Archive for October, 2009

Candy by Sheldon Lord (Lawrence Block), Midwood #40 (1960)

Posted in crime noir, lesbian pulp fiction, Midwood Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Lord - Candy

Early Lawrence Block is always a mixed bag of good and not-so-good, such as some of the very early Nightstands. Midwood published Block’s first book as a Sheldon Lord, Carla [Midwood #7, 1958]  (later reprinted as Puta), although his first sale was the Lesley Evans lesbian novel, Strange Are the Ways of Love, for Fawcett Crest, 1959.  Seems Midwood had less turnaround time from manuscript sale to publication.

Evans - Strang are the ways of love

Lord - CarlaBock excelled in the lesbian themed novels as Sheldon Lord, some Andrew Shaws, and as Jill Emerson, who went from sleaze paperbacks to several mainstream novels with Putnam in the 1970s.  Many critics were convinced that Jill Emerson was actually a woman, and has been included in some lesbian pulp fiction anthologies without a mention that Emerson is really a man.  Block was more convincing a female writer than Silverberg.

So Block continued to write more books for Midwood, most lesbian themed works, and one he collaborated with Donald Westlake, Of Shame and Joy.

Candy is considered a lesbian novel, or a novel with lesbian sex going on…an instance where the woman, Candy, leaves the narrator for what a wealthy Park Avenue lesbian has to offer a sexy girl from the backwoods of America.

Candy is also one of Block’s finest Sheldon Lord books and early works, better than April North, better than the Sheldon Lords that Hard Case published. His early Nightstands were about college kids and young sexuality, and then he started to move toward crime noir/erotica, like Shame Dame as John Dexter.

In one typical Block line, he has a character reading a book by Alan Marshall (Westlake), with one hand in his pocket…

Jeff Flanders is 34 and works at a finance company that gives personal loans with a high rate of interest.  They are basically legal loan sharks without the leg breakers.

One day a sexpot 19-year-old blonde from the sticks, now in the big city, wanders into the finance company looking to borrow $1000.  She has no job, is new in New York, and no credit or collateral, but she figures her looks and sexuality will get her the loan.  She suggests Jeff co-sign her loan and in exchange he can have sex with her….

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Bold Affair by Orrie Hitt

Posted in Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on October 31, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Hitt  Bold Affair Reviewed here.

Wanton Wench! by Jerry M. Goff, Jr. (Merit Books, 1961)

Posted in crime noir, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Goff - Wanton WenchPreviously, I noted what a wonderful find Jerry M. Goff, Jr. was, author of the hardboiled L.A.  noir, Thrill Crazy, and a dozen Merit titles.

Since then, I have found out a few things about Goff — that’s his real name, and he also did a few Neva/Playtime titles as Jerry Lane.  He passed in 1992 in Milwaukee.  Apparently Richard Prather at one time sued him because one of his books resembled a Shell Scott yarn.

Wanton Wench! is another hardboiled ditty set in Los Angeles and Marina del Rey, the rich peep’s yact land between Venice Beach and Malibu. (I once had a picth meeting there on the boat of some yacht bum turned film producer.)

The narraor is one Johnny Saueterne, 27, a professional diver who escaped Cuba, where he was working, afte Castro’s goons were killing Americans.  He retuns to southern California, where he went to UCLA, working odd jobs to get through school.  He learned how to dive in Santa Monica.

He has $33 to his name and no prospects…

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Ladies’ Man by Orrie Hitt

Posted in crime noir, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on October 28, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Hitt - Ladies man 2 Reviewed here.

“Dammit — Don’t Touch My Broad!” by Hank Walters (Novel Books, 1960)

Posted in crime noir, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Novel Books - Don't Touch My Broad

A book with such a title, and such a cool cover, how could I resist?

Plus, it’s from Novel Books, so I knew had to be tough-guy noir, and it is.

Ever since Chandler’s The Big Sleep, the nude photos of a drugged/drunk wayward young girl have often been the plot impetus for many a noir, including several Orrie Hitt books.  Such is the case here.

The narrator of Dammit—Don’t Touch My Broad! is Pete, some kind of writer as he mentions writing and publishing books and other things.  He is called in by Governor Joe Caldwell, an old friend — Joe is the G9vernor of some sort of New England state, never sad, perhaps Mass. or Delaware, it seems small.  Joe has an out of control daughter in her mid-20s, Jean, that at one time Pete was engaged to marry, but she vanished one day and then called him to say the marriage is off (mentioned on the cover of the book).

Governor Joe has been sent some scandalous photos of his daughter — in one she is naked, looking stoned; in others, she is having sex with various men and women.  Joe wants Pete to find out whose setting up a scandal and blackmail, so that Joe can take care of things quietly.

Pete goes to see Jean. They have not seen each other since she called off the wedding two yeras ago.  He shows her the pictures. She is ashamed but won’t tell him what’s going on.

Pete, the writer playing tough guy private eye, starts asking around, getting entangled with hoods, heels, dirty state cops, and political foes of the Governor that want to make sure he never becomes a Senator.

In true tune with noir of the time, sometimes it’s hard to follow what the hell is going on, but the writing, the violence, and the tawdry sexual situations are enticing.

Who is Hank Walters?  Have no idea.  He’s done a few other books with Novel — Lucky Rape, Hey All Touch Me, Hood’s Mistress, and one from Merit, Take Me!

Why aren’t there publishers like Novel/Merit these days?  Or for that matter — Midwood, Gold Medal, and Kozy…

Add Flesh to the Fire by Orrie Hitt

Posted in crime noir, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on October 26, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

hitt - add fleshReviewed here.

Lesbiana: Female Doctor by Orrie Hitt

Posted in lesbian pulp fiction, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks on October 26, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Hitt - Female Doc Reviewed here.