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 P.I. PBO from the fertile pen of Gil Brewer. In this one, private peeper LEE BARON gets blindsided by an old flame, when he goes back to his hometown on Florida’s Gulf Coast, where his father was also aP.I. The backcover blurb speaks for itself:
I never know what trouble was until she came back into my life and started fanning the flames on an old torch. “I need you, Lee,” she said. Then she looked up at me with those wonderful, burning dark eyes of hers and I fell into them just like I always did — like it was yesterday and we were crazy in love on Cloud 18.
Only it was today. Only she already had a husband. Only he was missing. She wanted me to find him before he found her — and killed her. There were holes in her story. There were holes in my head, too. Because I bought every word of it.
Bang! The next thing I knew I was head over heels in a mess of corpses, killers, and wild, wild women.
Wait. Maybe it’s the typically sleazy front cover (left) that really does the talking. Also typically, as with any Brewer, there’s a lot of drinking, physical violence, and sweaty sex, with a climactic scene that’s hard-boiled enough for any two or three modern day would-be noirs.
Brewer was a mainstay of the fifties pulp fiction scene, specializing in steamy noir thrillers. Besides hisd 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, Bill Maddern, Sam & Tate Morgan and the unfortunately named Bill Death. 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.
- Wild (1958) | Buy this book
- 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)