Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Vernon Warren

It's time for another Brit-pulp review. It's been almost a week already when I finished Vernon Warren's No Bouquets for Brandon (1955). It reminds me a bit of Richard Prather and his ilk - fast-moving, somewhat parodic and self-ironic, hardboiled PI stuff. I wouldn't say that Vernon Warren is as good as Prather, but I'd like to read more of these. This is the only one translated, though.

Mark Brandon is a Chicago-based private eye, who's married (!) and is not very good at his job. No Bouquets for Brandon finds him stumbling on a dead man's corpse after trying to follow a man whom his wife suspects of foul play. Brandon finds connections with gangsters and other sorts of hoodlums and of course runs across some pretty nice dames. It's full of clichés and nothing else, and it was also a bit hazy (I can't remember anything about the plot anymore), but it was entertaining alright. Brandon is very tired and exhausted all the time, which is quite funny.

I see that Warren gets mentioned in Barzun's Catalogue of Crime, with no honorable mention at all. I also see that he was published also in Italy. Warren's real name was George Warren Vernon Chapman. I'll put some original Warren cover illustrations here - on the left (or on top) is the original No Bouquets illo. The Finnish book used the same illo.

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