Category Archives: Hailey Cain

House, Holmes and Hailey

Or, Why I consider Sherlock Holmes
the grandfather of Hailey Cain

Note: This essay contains a significant spoiler for Hailey’s War and a more minor one for Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot.

 It’s difficult to imagine two fictional investigators further apart in character than Sherlock Holmes and Hailey Cain.  Holmes was the son of country squires; Hailey the daughter of blue-collar California.  Holmes pursued criminals through the fog of 19th-century London; Hailey through the ‘overheated sprawl of Los Angeles’. Holmes played the violin in his Baker Street flat; Hailey probably downloads MP3s.  Holmes’s best friend was a righteous British Army doctor; Hailey’s is a Latina gangbanger.

So it’s going to take some explanation how Sherlock gave rise to Hailey.  Continue reading House, Holmes and Hailey



If you’re wondering who’s asking the questions in this Q&A, well, it’s also me. I’ve found this to be a quick-moving, fun alternative to a traditional essay. Warning: contains mild spoilers for “Hailey’s War.”

Hailey Cain is 23 as Hailey’s War opens. Why such a young protagonist?

That has its roots in how the success of 37th Hour changed my life. When I first had the idea for Sarah Pribek novels, I was 29 and working full-time in a newsroom, a disciplined, deadline-oriented environment. Most of the people I worked with were in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. I created a world for Sarah that was similar. She worked in law enforcement, a hierarchal world with clear rules (even if she broke them sometimes).

Then I sold 37th Hour and made enough money to quit my newsroom job. Continue reading