by Hugh Hosch
“She pulled a wad of pesetas big enough to choke a a caballa from her chaqueto pocket and dropped it on my desk.”
FELIPE MARLO is the only licensed taurine (bullfight) private eye in Franco’s Spain of the late 1950s, who appears in a trilogy of short novellas by Hugh Hosch. I picked up a copy of this in Spain about six years ago and was blown away by its cleverness. It’s a wonderful parody of the whole Ava Gardner/“Papa” Hemingway “blood in the sand” fashion of the era, as well as a zippy, slangy little spoof the whole private eye thing:
“It’s 1958 and I’m the only taurine P.I. in Madrid — maybe in the whole world. I’ve got a dump of an office in a crummy building over the central ticket office of taurine events in the Calle Victoria, the center of Madrid’s mondillo taurino, but baby, I’m in business.
Felipe hits all the expected gumshoe hot spots:
- Sexy clients (“she bulged in all the right places”)
- Drinks in the office (“[I was] having a slug of Magno at my desk”)
- Convoluted cases that always end up in… (“the weirdest, wildest caper of my P.I. career, involving a duke who looks like Errol Flynn and a novillero from just outside Sevilla named Curro something-or-other — and, oh yeah — murder.”
For readers with a decent command of Spanish, there’s a non-stop supply of terrific one liners and puns (and the English translations aren’t too shabby either).
SHORT STORIES & NOVELLAS
- “Felipe Marlo, Bullfight Shamus Paperback” (2004, Felipe Marlo, Bullfight Shamus Paperback)
- “Felipe Marlo’s Dangerous Summer” (2004, Felipe Marlo, Bullfight Shamus Paperback)
- “Felipe Marlo in Blood and Carmen” (2004, Felipe Marlo, Bullfight Shamus Paperback)
COLLECTIONS & OMNIBUS EDITIONS
- Felipe Marlo, Bullfight Shamus Paperback (2004) | Buy this book