RARA-AVIS: Re: Frank Gruber's Johnny Fletcher

From: Richard Moore ( moorich2@aol.com)
Date: 06 Jun 2006

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Ed Lynskey <e_lynskey@...> wrote:
> There's been recent discussion of Frank Gruber and in the
> rara-avis archives. I finished reading his short, fast-paced
> _Swing Low, Swing Dead_ Johnny Fletcher mystery and liked it.
> Gruber has a colloquial, breezy pulp prose style. Fletcher's
> wrestling sidekick, Sam Cragg, adds to the fun. This plot
> concerns a purloined rock-and-roll song titled "Apple Taffy".
> My paperback is a Belmont PBO without a publication date
> included. Anybody have any idea (1960s)?
> Ed Lynskey
I have the same Belmont edition. It was published in 1964 and was
(I believe) the last Johnny Fletcher/Sam Cragg novel and the only one to be published as a paperback original. All the others first had a hardback edition by Rinehart.

It was a fun series and "breezy" describes it well. I also liked his Otis Beagle series, although his stand-alones may have been a slight cut above any of his series. It has been too many years since I read any of them for me to be a good judge now.

Gruber's greatest contribution to this form of fiction is likely his memoir THE PULP JUNGLE (1967), possibly the best first-hand account of a pulp writer. A shorter form of that memoir was published with his collection OF Black Mask stories BRASS KNUCKLES (1966). He died in 1969.

Richard Moore

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 06 Jun 2006 EDT