RARA-AVIS: Too Late for 60s?

From: Reed Andrus ( rsandrus@swbell.net)
Date: 27 Feb 2003

Wandering through some of the weird stuff I've accumulated over the years, I just came across three novels that probably fit into the 60s discussion. For the record they are:

Peril is My Pay by Stephen Marlowe (a Gold Medal pb published in 1960; cost is 25 cents; the inside cover lists 9 others in the Drum series, so perhaps this is the 10th pubbed by Fawcett).

The Blonde Cried Murder by John Creighton (one-half of Ace Double F-115, 1961. I suspect Creighton is a pseudonym; maybe Crider or Jim Doherty can advise. The inside flyleaf lists 7 other Creighton novels, all Ace Doubles, D-series.) Here is the blurb:
"If Ed Donovan ever had the world by a string, someone had snipped it clean. His wife had skipped, his private detective agency had slipped and he had just flipped for the bottle [the blurb writer was into poetry, I guess]. That's why he had to take the long-shot chance the blonde offered him. She wanted Ed to find her missing husband, gone six months already with a hundred grand in embezzled money. The cops hadn't found him. The insurance men hadn't found him. But Ed Donovan darned well [darned well?] had to find him or lose his last chance in life. Or had he already lost that chance the moment he took the murderous mission?"

The last item is kinda different. It's called Mark Kilby and the Miami Mob by Robert Caine Frazer. Published by Pocket Books (35 cents) in 1960, it's apparently third in a series featuring the eponymous private detective. The writing is pretty bad:
"Kilby saw the tops of her bare shoulders as he approached the bed. The only light came in through the Venetian blinds, the slats of which were tilted. He lifted the sheet a little. She was naked. Raising her right eyelid, Kilby saw the pinpoint pupil, and knew that she had been given one of the morphia drugs.
"Stop right there, Kilby!" Kilby turned his head, saw a man in a white shirt and pale-gray slacks. His eyes looked as if they had been hickory-smoked. There was a gun in his hand.
"Ah," said Kilby kindly. "Mr. Rhino, I presume?"
"That's right," Rhino said. "Just give me one reason I shouldn't kill you right where you stand!"

I'd be willing to give one of these a shot if anyone is interested in a report. If not, I'll try to go hunt up something for the 70s. How about Augustus Mandrell?

Best regards,

... Reed

> On 27 February 2003, JIM DOHERTY wrote:
> : Considering that it's the topic of the month, there's been very little
> : discussion about the 1960s. One point that I think should be mentioned
> : is that the single most popular mystery sub-genre in the '60s,
> : particularly the mid-60s, was spy fiction.
> And that fed into the HB paperback original world very nicely, with Matt
> Helm and Earl Drake and the others, and carried on into all those other
> post-pulp men's adventure series. I always think of Shell Scott and Chet
> Drum when I think of PBO series, but they started in the '50s, and even
> though Drum got all around the world, he wasn't a spy.
> I enjoyed the 1960s books I read this month. I'm looking forward to some
> good stuff next month, and I hope people will pick a book and send out
> some comments. The hardboiled stuff won't be hard to find, but how about
> '70s noir?
> Bill

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