Re: RARA-AVIS: 1950s: So Deadly My Love

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 28 Jan 2003

----- Original Message ----- From: "William Denton" <> To: "RARA-AVIS" <> Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 4:55 AM Subject: RARA-AVIS: 1950s: So Deadly My Love

> Gorman and Greenberg's anthology PULP MASTERS has Harry Whittington's
> DEADLY MY LOVE (1957) in it. It was originally half of an Ace double,
> it's not long. Not short enough for me to read it all, though. The
> introduction says Whittington was formulaic but stylish, but this one
> light on the latter.
> A private eye returns to a southern town ten years after serving time
> a crime he didn't commit. The guy that sprung him, a powerful
> needs help, because his right-hand man has disappeared. This
> is married to a woman that the PI loved, and who was responsible for
> frame that sent him to jail. Right off the bat she's making eyes for
> and after a chat with the chief of police who's trying to take control
> the county away from the politician, he meets a stripper who was in
> with the missing man. There are many long conversations where very
> happens. I skipped to the finish, which was unsurprising.

I actually liked this one & think it's one of the better Whittington's I've read. I particularly enjoyed the milieu, classic corrupt small-town Florida, the setting for many Gold Medals at the time. The original edition by Ace books (and the Australian reprint from Phantom) feature one of my favourite covers of all time. A blonde babe tied to a chair while a very large, butch looking female warder is just about to belt the bejasus out of her with a leather belt while a lackadaisical-looking deputy-sheriff smokes a cigarette & looks complacently on. This cover was censored in a later Australian reprint - the deputy's star was removed. Amazingly enough, the cover accurately represents a scene in the story. A classic piece of noir iconography & the novel, IMO, is a solid piece of Gold Medal 50's noir. Not a classic, perhaps, but definitely top drawer 50's paperback original. I have no hesitation recommending it to anyone who has read & enjoyed Whittington or 50's Gold Medal novels in general.


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