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(Published by Bob Ames, 2006.)


In the books and movies it was a well worn cliché for a flinty-eyed police honcho to tell the gumshoe to keep his nose out of police business, and mean it. It never stopped any of them, but it did mean the shamus would have to dig up the facts for himself.

Parker has been increasingly playing it the other way, with the police giving a broad wink and, in the interest of plausible deniability, telling the Private Eye they will not pass on such information, and then hand it over.

Walking Shadow ch. 41

" 'I pulled DeSpain's personnel file,' he said. 'You have no business looking at it.'
'I know,' I said.
I picked up the envelope and slipped it into my inside pocket."

Hush Money ch. 4

"'That's why we keep all the information right here in this folder marked confidential. See right there on the front: Con-fid-fucking-dential.'
He put the blue file folder on his desk, and squared it neatly in the center of the green blotter.
'I'm going down the hall to the can,' Belson said. 'Be about ten minutes. I don't want you poking around in this confidential folder on the Lamont case while I'm gone. I particularly don't want you using that photocopier beside the water cooler.' "

Family Honor ch. 44

" 'Sunny,' Anderson said, 'there's forty-one pictures there. Evidence in a murder case. You know I can't give you any.'
'I only need one,' I said.
Anderson nodded.
'I got to go wash my hands, Sunny. You better not even think of taking any of those pictures while I'm gone. 'cause I got them counted.'
'Okay,' I said.
Anderson got up and walked out of his cubicle. I looked at the stack of photographs. They weren't Polaroids. They were good-quality color photographs. I counted them. There were forty-two. I selected one that showed Betty Patton clearly and full face in a completely compromising pose. I put that picture in my purse and put the other forty-one back in the envelope, and crossed my legs and folded my hands in my lap. In a couple of minutes Anderson came back. He walked to his desk, picked up the envelope and counted the pictures.
'Forty-one,' he said."

Perish Twice ch. 20

Sunny is warned "there's a key on a nail on the right-hand side of the porch, under the overhang. Don't you dare use it."

Hugger Mugger ch. 14

"'So I don't want you going down to the Bath House Bar and Grill and nosing around there, asking questions about Cord Wyatt.'
'I can see why you wouldn't,' I said. 'That the gay scene in Lamarr?'
'Such as it is,' Becker said. 'Tedy Sapp, bouncer down there, used to be a deputy of mine, spells it with one d in Tedy, and two p's in Sapp. When you don't go down there like I told you not to, I don't want you talking to him or mentioning my name.'
'Sure,' I said. 'Stay away from the Bath House Bar and Grill, and don't talk to Sapp the bouncer. Where is it located so I can be sure not to go near it?'
'Mechanic Street.'
'I'll be careful,' I said."

Widow's Walk ch. 36

"'Can I look?'
Belson handed me the notebook.
'Absolutely not,' Belson said. 'This is a confidential police investigation.' "

Cold Service Ch. 6

"We got coffee. Quirk took a thick manila envelope out of his briefcase and put it on the table.
'If I go before you do and forget this, and leave it lying here on the table, I want you to return it to me immediately. I only got two other copies. And under no circumstances do I want you to open the envelope and read it's contents.'

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