RARA-AVIS: 30's month

From: M Blumenthal ( blumenidiot@21stcentury.net)
Date: 30 Nov 2002

I was in Boston for a while. I met a woman who is a lurker on this list. Her only comment on it was, "Michael Robinson seems to write a lot."

I read two Raul Whitfield books for '30's month. The first is Green Ice. I know Mario and others consider it a classic, but I think it can be thought that if you consider it was published at the beginning of the decade, but not if you compare it to its contemporary The Maltese Falcon or many books that came later. Miker has already outlined its plot. Mal Orney has gone to prison to protect a girl whom he wants nothing to do with when she picks him up upon his release. He inherited a small fortune which he plans to use to help the little guys against the big guys.When he arrives in New York City a former inmate who was to help him. Immediately, there are some murders which Mal somehow knows weren't committed by the obvious suspects. even though he had just been in prison. The the writing is good -- lean and tough, but the plot's weakness, the lack of credible motivation or well devoped characters made this book a disappointment to me.

The second book is Death in a Bowl which was published a year later, 1931.In this the central figure is a private detective, Ben Jardinn. The characters seem more believable to me. When Ben is suspicious of someone he gives his reasoning. The writing is again good. Perhaps its weakness is how the complicated the title murder is, but it is ingenious.

On to the forties... Mark

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