The Wailing Frail by Richard S. Prather

The California state Senate committee investigating corrupt lobbyists needs a private investigator to follow up some leads in Los Angeles, and who better to call than Shell Scott. If you like your 1950s detectives completely hard-boiled, completely unreconstructed, and completely a product of their times, look no further than Scott. He doesn’t meet a woman who isn’t the embodiment of sex, and they’re as hungry for him as he is for them (except this series is true to its times, so the sex never really is consummated). It hits the four “B”s of the pulp genre – broads, booze, blood, bullets – but the mystery is still tight and surprisingly complex. It’s similar to Ross MacDonald, but with a lot more titillation.



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