RARA-AVIS: Frank Gruber -- second try

From: Mark Sullivan ( DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net)
Date: 17 Jul 2004

Sorry about that miss-send. Let me try it again.

I had just started reading Gruber's Pulp Jungle when I decided to read one of his novels, too. I'd read some of his shorts, but none of his longs. I flipped ahead in Pulp Jungle and saw French Key was his first. He described it as his attempt to merge the plotting of Gardner with the humor of Latimer. Sounded good. I happened to have a copy (along with Swing Low, Swing Dead), so I started it. Haven't gotten far, but so far, so good.

It's a Belmont reprint from 1970. I just read a mention of a man having a "Beatle haircut." Somehow, I doubt that's in the 1940 original. I'm wondering how much else was changed. For instance, the following prices sound more like they're from the 1940s than the 1970s: $35 for three weeks in a transient hotel, fifteen cent subway fares, 50 cent lunches, I know candy bars weren't still five cent in 1970. So why change something as minor as the description of the haircut of a passing character?

Then today I ran across three more of Gruber's Johnny Fletcher mysteries
-- The Limping Goose, The Gift Horse and The Honest Dealer (plus a non-Fletcher, The Etruscan Bull; he liked animal titles, didn't he? I also have Buffalo Box and The Silver Jackass).

So that made me wonder. Anyone know how many Johnny Fletcher novels there are? Anyone have a bibliography of them?


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