Thursday, September 17, 2009

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: TWO HEADS ARE BETTER BY ELLIOT LEWIS!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: TWO HEADS ARE BETTER BY ELLIOT LEWIS!

Another paperback original PI series from the eighties, which ran to seven titles in five different formats from Pinnacle Books. What surprised me when I sorted through the series for this post is my copies are all personalized to me by author Elliot Lewis, yet I have no independent recollection of the singing. The best I can figure base on the dates, it must have taken place at the late lamented Scene Of The Crime bookstore in Sherman Oaks, California ~ one of the first and best mystery bookstores, a sad casualty to the presence of Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Costco.

Surprisingly, I also found where I anonymously blurbed one of the books in a review for Mystery Magazine (again late lamented) – “Bennett is an original, eccentric hero who rights wrongs in his own violent, imaginative way. He rams through seamy city streets and the plush ultra-chic of the super-rich with equal aplomb, but never without having to battle terrifying situations . . . Exceptionally good reading.”

Man, could I write a good run on sentence, or what?

Billed on the cover as “the most upbeat. Offbeat detective in decades,” Fred Bennett was the star of the series. He starts out as a cop in trouble and transitions through the series into an ex-cop private eye, and then into an ex-cop who is really still on the job only deep cover as a private eye . . . what?

DOWN . . . AND DIRTY

Meet Fred Bennett – a crusty cop who’s up to his neck in hot water. With the police force. With his former partner. And with his sexy ex-wife. They’re out to get him for being a disgrace to the uniform. He’s got to make use of his rotten reputation to prove his innocence. If he blows his cover, he’s a dead man.

Bit Bennett’s no big hero. He just wants to stay alive . . . any way he can. Even if he has to become part of a bizarre crime – in order to solve it and save his own skin.

Dangerous, of course. But then Bennett has no other choice.

Looking back, I can say the series was “exceptionally good reading,” but it was a competent, middle of the road, series and indicative of it’s time period and publisher.

THE BENNETT SERIES:


TWO HEADS ARE BETTER
DIRTY LINEN
PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES
DOUBLE TROUBLE
HERE TODAY, DEAD TOMORROW
BENNETT’S WORLD
DEATH AND THE SINGLE GIRL

1 comment:

Todd Mason said...

Did the big boxes kill the indies? They're dying now...and I certainly miss Dangerous Visions in Sherman Oaks, even if I was only able to get there once (and met the store dog).

Of course, a lot of the indies have gone online...and Amazon is perhaps not the great villain in the death of the Boxes so much as the rents, which have also done more than a number on the indie brick and mortars...