Re: RARA-AVIS: Manhunt Magazine collections

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 11 Jun 2000

Bob Toomey:

<<SHELL SCOTT'S SEVEN SLAUGHTERS and THREE'S A SHROUD; by Richard S. Prather. What can I say? "A magnet for broads, a target for hoods." My man.>>

I am almost certain that in due course Prather will be viewed as a classic. His Shell Scott series is sheer genius. Some time ago, somebody on this list joked about Prather's trashiness, and I recall James Reasoner stepping in and asking, rather sharply, which current P.I. writer was better than Prather. I am inclined to agree with James. The fact that the Shell Scotts are endlessly rereadable is a big hint that there's something very good below the "trash" and the unfashionable attitudes that irk the PC crowd. Prather's action writing and his ability to mine a situation for comic absurdity are objectively excellent, regardless of what one thinks of Scott (who, admittedly, has a big mouth).

By the way, where is James? I recently came across a fine P.I. story of his in a Black Lizard anthology.



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