Peter Braid

Created by David J. Garrity
Pseudonym of David J. Gerrity
Other pseudonyms include Garrity, David J. Gerrity


“The first time the old bird tried to hire me was on the telephone, but he got too mouthy. I told him to go climb his thumb and stuck the receiver back in his face and thought that took care of that.”
— Garrity displays his bedside manners

When I grow up, I wanna be Mike Hammer

Dave J. Garrity, a “close friend and fellow author” of Mickey Spillane wrote one novel, Dragon Hunt, a 1967 paperback original about New York private eye PETER BRAID. In it, Braid gets roped into a cock-eyed case, hired by a big shot tycoon to protect his young granddaughter from… her homicidal father.

Garrity even got his drinking buddy to do a blurb for it, which was prominently plastered on the front cover: “Guts, action…the kind of stuff I like to read.”

But just in case anyone missed the Spillane-Garrity connection, the back bangs the drum even harder:

Peter Braid. That’s who. Colleague and drinking buddy of Mike Hammer. Here he is in a blood-scattering yarn about a really terrifying killer who strikes after a twenty-year silence.

DRAGON HUNT has dames and danger, and a gutty, sudden-sex tempo worthy of Spillane himself. Which may be one reason Mickey thinks it’s the greatest.

And just to seal the deal there’s a picture of Garrity and Spillane, sitting naked in a hot tub together, on the back cover. (Okay, I made up the hot tub bit. They’re just hard at work, squinting at some manuscript pages…)

Apparently, Spillane gave Garrity permission to recycle the  basic plot of the final daily continuity of the From the Files of…Mike Hammer comic strip. At one point in the story, somewhere around page 70 or so, Braid even calls up Hammer and asks him to keep an eye on his client’s granddaughter.


Dragon Hunt was a relatively late addition to the booze-babes-and-bullets approach to dame-slapping, hard-boiled crime fiction, though Garrity came by it honestly–he had penned at least two previous novels, Kiss Off the Dead (1960) and Cry Me a Killer (1961), full of the rough-and-tough stuff, both published by Gold Medal, and both very much in the same vein. Garrity was still in the Merchant Marines when he wrote them, and he wrote several more books over the years, including three novels about Frank Cardolini, a mob hitman, and two ghost-written memoirs, one for a stripper and another for a private eye.

By the way, Garrity (or Gerrity) really was one of a group of writer friends who gathered around Spillane in the fifties and sixties, according to Max Allan Collins. “Charlie Wells, Earle Basinsky and Dave Geritty all wrote and published crime novels with Spillane’s help, both as a mentor and as a conduit to such publishers as Gold Medal, Dutton and Signet—Spillane provided cover blurbs for all three writers. Another satellite writer, Joe Gill, a pal of Mickey’s from comic-book days, became a prolific magazine contributor and comics scripter, including the very Hammer-like 1960s P.I. feature, Sarge Steel.”


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

Leave a Reply