RARA-AVIS: Gold Medal: Bruno Fischer's The Lady Kills

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 20 Aug 2002

Bruno Fischer's THE LADY KILLS (#755, 1951) is the first Fischer I'bve read. "Mr. Fischer's writing is well motivated, a nice balance of of physical and cerebral action--all markedly satisfactory. --New York Times" says the front cover. My copy is the second printing, 1958, and the cover is a a woman with a black cloth wrapped around her, in front of fiery orange swirl. The original cover was racier:


THE LADY KILLS isn't top-rate Gold Medal stuff, but it's fast-moving and enjoyable. It's a mix of some familiar HB, noir and pulp/PBO elements: the newspaperman (who's not a hard drinker here), the bewitching but evil beauty, the corrupt town boss, the hick family with the handsome brother and younger sister who runs away in her underwear after her father whips her and her dress comes off.

The hero is the newspaperman, who's just been hired as the city editor at a paper in Nowheresville. His boss rails against corruption daily, and his boss's daughter is the one who answers the door in a skimpy bikini. The hero falls for the daughter and acts pretty stupid about her, especially since her amazing seductive powers aren't very well described and he just looks like a loser. There's a twist in the middle: he's in some deep trouble with her, but instead of going deeper, he blows town and stays away. But when his old boss is dying and calls for him, he comes back, and soon enough he's acting a bit stupid again. It all ends happily, though.

This and WHIP HAND by Charles Willeford and W. Franklin Sanders (also known as DELIVER ME FROM DALLAS!) both have whips. I don't think they were uncommon to Gold Medals.


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

-- # To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # majordomo@icomm.ca. This will not work for the digest version. # The web pages for the list are at http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/ .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 20 Aug 2002 EDT