Created by Thomas B. Dewey
Pseudonyms include Tom Brandt and Cord Wainer
The thing about San Fernando Valley post-war private eye PETE SCHOFIELD and his “beautiful little redhead” wife JEANNE is that they’re married–happily!
Well, more or less.
Trust me, in private detective fiction, particularly for those times, there weren’t many happily married couples, save for Nick and Nora and their more obvious (and generally lesser) imitators. But married eyes whose wives weren’t complete imbeciles or simply convenient victims in frequent need of rescue? You’ve got maybe Carney Wilde and Jim Bennett.
The Pete and Jeanne books may be lighter hearted in tone than Thomas B. Dewey‘s Mac novels, and may even verge on a sort of 50s-era suburban screwball at times, but Jeanne is nobody’s bimbo. Not really.
The problem is that too often Pete treats her like one, and his patronizing attitude towards her when she tries to become involved in his cases will set modern day eyeballs a-rolling.
Granted, Jeannie is occasionally a little impulsive–packing up and moving out at what seems to Pete to be the slightest of transgressions, but it doesn’t help that loyal hubby Pete is a bit of a dope, at times displaying all the maturity, trust and judgement of a horny frat boy.
But there’s a genuine decency and affection between the two, and Jeanne sees things–particularly at the emotional and psychological end of the spectrum–that good ol’ Pete, the patronizing suburban caveman that he is, just doesn’t see.
Sorta makes me think Jeanne should have shared top billing with Pete–most of the books are listed as a “Pete Schofield” caper or thriller or some such. The fact that Pete was even married was certainly downplayed–several of the early sixties paperback covers featured the usual half-naked, enticing babe (certainly not the Missus) and are billed as “A Pete Schofield Sizzler.”
Sizzlers!!! What would Jeanne say?
- And Where She Stops (1957) | Buy this book
- Go To Sleep, Jeanne (1959)
- Too Hot For Hawaii (1960) | Buy this book
- The Golden Hooligan (1961) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- Go Honeylou (1962) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- The Girl With The Sweet Plump Knees (1963) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- The Girl in the Punchbowl (1964) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- Only on Tuesdays (1964) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- Nude in Nevada (1965) | Buy this book | Kindle it!
- Thomas B. Dewey
A brief bio, taken from Brian Ritt’s Paperback Confidential (2013).
- Dewey Does It: Hailing One of Crime Fiction’s Underrated Stars
J. Kingston Pierce’s telling June 2014 take on Dewey, from Kirkus.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.