Ten timely quotes from fictional private eyes

quotes from fictional private eyes

We know how you feel. Cooped up, stressed out, and dying for something, anything, to kill the monotony. And, of course, you’re reading for that purpose, right? Definitely. No alcohol involved. Nope. None. Wink wink. 

But on the off-chance you’re not settling in on the couch for hours at a time with a good private eye novel to pass the hours, we’ve got a fresh dose of inspiration to crack open a book. Here are ten timely quotes from fictional private eyes to inspire your quarantine reading.

Ten quotes from fictional private eyes

“One thing I’ve learned in fifty-three hard years of living is that there’s a different kind of death waiting for each and every one of us—each and every day of our lives. There’s drunk drivers behind the wheels of cars, subways, trains, planes, and boats; there’s banana peels, diseases and the cockeyed medicines that supposedly cure them; you got airborne viruses, indestructible microbes in the food you eat, jealous husbands and wives, and just plain bad luck.” – Leonid McGill, from The Long Fall, by Walter Mosley.

“I have waited for ecstasy all of my life for the pure joy of being, and I have never felt it. For each and every moment of my happiness has been tinged with sorrow. Like the swallow of water from the mountain stream that has two tastes—one living, and one dead—my life has been a sorry confluence of wonder and pity. I think this is what bugs Hannah and was part of the reason she left. But being a man stuck in the middle has one advantage: I have yet to be overwhelmed by sorrow.” – Cecil Younger, from The Curious Eat Themselves, by John Straley

“Some of us find our way with a single light to guide us; others lose themselves even when the star field is as sharp as a neon ceiling. Ethics may not be situational, but feelings are. We learn to adjust, and, over time, the stars we use to guide ourselves come to reside within rather than without.” – Elvis Cole, from L.A. Requiem by Robert Crais.

“This damned burg’s getting me. If I don’t get away soon I’ll be going blood-simple like the natives.”― The Continental Op, from Red Harvest, by Dashiell Hammett.

“I felt like a lonely cat, an aging tom ridden by obscure rage, looking for torn-ear trouble. I clipped that pitch off short and threw it away. Night streets were my territory, and would be till I rolled in the last gutter.”―Lew Archer, from The Drowning Pool, by Ross Macdonald.

“A man once told me that you step out of your door in the morning, and you are already in trouble. The only question is are you on top of that trouble or not?” Easy Rawlins, from Devil in a Blue Dress, by Walter Mosley

“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.” – Phillip Marlowe, from Farewell, My Lovely, by Raymond Chandler

“There are days when none of us can bear it, but the good comes around again. Happiness is seasonal, like anything else. Wait it out. There are people who love you. People who can help.” – Kinsey Millhone, from D is for Deadbeat, by Sue Grafton

 “I don’t like people. I don’t like any kind of people. When you get them together in a big lump they all get nasty and dirty and full of trouble. So I don’t like people including you. That’s what a misanthropist is.” — Mike Hammer, from The Big Kill, by Mickey Spillane

“I felt ready for that new life, standing there bloody and soaked to my core, having rubbed up so close with pure evil and death in the weeds of my own unraveled existence. A red hue broke through the storm to our west as we motored off in search of something resembling safety, chasing a lost horizon line that could never quite be caught.” Riley Reeves, from “Weathering the Storm,” (collected in The Eyes of Texas: Private Eyes From the Panhandle to the Piney Woods), by Michael Pool