Okay, Palmdale is not Montreal.
But my adopted home in California’s High Desert just doesn’t get much respect in crime fiction.
First time I realized this was while watching Accomplice, a 1946 B-flick featuring Los Angeles private eye Simon Lash and his partner Eddie Slocum discuss the possible location of a suspect. When “Palmdale” is suggested, the gasp of astonishment and distaste is immediate — and hilarious.
Turns out the windy little burg is depicted as a sort of backwoods blackhole, inhabited by inbred shady types and mink ranchers.
Since then, there have been a few disses.
One of my favourites is from the 1980 pilot film for Tenspeed and Brown Shoe by Stephen J. Cannell. Flim flam man E.L. “Tenspeed” Turner scams his way into the cockpit of a commercial jetliner about to take off, posing as a flight inspector. Here it is, taken right from the script:
Got anymore? Send ’em along… I’m a big boy. I can take it.