RARA-AVIS: hardboiled humor?

Karen Anderson (karenand@halcyon.com)
Sun, 28 Nov 1999 21:10:53 -0800

Greetings. I'm new to the list and wondering if anyone here has read the Prohibition-era hardboiled novels of Harlan Reed. I just finished "The Seattle Swing Music Murder." On one hand, it's terrible because Reed's pacing drags, and he goes to absurd and distracting lengths to employ hokey dialect (from mobsters and various blue collar ethnic characters). One the other hand, it's wonderful because he paints Prohibition-era life in fascinating detail. This just about the best picture of swing clubs, speakeasies, and the jazz scene that I've come across. Reed's detective, Dan Jordan, is a gutsy, obnoxious wise guy. But unlike most hardboiled detectives, Jordan makes fun of himself as well as the moronic cops and lily-livered businessmen he deals with.

Is anyone else familiar with Reed? I'd be curious to know more about this author.

Karen Anderson

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