This is my annual shout-out to Loren Estleman's demented and hilarious destruction of the Lonely But Honorable Private Eye myth.
Detroit private eye Ralph Poteet is a sink-hole dirtbag whose grubby life manages to get even grubbier with the each chapter.
Even after three readings over the years, Peeper keeps me laughing--many times out loud--all the way through. This isn't cheap parody. It's a witty take on many private eye cliches filled with people you wouldn't want to meet without wearing a bio-hazard suit, including a monsignor who dies in a whorehouse. Poteet is asked to help secret the man's enormous body to a more discreet location. And he decides while he's at it...to snap a few pics of the corpse. Never know what kind of money they'll bring on the open market.
Estleman takes numerous shots at Churchly cover-ups and this was before (1994) the scandals broke. What makes this work is Estleman's enormous skill. Nobody writes a better classical private eye story better than Loren and even when he's having fun with the tropes. He does so with his usual mastery of language, pacing and storytelling.