1000 Books in 10 Years; Vol. 131 and 132: the Bombshell and Walk Softly Witch, by “Carter Brown”

CarterBrownTheBombshellCarter Brown is the pen name for Australian author Alan Yates, who wrote American detective novels.  Walk Softly Witch is the first of the Danny Boyd novel, and tells the tale of a troupe of actors, one of whom pays Boyd to get her husband committed to a sanatorium.  Murder and mayhem ensue and Boyd has to sort it all out.  The interesting thing about Boyd is that he is not the prototypical detective.  Unlike Raymond Chandler’s famous detective, Philip Marlowe, Boyd is more than happy to jump into bed with just about any woman who makes herself available to him, and unlike Marlowe and Sherlock Holmes, Boyd is in it for the money, not so much the thrill the puzzle.  He is seemingly amoral at times, and is willing to do anything for a quick buck, but does have a sort of ethical code at other times.  The Bombshell is not a Danny Boyd novel.  Instead of a private detective, Al Wheeler works for the police.  When a missing person’s report is turned into a homicide, he is brought in on the case.  Like Boyd, Wheeler is more than happy to jump into bed with just about any woman who makes herself available.  Both books a terse, first-person narrative with a quick pace and neither is very long.  Alan Yates, or Carter Brown if you prefer, squeezes a lot of book into less than 150 pages, and though they don’t carry much literary merit, they do make for a fun guilty pleasure.

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Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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