Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Bullet for my Lady -- Bernard Mara (Brian Moore)

Brian Moore is best known as a literary writer, author of such novels as The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, The Luck of Ginger Coffey, and Black Robe. But under a couple of other names (Bernard Mara and Michael Bryan) he wrote books that were published as paperback originals. One of those books is A Bullet for my Lady.

As you all know, when your partner is killed, you have to do something about it. Harold Spoke dies mysteriously in Barcelona, so Josh Camp goes there to do something about it. The police are calling Spoke's death an accident. Camp doesn't believe it, and of course neither does the anybody who's read more than one Gold Medal novel.

Besides the narrator and the suspicious death we have two beautiful women, a dangerous bullfighter, a menacing dwarf, assorted badasses, and the Cardinal. The Cardinal's been dead for a long, long time. No one knows where he's buried, except possibly one of the beautiful women, but everyone wants to find his grave because it's rumored to be filled with treasure beyond their wildest dreams. Any similarity to
The Maltese Falcon in all this is, I'm sure, purely coincidental.

The local color is very fine, the writing is smooth and assured, and the story is as wild as you might expect. Fine reading for an afternoon or evening. Check it out.


Ed Gorman said...

Brian Moore is one of my all-time favorite novelists. His first novel The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne came after years of struggle and paperbacking. A very powerful book. Followed by The Luck of Ginger Coffey, a great story about a daydreamer/loser, funny-sad and just a bit sentimental at the end. From then on one fine novel followed another right up till his death. Given the breadth of his subject matter he was clearly an intelligent, curious man whose writing skills were up to any world he chose to create.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Glad it was enjoyable. As Ed says above, he was one terrific literary novelist.