Saturday, April 19, 2008

Shell Game -- Richard Powell

I mentioned not long ago that this book would be half of a Stark House double in June. I couldn't wait until then to read it, though. Powell's books are hard to describe. He has a light touch and a breezy style that's hardly dated at all since the book's original publication back in 1950. You can bet that the Florida setting, however, has changed tremendously.

William Stuart, and adman and avid shell collector, is vacationing in Florida when he meets a frightened young woman one evening on the beach. She tells him a story, that's pretty obviously not true and gets him to help her. He continues to help her, with varying degrees of success, even after it appears that she might be guilty of murder. There's a dogged local police chief on her trail, assisted by a big-city cop, also on vacation. Everybody has a story, but not everybody is what he or she seems. Powell mixes it all up into a fast-moving and funny story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm happy that Stark House and Hard Case Crime are bringing Powell back into print.

1 comment:

Doc Quatermass said...

Speaking of old paperbacks... on TCM tomorrow afternoon "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty." Great cast:

2:00pm EASTERN TIME [Comedy] Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, The (1947)

An accountant dreams of being a hero but finds it's not so easy in real life.

Cast: Fay Bainter , Boris Karloff , Danny Kaye , Ann Rutherford Dir: Norman Z. McLeod C-110 mins, TV-G