It’s been a while since I posted some literature porn, so I thought I’d post these books that I found yesterday afternoon. (I have no shortage of books for your viewing pleasure; I just have to take pictures of them so you can objectify their covers.) I must say, the local library discards some excellent books. But I’ve no objection; this allows me to accumulate them without having to return them to the library.
Here I have Ruth Rendell’s From Doon With Death. Rendell is often credited as an author of noirish psychological novels. From Doon With Death, however is part of her procedural Inspector Wexford series of novels. I’m not sure how noirish Wexford is. And I’m not sure how Rendell is categorized as both noir and cozy mystery. The terms are arbitrary, folks. I’ll read it and find out. But I’ll probably start with Rendell’s non-Wexford novel One Across, Two Down.
Vendetta for the Saint just ain’t noir, and that’s all there is to it. But I like The Saint, so that’s that. Leslie Charteris’ creation is certainly one an important part of twentieth century crime fiction. What’s more, The Saint evolved from the same pulpy ancestors as Dashiell Hammett and subsequent hardboiled authors. It is no surprise that Vincent Price was playing Simon Templar (the beatific nickname derived from Templar’s initials) on the radio about the same time that Gerald Mohr was playing Philip Marlowe. Leslie Charteris and subsequent authors writing under his name (this volume was ghostwritten by Harry Harrison, with significant editorial input from Charteris) created breezy, highbrow pulp. “As the actress said to the bishop.”
Despite my fondness for the Saint, the undisputed gem of this haul is Ross Macdonald’s The Far Side of the Dollar. Lew Archer mysteries aren’t always easy to come by. Whenever I see one, I pick it up. I very much look forward to reading it, as I am currently re-examining my opinion of Macdonald. Stay tuned, I’ll certainly have more to say about The Far Side of the Dollar once I read it.