Saturday, March 17, 2012

Halo for Hire: The Paul Pine Mysteries - Haffner Press

Ed here: I've blogged about Haffner Press' forthcoming ambitious Fredric Brown books but here's another collection of major importance. Like Fredric Brown Howard Browne needs to be re-discovered big time. I count these novels among the finest in the history of private detective fiction. And knowing how beautifully produced Haffner books are, the workmanship will be as masterful as the contents. For information on all the Haffner books-- remember not only Fredric Brown but also the Henry Kuttner mysteries are on the way--go here:

Halo for Hire: The Paul Pine Mysteries
Howard Browne
ISBN-13 9781893887695
600+ page Hardcover

“Of all of Raymond Chandler’s followers, the most Chandlerish of them all might have been Howard Browne. And Browne’s private eye hero, PAUL PINE, is simply one of the great eyes, no matter how inspired by (or derivative of ) Chandler’s Philip Marlowe he might have been.
Still, deriviative or not, the Pine books are well worth reading, and A Taste of Ashes (1957) is just a flat-out, stone-cold private eye classic. Pine is a former investigator for the Illinois State attorney’s office in Chicago who works as a P.I. in Chicago. He’s got the obligatory cynicism and snappy similes and metaphors down pat, though he tends to be a bit more down to earth than Marlowe, and often mocks his own tendencies to moroseness and world-weariness. And Browne was a stronger plotter than Chandler.
In 1985, almost thirty years after Pine’s last appearance, Dennis McMillan published a book The Paper Gun. This volume collected the only previously-published Pine story, “So Dark For April,” plus an incomplete Pine novel that Browne, in the forword, calls “a story complete in itself. But it is not the whole novel.” He states that he had lost interest in the private eye genre, and so the story is only 122 pages in length, too long for a short story, but too short for a novel. —adapted from “Paul Pine” by Kevin Burton Smith from
Halo for Blood
A Halo for Satan
Halo in Brass
"So Dark for April"
The Taste of Ashes
"The Paper Gun"

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