The Long Drunk (Homeless Detective Trilogy #1) by Eric Coyote (Self-Published, 2011, 242pp.)
Murphy is one of the many who live on the streets in Los Angeles, but he has no complaints. All he needs are the three essentials: food, shelter, and booze. Oh, and Betty. Betty is his beloved canine companion, a sweet stray who has been by his side for years. When Betty is struck by a car and needs surgery, he has no idea how to pay for it. Then he spies a police flyer offering a reward for help in solving a murder, and he decides to undertake the task of solving the crime himself. Through guidance obtained by his well-meaning friends and a few detective novels, Murphy the homeless man becomes Murphy the homeless detective - and learns that solving crimes is a lot harder than he originally thought. In this first installment of a planned trilogy, Coyote tweaks the hardboiled genre with a strikingly original premise and a host of colorful, well developed characters. This smart, gritty jaunt through the seamy streets of Los Angeles is definitely not one to miss.
Click on cover for image source.