Friday, January 30, 2009

No Good From A Corpse - Leigh Brackett

This collection includes all Brackett's 'criminous musings' as the compiler puts it. One novel, and eight short stories of the hardboiled detective flavour. I have seen comparisons of Brackett to Chandler, and although her output here is numerically lesser, it is certainly as good in content, and as far as short stories go, probably better.

This is an outstanding collection at 3.83

No Good From A Corpse : No Good from a Corpse - Leigh Brackett
No Good From A Corpse : Murder Is Bigamy - Leigh Brackett
No Good From A Corpse : Red-Headed Poison [The Case of the Wandering Red-Head] - Leigh Brackett
No Good From A Corpse : Murder in the Family - Leigh Brackett
No Good From A Corpse : Design for Dying - Leigh Brackett
No Good From A Corpse : I Feel Bad Killing You - Leigh Brackett
No Good From A Corpse : No Star Is Lost - Leigh Brackett
No Good From A Corpse : So Pale So Cold So Fair - Leigh Brackett
No Good From A Corpse : The Misfortune Teller [The Death Dealer] - Leigh Brackett

I had read elsewhere that this was rather Chandlerian, and it seems that is certainly the case.

The private investigator in this novel is out to help people, even if he doesn't particularly like them, and even after getting shot, bashed, abused, lied to, and more.

He has made friends (and feels a lot more than that) about a nightclub singer who has an inability to engage in any sort of monogamy, serial, or parallel. He realises that she has a rather dodgy past, and when he gets a whispered phone threat, things turn bad.

This leads to an investigation where he is a murder suspect, as well as trying to clear the name of another man and childhood friend whose innocence he is sure of. Apart from these two gentleman, it appears that almost anyone else that appears could have been involved.

A non-obvious, well done mystery follows, with all sorts of characters, and a witness and lead list that keeps getting terminally shortened.

Quite well done.

4 out of 5

Bradbury double dealing death dog deception discovery.

3.5 out of 5

Hard-man's Sheila starveout shooting.

4 out of 5

Blackmail go round sabretooth sister skewer.

4 out of 5

Smart man frame-up rough stuff setup showdown.

3.5 out of 5

"Hank said that Surfside was a dirty town, dirty from the gutters up. He said any man with the brains of a sick flea would know that most of the liquor places were run illegally, and most of the hotels, too, and that two-thirds of the police force was paid to have bad eyesight."

4 out of 5

Champ takes one for the Kid.

3.5 out of 5

A local crimelord has a problem when the body of a reporter enemy's old lover is dumped on the newsman's doorstep.

4 out of 5

You didn't actually have to kill her, babe.

4 out of 5

5 out of 5

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