Re: RARA-AVIS: Richard Prather

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 17 Feb 2001

Mark Sullivan wrote:

> I'm about a third of the way through Prather's Darling It's Death and I
> have some questions:
> 1. Is it ever explained how/why Scott's hair and eyebrows turned white?

I have never seen any explanation of this. Let me try: his name - Shell Scott
- sounds a bit like "shell shock", maybe his hair turned white in the war, in the trenches. Was Prather in the war? Does anyone know? He was born in, what, 1922, so he should've been there.

> 2. This one takes place in Acapulco. Is this typical? Does he travel
> around? I must admit, I prefer PI stories set in the cities the PI
> knows so well. Are other books set in his hometown, LA?

Scott travels around a lot. One book - forgot the name, one of the most amusing though, he has to check the butts of twelve beautiful model girls to find out the witness - is set almost solely in Hawaii. In the beginning of the book Scott drinks so much with one of the girls he falls out from the tree and suffers from amnesia throughout the book.

> 3. Do all of the books revolve around Scott fighting Commies? This one
> hinges on a Communist takeover of US unions. (The "Maffia" -- was this
> once the preferred spelling, with two Fs? -- is also interested in
> control.) I vaguely remember another Prather I read long, long ago also
> pitting him against Commies.

Not all of them, some of them do. Some books are pretty much marred by Scott's remarks about Commies and others. I couldn't get through "The Trojan Hearse", because Scott is all the time mumbling about psychoanalysis and the Democratic candidate and stuff. Some of that is funny, some just isn't.


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