Friday, July 29, 2011

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

A Jimmy Starr Omnibus: "Jimmy Starr wrote three novels about Hollywood and its odd denizens back in the 40s and ever since then they've languished in library limbo. So Ramble House rounded them up and presents them in one huge, 446-page brick just as they were introduced to our parents (or grandparents). You can tell they're from the 40s by the vast amounts of booze the characters drink, and the benzedrine tablets they pass around like chiclets. Those were the days.

The star of the three potboilers is newspaperman Joe Medford. In THE CORPSE CAME C.O.D. he tackles the classic 'body-in-the-trunk' murder and in THREE SHORT BIERS he encounters the ghastly crime of midgeticide. Three of the little murders, in fact. They will prepare you for the third thriller, HEADS YOU LOSE, which challenges the works of Harry Stephen Keeler in the popular 'cut-off-the-head-then-sew-it-back-on' oeuvre. As one wag once put it: 'It's like Craig Rice meets The Thin Man meets The Front Page.'

There's an Afterword by editor Fender Tucker wherein he tells why this book is perhaps Ramble House's most-edited book."

The fact that I'm mentioned in the Afterword has nothing at all to do with my recommendation of this book. Trust me.

And in case you wonder, after reading the Afterword, I will confess that, like Fender Tucker, I always read the Afterword first.


Anonymous said...

I've always thought THREE SHORT BIERS was one of the great titles.


Anonymous said...

I have Three Short Biers around here (somewhere, can't seem to find it, I even think it's inscribed, but I did turn up a copy of Heads You Lose - which goes on the TBR pile immediately).
My recollection of the book was that it was really terrible, and great fun.
Art Scott