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Wine, Women, and Love by Adam Snavely (Kozy Books #160, 1962)

Posted in crime noir, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

When I previously examined Adam Snavely’s The Big Flick, I was impressed and wondered who this guy was, or whose pen name it was and to date I still don’t know (I have heard Adam Coulter, but I don’t know who that is either).  “Snavely” published seven books with Kozy, the rest are Bait, 2-4 Sex, Love Drive, Pool Side Pushover, and Split Level Love. I will get to them all eventually — they are all set in Los Angeles, so that’s one clue; the writer was probably L.A.-located.

Wine, Women and Love is a subtle suspense thriller involving domestic espionage, blackmail, and a group of shady government operatives.  The protagonist is a woman in her mid to late 20s, Peggy Porter; the first chapter opens with her in bed with some drunk man, a man who is important in some way.  She has lured him to her hotel room.  Just as the clothes are off and they are in the middle of coitus, several men burst into the room and start taking photos.

The intention here: blackmail the guy.

At first you think they’re grifters targeting rich men, or private eyes, but we get the sensation — it’s never quite said, only hinted at — that Peggy works for these government agents who target certain “key” men in Los Angeles with blackmail and extortion, to make use of at a later date. The group is headed by a sleazy suit named Al Manning, who seems to be power hungry in the political arena.  Is he an operative of . Edgar Hoover?  The operation sounds like the sort of illegal doings Hoover had FBI agents do in the 1950s-70s.

Peggy isn’t an agent; she seems to be a woman with some sort of criminal entanglement,  possible conviction, and she herself is under extorted measures:  she is doing this to keep out of prison.  She’s not the only one; the group has several women working undercover to get dirt and sleaze from various people….

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