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Dobyns, Stephen

(US, 1941– )

Dobyns began his writing life working for the Detroit News. Most of his novels feature the charismatic and amiable Charlie Bradshaw, a Saratoga Springs private eye. Dobyns brings a poet's imagination and deftness to his crime thrillers. In the gambling tale Saratoga Bestiary, the 50-year-old Bradshaw is faced with a bunch of hardened gamblers mixed up in the theft of an oil painting. More charming than violent, and with genuine narrative mystery, Dobyns's droll journalistic style shows his debts to American prose masters like Raymond Carver and Mark Twain. Other Dobyns titles include works of magic realism set in Latin America—The Two Deaths of Senora Puccini (1988) is a tense operatic mystery. And the American small-town horror novel The Church of Dead Girls (1997) was much praised by the master of that genre, Stephen King.

Sara Paretsky, Michael Dibdin  AM

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Co-Fi)