Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday's Forgotten Books: IN MEMORY OF RANDY JOHNSON

From his archives.
FFB: The Case of The Hardboiled Dicks – John Blumenthal
02 Thursday Jan 2014

I should have realized it from the title, but it didn’t take long for me to figure out this book wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. It grabs every private eye cliche and wrings it for every thing it can get out of it. Mac Slade is our erstwhile hero and every woman wants him. He wants every woman. When he brushes a woman off several times, he literally gives her a brush(clothes, hair, lint). 

The women are all beautiful and we get lines like “gams from the hips all the way to the ground” and “a blouse so tight that if breasts could breathe, they would have to come up for air shortly.” He has a gal Friday named Tuesday, he carries a gat, a heater, a roscoe.

He’s not very bright and has been known, when following a car, to lose it and pick up the wrong one later. He once followed a car from New York to Arizona before realizing his mistake.

He’s hired by a beautiful woman who calls herself Mary Smith to find her baby brother Link, in hiding from the mob for gambling debts. Slade quips “I specialize in finding missing links. Also, when he learns her real identity, he finds that her husband committed suicide by shooting himself in the back with a bow-and-arrow. “Not that weird, I did it to myself by accident,” he thinks.  

Bodies keep turning up with a bullet from Slade’s gun in them, but they’ve been dead for hours, boiled alive in water. The first is identified as Mike Hammer, Jr., the second as Philip Marlowe, Jr., and the cops are looking for Sam Spade, Jr., one wanting to pin it all on Slade.

A shadowy figure known as the “Fat Man” seems to be behind it all and Slade runs into a mob boss looking for the brother named Don Corleone.

An amusing little book and it put me in mind of Get Smart for it’s silliness. Don Adams would have been perfect in the role of Mac Slade.

Mark Baker, MRS. POLIFAX PURSUED, Dorothy Gilman
Joe Barone, A THEORY OF LIBERATION, Gustavo Gutierrez
Elgin Bleecker, BAD COUNTRY, C.B. McKenzie
Brian Busby, PRESENT RECKONING, Hugh Garner
Bill Crider, THE PERSIAN CAT, John Flagg
Martin Edwards, BACKGROUND TO MURDER, Shelley Smith
Ed Gorman, ON THE LOOSE, Andrew Coburn
John Hegenberger, THE FRANKENSCIENE MONSTER, Forest Ackerman
Rick Horton, TEMPEST-TOST, Robertson Davies
Jerry House, MISTS OF DAWN, Chad Oliver
Nick Jones, THE MINISTRY OF FEAR, Graham Greene
George Kelley, THE POWER OF THE DOG, Don Winslow
Margot Kinberg, THE INTRUDER, Hakan Ostlundh
Rob Kitchin, EASY STREETS, Bill James; IN THE WIND, Barbara Fister
B.V. Lawson, A PRIVATE INQUIRY, Jessica Mann
Evan Lewis, TARZAN, THE TERRIBLE, Edgar Rice Burroughs 
Steve Lewis/Marv Lachman, NGAIO MARSH
Todd Mason,  WORLD'S BEST CONTEMPORARY SHORT STORIES selected by the Editors of SHORT STORY INTERNATIONAL [magazine] (Ace Books, 1966)
Nik Morton, JACK OF SWORDS, E.C. Tubbs
J.F. Norris, FLORAL TRIBUTE, C.E. Vulliamy
James Reasoner, TARZAN THE TERRIBLE, Edgar Rice Burroughs
Richard Robinson, SONG OF THE BEAST, Carol Berg 
Kerrie Smith,  DOUBLE SIN AND OTHER STORIES, Agatha Christie 
Kevin Tipple, PANDEMONIUM, Warren Fahey
TracyK, A SKELETON IN THE GRASS, Robert Barnard 
Graham Wynd, CAROL, Patricia Highsmith
Zybahn, THE SUICIDE CLUB, Robert Louis Stevenson 


Todd Mason said...

Thanks! My link seems to not work yet, though,

WORLD'S BEST CONTEMPORARY SHORT STORIES selected by the Editors of SHORT STORY INTERNATIONAL [magazine] (Ace Books, 1966)

Unknown said...

As I arrive somewhat belatedly, may I nevertheless offer my review of Steven Saylor's The Triumph of Caesar (2008) for your BYOR party?

Here is the link:

Thank you for letting me participate.

FYI, I will be posting a FBF review each Friday. Perhaps you will be willing to include my contribution.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm a hard sell for slapstick comedy kind of writing. This sounds kind of interesting though.

mybillcrider said...

Those Mac Slade books were all over Half-Price Books in the Houston area for years. I never bought one, though.

J F Norris said...

Mine's up now. Straggling again...

Floral Tribute by C. E. Vulliamy

Thanks as always, Patti.

K. A. Laity said...

My alter ego's done one

Todd Mason said...

Ad Nik Morton wants to play, too:

Elgin Bleecker said...

Patti – Thanks for the weekly roundup. Lots of good reads, as usual. My TBR pile is threatening to collapse a table.

Yvette said...

That Mac Slade book sounds like fun, Patti. I can hardly believe that two of the more prolific bloggers (and nice guys) are gone this year. Sad times.

I have nothing for you on my blog this week and probably not next week - I'm in the dumps and like Sherlock Holmes, must be left to get over it on my own.

Hanging out on Facebook seems to help - so I'm occasionally to be found there.

Kelly Robinson said...

Sounds like a real hoot. Some of the less-literary hardboiled stuff is hard to tell from the spoofs—there's not that much difference!

Anonymous said...

A fitting tribute, Patti...

David Cranmer said...

Another superb gathering of talent to spotlight many fine books. And a great tribute to Randy. Damn, I miss him.