RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS - Howard Brown obit

Fri, 5 Nov 1999 15:57:00 -0600

A few months ago, for an issue of the *Mystery Readers Journal* devoted to Chicago-set mysteries, I contributed an article on the best Chicago-set cop stories (in fact, some of you rare birds helped me with the research). I stated then, and repeat now, that the best, bar none, Chicago-set cop novel was Browne's comparatively recent *Pork City*, a fictionalization of the infamous Jake Lingle murder case. Browne's hero in that book was real-life Depression-era DA's Investigator Pat Roche. The fact that Browne had been there during the period, and may even have known many of the real-life figures he used as characters, added a bite of authenticity few historical novelists are able to attain.

His Paul Pine novels, at once one of the most slavish of all Philip Marlowe imitations, and one of the most enjoyable post-war PI series, are must-reads for any hard-boiled fan.

On top of that Brown was a truly nice decent man, a great storyteller, and a true gentleman.


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