RARA-AVIS: Still stuck in the '40s

From: abc@wt.net
Date: 20 Jan 2003

CELLINI SMITH: DETECTIVE sounds like the title of the first book in a series, but it's the third and final novel about Smith. The three were written by Robert Reeves, who never wrote another because he was killed in a jeep accident in WWII. Here's what Anthony Boucher says about the book:
"Murder in a hobo jungle with tense investigation covering Skid Row--flop houses, B-girls, spielers, burlesque, and all. Well in the top brackett of the hard-boiled school; a book as lean and tough and strong as its detective."

It's got all that Boucher mentions and more. He didn't say anything about the grave-robbing and corpses that appear and disappear, not to mention a unique murder weapon. And a lot about tungsten. The book reminded me a little of Jonathan Latimer, with some of the same kind of dark humor. Recommended.

Bill Crider

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