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Crane, Bill. Bill Crane was created by Jonathan Latimer and appeared in five novels from 1935 to 1939, beginning with Headed for a Hearse.

Bill Crane is a Bellem, but he is far more of a drunk than most other private detective characters. His constant intake of alcohol does not dull his wits, however, and he relies on reason and logic more than his fists to solve crimes. He is also notably wittier than most other private detectives and is in many ways the quintessential screwball private detective. He operates in Chicago and is aided by a younger detective, Doc Williams, and an older cop, Thomas O'Malley. Later he is helped by his wife Ann.

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