RARA-AVIS: Recent purchases

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 31 Jan 2001

I've picked up a few things in the last week. I don't know what to expect from the Gault or Atlee books, but the others I know I'll like.

STAKEOUT ON PAGE STREET AND OTHER DKA FILES by Joe Gores, almost warm from the Crippen and Landru press.

DEATH IN DONEGAL BAY, by William Campbell Gault. He's been mentioned many times on the list and when I finally saw one of his Brock Callahan books, I got it.

THE QUICK RED FOX and THE EMPTY COPPER SEA, two of the last three Travis McGee books by John D. MacDonald I was missing. THE EMPTY COPPER SEA begins "Van Harder came aboard The Busted Flush on a hot bright May morning," which is a slight shift from the default April. THE QUICK RED FOX mentions February in the first line. (I'm rereading all the McGees in order.)

THE DEVASTATORS, by Donald Hamilton, filling in a gap in my Matt Helm collection.

THE TREMBLING EARTH CONTRACT, by Philip Atlee. I haven't read the other Joe Gall book I have, but based on Chandler's recommendation I figured I couldn't go too far wrong. This one is a "Black Like Me" sort of adventure.

BRASS KNUCKLES, by Frank Gruber. This is the collection of Oliver Quade stories, with a memoir about his time writing for the pulps. I saw it for
$25 (ex-lib) but didn't get it right away. The only mention of Gruber and Quade my web searches turned up were in the list archives, with recommendations from Messrs. Taboada and Lochte, among others. I checked for Gruber in O'Brien's HARDBOILED AMERICA, to no avail. The only mention of him in THE BIG BOOK OF NOIR is in an anecdote by A.I. Bezzerides about a time when Jack Warner interrupted him, Gruber and Steve Fisher playing craps. (Gruber seems to have been a good craps player.) The mentions in the archives convinced me I should grab it, so I went back to the store. Is Gruber pretty much forgotten these days? He wrote a lot and it's all solid stuff, from what I've read, but I don't think he had any luck with fancy Black Lizard reprints.

Anyone else picked up anything good lately?


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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