RARA-AVIS: Ralph Dennis Hardman entry #6

From: e_lynskey ( e_lynskey@yahoo.com)
Date: 05 Aug 2006

I picked up a Ralph Dennis PBO in a bookstore and finished reading MURDER'S NOT AN ODD JOB (1974), Number Six in the Hardman
(w/sidekick Hump Evans) series. The paperback cost 95 cents and has a cigarette (for Kent Menthol, a man's brand?) advertisement card inserted in the pages. The backcover blurb reads, "HARDMAN is a great new private eye for the shockproof '70s."

Also of interest, the front page contains this statement:
"All POPULAR LIBRARY books are carefully selected by the POPULAR LIBRARY Editorial Board and represent titles by the world's greatest authors." The members of the board aren't given.

I see from the RARE BIRDS archives we discussed Mr. Dennis in January 2003. I haven't read any other HARDMAN titles, but this one feels like Mr. Dennis had hit his stride in the series. Hardman and Hump are hired to protect a rich man's son from a hitman. The twists are great. The action scenes are first rate. The dialogue snaps. Dennis is adept at pacing in a hardboiled PI book. Somehow I can picture Charles Bronson playing PI Hardman. If I run across other Hardman titles, I'll give them a ride around the block.

Ed Lynskey

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