Created by Gil Brewer
Pseudonyms include Bailey Morgan, Eric Fitzgerald, Frank Sebastian, Jack Holland, Roy Carroll, Elaine Evans and Barry Miles, as well as the house name of Ellery Queen
Yet another of pulpmeister Gil Brewer’s poor saps driven to crime by some hot, steamy wench, BILL DEATH is a Florida private eye who walks into as nasty a little frame job as you can imagine, and he does it, as he says, “with my eyes wide open.”
Seems Grace Carter wants Bill to clear her lover of the murder of her wealthy husband, Irving. along for the ride are a conniving first wife, a hot-to-trot stepdaughter and a couple of hired thugs out to permanently cancel Death’s ticket.
Never published during his lifetime, Gun the Dame Down was probably written sometime in the late sixties or seventies, and was purportedly rejected for “being too racy,” according to Chris Morgan in his introductory essay in the 2015 omnibus edition that sees the novel appearing in print for the first time. Or maybe it was just that the protagonist’s surname was just too corny to be taken seriously…
Brewer was, of course, one of the shining lights of the Gold Medal era, pumping out a steady stream of twitchy, razor sharp noir thrillers full of damaged men and the femme fatales who beckon them to their doom. Besides his short stories appearing numerous times in the hard-boiled digests of the time, under numerous pseudonyms, he also cranked out thirty or so paperback originals, usually offering plenty of tough action, dark twists and a generous dollop of sleaze and tease, with such tantalizing titles as The Vengeful Virgin and Nude on Thin Ice. Some of his other private eyes include Sam & Tate Morgan, William Maddern, and Lee Baron. Other pen names he used over his long career included Bailey Morgan, Eric Fitzgerald, Frank Sebastian, Jack Holland, Roy Carroll, Elaine Evans and Barry Miles, as well as the house name of Ellery Queen.
- The Erotics/Gun the Dame Down/Angry Arnold (2015) | Buythis book
Three previously unpublished novels.
- Bibliography: Gil Brewer’s Published Short Fiction
A great checklist, from David Rachel’s always great Noirboiled Notes.
- Forgotten Writers: Gil Brewer
Bill Pronzini’s touching tribute to a writer he never quite knew. (1989, Mystery Scene)