Created by Henry Kane
Pseudonyms include Anthony McCall, Kenneth R. McKay & Mario J. Sagola; house pseudonym include Ellery Queen
MARLA TRENT, one of the first women eyes, first appeared in 1959’s Private Eyeful, and later teamed up with author Kane’s most famous character, “private richard” Pete Chambers, in 1962’s Kisses of Death, and that was about it.
She’s notable now (maybe) for being may have been one of the early lady eyes, but there was always something a bit smirky about the way she was portrayed on the book jackets. The blurbs offered such liberated praise as “a beautiful body with a brain to match” and compliments her “amazing brain (and body).” She also appears on the cover of at least one paperback reprint topless, wearing a shoulder holster.
Gee, I wonder what market they were going after?
Obviously not anyone with a speck of decency or loral scruple. As one disgusted review on Goodreads put it, “This book is shit. Yeah, I get racy humor, I get sexist humor from the ’60s, I get supply-and-demand. But in the middle of Chapter 5, (Marla) is raped to teach her—and the reader—a lesson.”
Author Henry Kane was a lawyer who seemed to prefer writing. In his career, wrote over 60 novels, including about 30 featuring Peter Chambers. He also wrote about retired NYPD detective inspector turned P.I. McGregor, the movie adaptations for Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct‘s Cop Hater and The Mugger, and countless radio and television scripts.
- Private Eyeful (1959) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- Kisses of Death (1962, with Pete Chambers) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- Remembering Henry Kane
Lawrence Block tells a few tales out of school (Summer 2010, Mystery Scene #115)