Friday, February 21, 2014

FFB: Find Eileen Hardin -- Alive! -- Andrew Frazer

Reading the Johnny Mayhem story for last week's FFB put me in the mood to read more by Milton Lesser/Stephen Marlowe, so I pulled this one off the shelf.  Yes, Marlowe, the man of many names, was also Andrew Frazer for a two-book series from Avon.  He signed my copy of this at the Bouchercon in Monterey in 1997.  

Duncan Pride is a p.i. who's called back to the college where only a few years earlier he was a football hero.  (He played pro ball for one game, but when he refused to shave points for a gambler, the gambler had him beaten and his legs broken -- end of pro career.)  The call comes from his former sweetheart, now married to his former college coach, whose daughter by his first wife has gone missing.

There's nothing new here.  Powerful forces don't want the girl found.  Pride isn't going to stop looking.  He gets beaten up.  Several times.  There are some things in the book that current readers might find bothersome, but I can't talk about the main one since it's central to the plot.  Aside from that, though, this is a slick, well-written yarn with several very good set pieces (one in a deserted oyster cannery and another in an airport). 

This book came out while Marlowe was in the midst of writing his Chester Drum series for Gold Medal.  I like the Drum books, and this one is in the same class. Check it out if you're a fan of the old-fashioned kind of p.i. novel.

Stephen Marlowe and me at the signing table at the Monterey Bouchercon.

5 comments:

August West said...

I also really like this one. I like it so much that I hunted down the second Duncan Pride mystery, "The Fall of Marty Moon." The Marty Moon character put out the order to break Prides's legs when he refused to shave points as a rookie. Too bad Stephen Marlowe only wrote two novels for this series, Duncan Pride was a cool PI.

Bill Crider said...

I have the second book, but it's in terrible shape. I'm almost afraid to try to read it.

Stephen Mertz said...

Great photo! Didn't Mr. Marlowe leave behind a memoir that was to be published? Or maybe I'm just misremembering again...

Bill Crider said...

I think Ed Gorman mentioned that, Steve. I'd sure like to read it!

Kelly Robinson said...

Sometimes it doesn't matter if there's "nothing new," if the story is told well enough. That's the kind of crime novel I find most comforting when I need a read that's not too taxing.