A Tribute to Dean Davis’ Legendary Detective,
The Greatest Private Eye Series That Never Existed!
Back when this site and I were young, someone clued me into a web site about a writer, Dean Davis, and his greatest creation, private eye King Bennett. In over fifty books, from “Bang”, Said the Gun (1956), to the very last, Somewhere the Sun is Shining (1969), Davis consistently delivered the gumshoe goods, capturing the finger-snapping beat of Rat Pack-era Vegas with pizazz to spare.
And sure enough, the site was a treasure trove of gumshoe heaven–paperback and magazine covers in all their period-perfect cheesy glory, full synopses, and stories behind the stories, including Davis’ numerous squabbles with editors and his not-quite-legit publisher. How had I never heard of this guy, I wondered?
Turns out there was a good reason–Dean Davis might be a real guy, but King Bennett? He never existed. Still, when I think of the work that went into that web site, an obvious labour of love (and chutzpah), I can only tip my fedora in gratitude and wonder. Sure, you could look at it as a humorous parody, but I know the work of a fellow traveller when I see one.
Alas, somewhere along the line, the site was housed on a university server where Davis worked, and when he retired, they kept it going for about a year or two, with the help of some IT guys who kept it up as a favor. But favours only last so long, and then… *POOF!*
Fortunately, WayBack Machine, a digital archive of the World Wide Web, managed to salvage some of it. The images above are some of what I managed to salvage from their efforts.
- Dean Davis: Just Some Guy Who Wrote Mysteries (via The WayBack Machine)
In its original incarnation, this was just the bomb–a truly snazzy site about the coolest mystery private eye writer in the world, crammed full of book and magazines covers, plot breakdowns and even the wild and wooly tales behind the tales. Unfortunately, that original version seems to have vanished, just like Puff, quietly slipping into his cave…but the WayBack Machine folks managed to salvage some of it.