Re: RARA-AVIS: Recently Read -- Jonathan Latimer

From: Mark Blumenthal (
Date: 12 Mar 2000

- From: Doug Bassett asks
 Has anyone read anything else by Latimer? I can
> strongly recommend SOLOMON'S VINEYARD. It's a "lone PI
> cleans up a corrupt town" kind of thing, but done
> exceptionally well. In fact,

Doug, We read a Latimer Bill Crane book as a monthly book last year. Upon reading one I found and, bought and read all of them. I liked thought Lady in the Morgue the best of the series. Though I'm not a native Chicagoan, I have been living in this city for over twenty years, and I enjoyed picture of 1930's Chicago it gives. I read Campbell's Jimmy Flannery books becuse of the legendry city they portray even though I don't think they are very good mysteries I guess you have to be able to read the Crane books as products of their time and its attitudes. For instance, drinking and drunkeness were a big source of humor in many of the 30's screwball comedies like My Man Godfrey. I think this view of drunkeness in the movies began changing in the 40's and 50's with The Lost Weekend and later Days of Wine and Roses. Even as late as 1981 with Arthur the idea of drunks being a source for humor was still alive.

Some of the Crane plots also reminded me of the Perry Mason tv series of the 50's. Because PM was a big favorite in my house, I saw a lot of them. Latimer was a writer for the series Every once in a while when I read the books I got an echo of some episode I'd seen many years ago.

Soolomon's Vineyard was briefly discussed and was praised. A problem we talked about was it was gerally unavailable unexpurgated pretty recently. Mark

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