beth, to cancer. He stayed faithful to her memory until he found someone he thought could replace her in his life. Cuddy is a man who keeps his promises, but isn't afraid to use violence to do so. Did you participate in that war yourself, and is the fictional Cuddy able then to articulate some of your own feelings about that service?
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While I served as an MP lieutenant and eventually a captain during the Vietnam era, I never was posted overseas. I combined the two into a composite, and updated him to the Vietnam conflict because I felt many of the vets who came home in the s and 70s were assumed to be mentally defective, while in fact most simply returned to civilian life and put their military service into a compartment with a watertight door.
How do you think Cuddy has evolved over the course of his 13 novel-length adventures thus far? He's also grown older and therefore has to rely a little more on his wits than his fists.
Blunt Darts (John Francis Cuddy, #1) by Jeremiah Healy
However, I think the reason why I've been blessed with so many female readers is that Cuddy isn't sexist. He's also honorable in his dealings with the women in the books.
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Personally, I believe one of the most engaging elements of your novels is the way in which you use Cuddy to make other people reveal their hopes and dreams, fears and secrets. It's what Ross Macdonald did so well with Lew Archer. But I think that what Cuddy does in the books is basically what I had to do as a lawyer and a member of law enforcement : encourage people to open up as a way of helping both them and me.
Books by Jeremiah F. Healy and Complete Book Reviews
I thought it would be interesting to investigate that kind of "closed environment" murder by having Cuddy look into the killing of a year-old girl whose father dragoons her into being the provocative lead singer of his faded rock band in the hopes she can spearhead a gimmicky comeback for the group. I set the story in Fort Lauderdale, because I did most of the research for it down there. I think it was Kirkus Reviews that described Spiral derisively as a "standard whodunit. And even if you don't, do you think that there is still room in this world for "standard whodunits," books that don't break new ground, but do a fine job of exploiting the genre's traditions?
I respect any reviewer's "take" on a given work. In my books, I try to portray a private eye a little more realistically and that means having Cuddy talk to more people than he shoots. On the other hand, I think most readers prefer a clever puzzle to endless violence, and therefore the label "standard whodunit" is, to me, an unintended compliment. I was shocked to find you killing off Cuddy's girlfriend, Nancy Meagher, in the very first chapter of Spiral.
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They'd been together for most of your series, if I remember correctly. And yet she's suddenly dead. Had you been planning to do away with Nancy for a long time? I felt it was time for a change in Cuddy's life.
It was, to me, either arrange a marriage or arrange a funeral. And I also kind of like that Cuddy has now come full circle in his "fictional" life: from widower to significant other to someone who's grieving again.