RARA-AVIS: Halo In Brass ( Spoiler) and Cutter and Bone (no Spoiler)

From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 03 Aug 2004

Doug Bassett wrote: Is this the one which uses lesbianism as a plot point? If so, I remember liking it, but thinking that it was one of those relatively rare books who's impact has been lost as time has marched forward. It must've been a killer ending when it first came out, though.

******************** Yup. The murderer turns out to be a girl pretending to be a guy. It's telegraphed earlier when Pine finds the murderer with a known lesbian in her bedroom. I found it kind of amusing that they weren't just lesbians, they were Lesbians. Haha. Probably a nod to the isle of Lesbos, where they all originated from.

I think you're right about the lesbian theme being a groundbreaker for hardboiled in 1949. Vin Packer's SPRING FIRE didn't come out until 1952, and Zimet's STRANGE SISTERS, a nonfiction account of lesbian pulp fiction art, is subtitled with the dates 1949-1969.

Sorry you didn't like CUTTER AND BONE. I'll admit that maybe the plot wasn't the best, but I thought the writing was some of the sharpest I'd come across for a while.


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