RARA-AVIS: Edwin Lanham, booking purchases & Bob Hope

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 28 Jul 2003

In reverse order, the death of Bob Hope reminds me of Christmas 1970 in Vietnam when he performed a few hundred yards from where I was but I didn't go see him. I was in country less than 30 days and depressed as hell after pulling an all-night guard duty and just couldn't muster the energy to see him. In a oddly modern moment, Bob Hope's performance was carried on the Armed Forces Radio Network and I listened to it on a transitor radio while I could hear the laughs and cheers live and in person. I wish now I had gotten off my ass and down the way to see him, a bit of history and a linkage to thousands of other lonely GIs.

This past weekend my wife and I drove to Culpepper, VA for lunch and antiquing. Of course, my secret agenda was Ace Books, the good book store above the bicycle shop. I found several Alfred Hitchcock digests from the late 1950s and early 1960s, one Mike Shayne from 1971 and one issue of The Saint, which turned out to be a duplicate, alas. The only novel I picked up was Edwin Lanham's HEADLINED FOR MURDER (1946) in the Bantam edition. The original title was SLUG IT SLAY in the Harcourt first edition. This is a newspaper background novel and based on the opening pages is a good one. I know Lanham published other novels but I know nothing about him. Any opinions out there? He clearly knew the newspaper business and the particular way the old hot type newspapers functioned. I must be one of the last survivors to remember the days when all the copy was set in lead prior to publishing. Well, Tony Hillerman is another.
 So is there anyone out there with opinions or recommendations concerning Lanham?

Richard Moore

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