Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Turmoil in Tampa

If you haven’t seen it yet, my column for Kirkus Reviews today looks back at Talmage Powell’s 1961 novel, With a Madman Behind Me, the third of his books to feature private eye Ed Rivers. As I write:
From his start as a wordsmith in the early 1940s, the North Carolina-born Powell produced an extraordinary proliferation of short stories, most of them crime-oriented and appearing in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Manhunt, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine and other fiction periodicals. In addition, he penned standalone thrillers and westerns, ghosted books under the famous Ellery Queen byline and even composed Mission: Impossible TV tie-ins.

But the novels for which Powell is best remembered were five he wrote about Ed Rivers, a bearish private eye who worked the humid streets of Tampa, Fla., beginning with
The Killer Is Mine (1959) and concluding with Corpus Delectable (1964). As a later crime novelist, William L. DeAndrea, wrote in his Encyclopedia Mysteriosa: “The well-realized, unusual setting, and Powell’s depiction of Rivers as a thinking and caring P.I., for all his skill with the gun and knife he carries, sets this series apart.”
You’ll find the full piece here.

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