RARA-AVIS: The Mammoth Book of Private Eye Stories

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 13 May 2004

The other day I picked up THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF PRIVATE EYES STORIES, edited by Bill Pronzini and Martin H. Greenberg. I thought it was new, but then I noticed it's a 2004 reprint of a 1988 book, and Mr. Duggan listed the contents seven years ago:


There are 24 stories, by a nice mix of writers. This would probaby make a nice companion to Mr. Niebuhr's new book. The Mammoth series always gives good value for the money. They're from Robinson in the UK.

I also picked up TRIPWIRE by Brian Garfield (1973), which is has the dedication "Perhaps Handy McKay will understand why this is for Don Westlake." Now, Handy McKay is the guy to go through if you want to talk to badass thief Parker. And Parker and McKay are mentioned in another book I got, TRANSYLVANIA STATION, by Donald and Abby Westlake (1987, a Dennis McMillan paperback). It's a guide for putting on a mystery weekend, one of those things where actors play characters, and there's a murder, and the guests play detective and solve it. I'd never heard of these books before but apparently McMillan published six of them.

And I snagged THE ADVENTURES OF MIKE BLAIR, by Hank Searls, a collection of DIME DETECTIVE stories from Mysterious Press (1988), in the same series, edited by Robert Weinberg, as THE ADVENTURES OF CARDIGAN by Frederick Nebel and a few others. Aside from a couple of mentions of the title before, Hank Searls hasn't come up on the list before. He did these seven stories in 1949-1950, and later wrote novels and did Hollywood work. He's brand new to me. Anyone know these stories?


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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