Read Dennis Lynds

Here’s a quote I appreciate for obvious reasons:

In a New York Times opinion piece about racism and classism and what might be done to counter those attitudes, David Brooks wrote: “Conversation can help, though I suspect novels … work better.”

To verify the truth of this comment, I’d suggest reading some Dan Fortune mystery novels by Dennis Lynds, aka Michael Collins.

Unless memory fails me, all seventeen of the books are narrated by private detective Dan Fortune. Most of them are set in New York City, where Dan grew up and lives and works into middle age, when a woman lures him out west. He lands, and stays, in Santa Barbara.

A review in the Tulsa World asserted, “The creation of one-armed detective Dan Fortune helped revive the old-fashioned detective yarn.”

Here’s how Dennis did it:

The books are deftly plotted, alive with real characters, written with care and passion, and lifted even farther above the standard fare of the mystery genre by the author’s vast knowledge of human nature, history, and cultures.

Especially in the later books, Dan Fortune expresses a decidedly progressive socialist agenda, which he often backs up with facts and persuasive reasoning. At times Fortune can wax a bit preachy. If you essentially agree with his agenda, that the wealthy and greedy of the world have tyrannized the rest of us in the cruelest, most heartless of ways, you may occasionally feel as though he is preaching to the choir. If you disagree with his views, you might get offended, because he presents his case so skillfully, he may render you defenseless. You might even be required to change your mind.

Publishers Crippen and Landru contend: “Dennis Lynds was probably the most important and influential writer of private-eye stories to emerge in the past 40 years. His Dan Fortune series offers the sense of pace, setting, and characterization of a master stylist, and the social consciousness of a committed human being.”

I’ll buy that, in spades.

Do yourself a favor and read a sampling of Dan Fortune wisdom.

Then go to While there, enter the Michael Collins Dan Fortune series as one you want to follow.