The Unorthodox Corpse: The Detective’s Blazon vs. Female Autonomy

The detective novels penned by Alan Geoffrey Yates under the pseudonym Carter Brown offer a descriptive approach as to how women were viewed in sexual terms during the mid-20th century. His novel The Unorthodox Corpse is no exception.  In it, he employs the detective-era blazon, which catalogues a woman’s physical attributes like a traditional sonnet, […]

Tortue, Police Overreach, and Gender In Carter Brown’s The Ever-Loving Blues

  Carter Brown’s The Ever Loving Blues is not a novel that veers far off the course of the prototypical pulp-era detective novel.  It follows the exploits a hyper-masculine, heteronormative hero in the form of private detective Danny Boyd as he unravels the mystery behind a murder whilst attempting to seduce a number of beautiful […]

Carter Brown’s The Mini-Murders: Homophobia, The Male Gaze, and the Police State

  When browsing through the covers of pulp-era detective novels, especially those by Carter Brown, it’s difficult to see the hypersexualized covers and believe that any of them could be ‘progressive’ outside of a hedonistic libertarian angle, and when one reads the pages there within, and gets a glimpses at the androcentric, heteronormative, and chauvinistic […]

The Mistress, by Carter Brown: The Media and Murder

  The Mistress fits the mould of a typical Carter Brown novel.  It is peppered with the male gaze, crime, sex, mystery and intrigue, and most especially, beautiful, voluptuous, vivacious and curvaceous woman, all of whom are dressed provocatively.  One might assume that in reading one such novel, one has ‘read them all’, but Brown […]

Torture, Tort Law and the Harm Principle in Carter Brown’s Tomorrow Is Murder

  Tomorrow Is Murder is a Carter Brown novel featuring his female detective Mavis Seidlitz.  In 1960, when it was published, the concept of a female detective was still a relatively new one, though Agatha Christie had already introduced the very popular Miss Marple.  Mavis, unlike Christie’s famous heroine, is no spinster, but lacks the […]

Patriarchy and Misogyny in Carter Brown’s The Loving and the Dead

  Carter Brown’s career started in the early 50’s, and though his most famous detectives, Al Wheeler and Danny Boyd, he often portrayed a variety of women in his novels that sometimes challenged patriarchal constructs, and sometimes reinforced them, depending of course on whether or not they are read as descriptive or prescriptive narratives.  His […]

Gender, Race, Capitalism and the Environment in Carter Brown’s Wheeler, Dealer!

Carter Brown’s novel Wheeler, Dealer! (yes, there is an exclamation mark in the title) is one of the last novels featuring Brown’s detective Al Wheeler (yes, the title is a pun on the protagonist’s name).  Most of the Al Wheeler novels came out in the 50’s and 60’s.  This title was published in 1975, under […]

Descriptive Detective Fiction: Carter Brown’s Remember Maybelle?

Carter Brown’s hetero/androcentric detective novels make a habit of embracing a heterosexual male fantasy, and as he progressed in life, Brown’s novels shifted.  Where once there was a series of titillating tales that tease, often only flirting with fornication before the detective narrative usurps the nascent of sex scenes that featured Al Wheeler and Danny […]

Carter Brown’s Until Temptation Do Us Part: The Culture of Hypermasculinity

As is the case with most Carter Brown novels, Until Temptation Do Us Part serves as a guilty pleasure that indulges in a hyper-heterosexual fantasy realm where misamatorist and misogynists epitaphs are thrown around to insult men and violence against women is employed by the protagonist and antagonist alike.  There are, however, underlining themes throughout […]

Carter Brown’s The Phantom Lady: A Misamatorist Test?

Books poured out of ‘Carter Brown’ like vomit from the mouth of a Japanese porn star water from a faucet during the peak years of his career, though some literary critics might suggest the outpouring was more akin to defecation.  In his later years the sheer volume of work subsided into a trickle, but work […]