1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol. 87 and 88: Two Novels by “Carter Brown”

Carter Brown was the pen name of Alan Yates who wrote over 300 novels! Many of these works were written during the “pulp” era and were typically detective stories. The Sad-Eyed Seductress and The Ice-Cold Nude featured protagonist Danny Boyd, a fast talking New York private detective who is transposed to California for a couple of jobs. In The Sad-Eyed Seductress, Boyd is looking to track down the ward of a millionaire business man. The business man’s niece is found dead and Boyd is then tasked with finding the killer, a job which involves a drug ring, a washed up actor, some interesting double-crosses and all the while we get to see a few corpses pill up. In The Ice-Cold Nude, Boyd is offered another job on the west coast at the recommendation of a police officer, and this time, rather than tracking down a killer, Boyd is tasked with tracking down a stolen tiara, but again, corpses pile up and a series of double-crosses keep the reader guessing. Yates’s style could be called clichéd, and it certainly seems to borrow heavily from the standard set by Raymond Chandler, but it is not without its own merits. The novels are short (neither reached 130 pages), the narratives entertaining and not too predicable, while the dialogue, though perhaps a bit fantastic at times, is often entertaining. Though Yates sold millions of novels, his work doesn’t seem to have stood the test of time, likely because of the sheer volume of works he has composed (I don’t think Chapters cares to carry 300+ titles by one author), but the work stands nearly on par with Chandler, and if you can get your hands on some used paperbacks by “Carter Brown”, they would be worth checking out.


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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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