RARA-AVIS: Richard Prather

From: Doug Bassett ( dj_bassett@yahoo.com)
Date: 16 Mar 2000

What do you guys out there think about Prather?

I've only read a couple books by him, THE WAILING FRAIL and the one I'm reading now, KILL HIM TWICE, but from what I've seen I like him a great deal. Reading him after Latimer has been an interesting experience
--both LADY and KILL are essentially jokey, breezy takes on the PI story, but for some reason I like Prather's breeziness far more than I like Latimer's. Well, humor is always a subjective kind of thing.

Can anyone recommend any other Shell Scott books? Is there such a thing as a bad Shell Scott book? From what I've read so far Prather is a light but very entertaining writer, and if you're in the right mood quite enjoyable.

I wonder why nobody's tried to bring these books back into print? I'm under the impression that Prather at one time was very popular. (Over 30,000,000 Shell Scott books sold! the cover of KILL tells me). One would think that old-time fans, if their are any, wouldn't mind seeing the best books in the series again.

My Dad tells me that at one time there was a mystery magazine out there called (I think) SHELL SCOTT MYSTERY MAGAZINE. Really? Scott/Prather was that well known? If so, that suggests that Prather's case is even more interesting. Maybe he marks a kind of generational divide in PI/hb fans. Maybe if you're over a certain age you know all about Prather, whereas if you're under a certain age (I'm in my early thirties)he's a complete blank.

Just wondering, doug

===== Doug Bassett dj_bassett@yahoo.com

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