Friday, April 17, 2009

Back to the Back Stacks

After taking a week’s break from the usual “Friday forgotten books” series, in order to highlight some “forgotten short stories” (including these), the crime-fiction blogosphere has returned to the subject of grossly overlooked and disregarded novels. The latest pack of dusty but worthy reads includes: In the Heat of the Night, by John Ball; Green Ice, by Raoul Whitfield; The Documents in the Case, by Dorothy L. Sayers; The Creeping Death, a Shadow novel by Maxwell Grant (aka Walter Gibson); Night Squad, by David Goodis; The Shot, by Philip Kerr; A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs; Shadow at Noon, by Harry White; and The Curse of Kings, by Victoria Holt.

In addition, novelist Bill Crider spotlights a book I’m sure I have never once come across in my near-obsessive bookstore browsing: Mad for Kicks, by Jack Lynn, starring private eye Tokey Wedge, “all five feet, six inches of him,” who apparently also starred in “such classics as Nympho Lodge and Torrid Twins, mentioned on the back cover.” How could anyone pass by such titles on a shelf and not glance twice to see what lay behind the jackets?

And though it isn’t officially part of this forgotten book series, I want to draw attention to Utter Scoundrel’s write-up about The Drowning Pool (1950), the second Lew Archer novel by Ross Macdonald, and probably one of his least-appreciated.

Just to round out this week’s selections, Patti Abbott hosts a few tributes to obscure works (one of which is The Long Saturday Night, by Charles Williams) in her own blog, plus a complete accounting of today’s participating writers.

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