Monday, February 15, 2010

Playing Detective -- Ron Goulart

This chapbook from Gary Lovisi's Gryphon books consists of two stories by Ron Goulart. It's in my wheelhouse because (A) I really like Goulart's stories, (B) it's about Hollywood in the '40s, and (C) it's also about Old Time Radio.

Jack Branner and Connie Bowen are the stars of a series of movies about Mr. and Mrs. Dane, a husband and wife detective team that Warlock Pictures, a poverty-row studio hopes will remind everyone of Nick and Nora Charles. It doesn't, and it's about to be killed.

Branner and Bowen are a wisecracking couple in real life, too, but they're not married. They were, but it didn't work out. When they get involved in a real murder case, Branner thinks that if they can solve the case, the publicity will save their series. And maybe lead to a radio show. I don't think it will spoil anything to say that when the second story begins, the series has been renewed and that the radio show is underway.

Goulart writes snappy dialog, and his stories always make me laugh. I have no idea how old Goulart is, but I've been reading his stories, novels, and nonfiction since I was a teenager. I hope to keep on reading them for a long time to come.


Todd Mason said...

Goulart just turned 77, says WIKIPDEDIA--long might he continue to be on top of his game. (He was a teen when his UC Berkeley PELICAN piece was reprinted in F&SF, and he was studying with Boucher....)

A little more respect and sales would help (everyone)!

And thanks for the kind word on the BANDITS's a fine film...and I really wouldn't've minded seeing them live.

Dan_Luft said...

Is Gryphon still in action? The website navigates like it's been abandoned. I bought Howard Browne's "Murder Wears a Halo" from the press years ago and it was great. I'd love to get other hardboiled books from them but, as I mentioned, the website is a toughie.

Unknown said...

I didn't link to the website because it's hopeless. Gary does have a thriving publishing business, however. You can probably get a catalog if you write him. He's still doing HARDBOILED and PAPERBACK PARADE. Address is P. O. Box 209, Brooklyn, NY 11228-0209.

George said...

I've purchased a few Gryphon books over the years. Time to open the wallet again.

Todd Mason said...

Yeah, I Did link to the website in the course of citing HARDBOILED on Friday just because at least there's some contact info there...just not descriptions of the last several years' worth of the magazine!