Re your analysis of the MIKE HAMMER series below:
"A woman who loves Hammer, especially a woman Hammer literally
touches, must die, and my dad used to say as we watched the show and
saw Mike/Stacy Keach take a new girl, 'Well, sheŽll be dead by the end
of the show.'"
That's actually a fairly accurate depiction of how Hammer's love life plays out in the books, except that, quite often, the love interest in a given book might also turn out to be the villain (which I think happened on several of the TV episodes, too), and Hammer is the one who either kills the love interest, or contrives to get her killed.
"Of course, there were two women, his secretary Della, and the Lady in
Red, whom Mike never would or could touch, who always lived.
My former wife saw this treatment as misogynist, yet it does appear
part and parcel of the genre, with some exceptions."
Mike's secretary (and, for practical purposes, business partner, since she had her own PI license) was named Velda. Della was Perry Mason's secretary. The Woman in Red was a character created specifically for the TV series, and had no counterpart in the books.
In the upcoming Hammer novel, THE GOLIATH BONE, there are rumors that Velda will finally become Mrs. Hammer.
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