Richard S. Prather - Shell Scott
As may be obvious by now, I am on a Shell Scott kick. I’m re-reading the books I have and looking for those that I don’t have but have read sometime in the past. I think I have read them all at one time or another except for the ones from 1972 on. I have read the Amber Effect, but when I did it seemed sadly dated since it was published when personal computing was still in its infancy and Shell Scott (Prather) obviously did not get along with PCs and faxes and other new technologies. The book seems even more dated than the novels from the 50s and 60s, probably because Scott doesn’t complain about typewriters and how difficult they must be to use or about his mobile car phone which only works sometimes. “His [Sam, Chief of Homicide} voice petered out. It wasn’t that he’d run down, but that my mobile phone was on the blink. I’d been having trouble with it off and on for over a week. I’m not very good with machinery and radio tubes and such, but I’d managed to fix it every time so far. What you do, you kick the little box holding the tubes, and if you kick it just right something happens and it works again. For a while.” The Meandering Corpse, 1965.
Prather was very prolific in the 50s and 60s (20 and 16 books respectively) and those are the books that I enjoy the most. In the 50s Shell has some serious cases – serious in the sense that he doesn’t come up with a wild and weird way to solve the case. They are more along the lines of typical PI novels – there is a case, the detective gets beaten up along the way, some crooks ditto, one or two crooks get killed, the main anti-crime character turns out to be Mr. Big and, after eliminating various suspects as the guilty party, the detective solves the case. There are no, or very few, light-hearted moments, and certainly no extended periods of “Shell-Scottism”.
For brief reviews of the early books, see the Reviews section over the next few weeks.
Chronological List of Shell Scott books.
The Case of the Vanishing Beauty 1950; Bodies in Bedlam 1951; Everybody Had a Gun 1951; Find This Woman 1951; Dagger of Flesh 1952; Pattern for Murder, aka The Scrambled Yeggs 1952; Darling, It's Death 1952; Way of a Wanton 1952; Always Leave 'em Dying 1953; Ride a High Horse, aka Too Many Crooks 1953; Pattern for Panic 1954; Strip for Murder 1955; The Wailing Frail 1956; The Deadly Darling 1957; Have Gat - Will Travel 1957; Three's a Shroud 1957; Slab Happy 1958; Take a Murder, Darling 1958; Over Her Dear Body 1959; Double in Trouble 1959; Dance with the Dead 1960; Dig That Crazy Grave 1961; Shell Scott's Seven Slaughters 1961; Kill the Clown 1962; Dead Heat 1963; Joker in the Deck 1964; The Cockeyed Corpse 1964; The Trojan Hearse 1964; Dead Man's Walk 1965; Kill Him Twice 1965; The Meandering Corpse 1965; The Kubla Khan Caper 1966; Gat Heat 1967; The Cheim Manuscript 1969; Kill Me Tomorrow 1969; The Shell Scott Sampler 1969; Dead-Bang 1971; The Sweet Ride 1972; The Sure Thing 1975; The Amber Effect 1986; Shellshock 1987; The Death Gods 2011
The Shell Scott books are listed on the Store (first) page under Tough Guy PI/Prather-Shell Scott (click on the main heading Mystery & Mayhem if you are anywhere on the site).
More on Richard S. Prather and Shell Scott is available at Authors & Characters/Tough Guy PI/Prather, Richard S. (Shell Scott)
Mystery & Mayhem Books - your source for:
Please note that even though an author may be included in the Authors & Characters section, his or her books are not necessarily available from Mystery & Mayhem. For example, books by Agatha Christie are constantly being reprinted and used ones are available in every second-hand book store at, usually, very low prices. Other authors are interesting but their books are very rare, e.g. Arthur B. Reeve and his Professor Craig Kennedy who used a variety of fascinating equipment to solve cases - much of it reality in the 21st. century.
The authors described on this website are my personal favorites. However, on AbeBooks.com I have many books by authors I have never read, and perhaps never will, since my reading includes many other subjects.
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK
“An attractive face [Betty’s], on the whole,” Robert said. “What do you make of it?”
“What I should like to make of it,” said the aesthete, with slow venom, “would be a very nasty mess.”
Josephine Tey: The Franchise Affair
Robert Blair was about to knock off from a slow day at his law firm when the phone rang. It was Marion Sharpe, a local woman of quiet disposition who lived with her mother at their decrepit country house, The Franchise. There was some serious trouble: Miss Sharpe and her mother were accused of brutally kidnapping, and holding against her will, a demure young woman named Betty Kane. Betty's claims seemed highly unlikely, even to Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, until she described her prison - the attic room with its cracked window, the kitchen, and the old trunks which sounded remarkably like The Franchise. Yet Marion Sharpe claimed the Kane girl had never been there, let alone been held captive for an entire month! Not believing Betty Kane's story, Blair takes up the case and, in a dazzling feat of amateur detective work, solves the unbelievable mystery that stumped even Inspector Grant.
Tey - The Franchise Affair
For a full review click here.
Ticon Holdings Inc., dba Mystery & Mayhem Books
33 Brant Road South
Canada N1S 2W4
mob: +371 2922 4562
For purposes of this Agreement, “Service” refers to the Company’s service which can be accessed via our website at mysteryandmayhembooks.com or through our mobile application. The terms “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to the Company. “You” refers to you, as a user of Service.
II. INFORMATION WE COLLECT
We may collect both “Non-Personal Information” and “Personal Information” about you. “Non-Personal Information” includes information that cannot be used to personally identify you, such as anonymous usage data, general demographic information we may collect, referring/exit pages and URLs, platform types, preferences you submit and preferences that are generated based on the data you submit and number of clicks. “Personal Information” includes information that can be used to personally identify you, such as your name, address and email address.
In addition, we may also track information provided to us by your browser or by our mobile application when you view or use the Service, such as the website you came from (known as the “referring URL”), the type of browser you use, the device from which you connected to the Service, the time and date of access, and other information that does not personally identify you. We use this information for, among other things, the operation of the Service, to maintain the quality of the Service, to provide general statistics regarding use of the Service and for other business purposes. We track this information using cookies, or small text files which include an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies are sent to a user’s browser from our servers and are stored on the user’s computer hard drive. Sending a cookie to a user’s browser enables us to collect Non-Personal Information about that user and keep a record of the user’s preferences when utilizing our services, both on an individual and aggregate basis. The Company may use both persistent and session cookies; persistent cookies remain on your computer after you close your session and until you delete them, while session cookies expire when you close your browser. Persistent cookies can be removed by following your Internet browser help file directions. If you choose to disable cookies, some areas of the Service may not work properly.
III. HOW WE USE AND SHARE INFORMATION
In general, we do not sell, trade, rent or otherwise share your Personal Information with third parties without your consent. We may share your Personal Information with vendors and other third-party providers who are performing services for the Company. In general, the vendors and third-party providers used by us will only collect, use and disclose your information to the extent necessary to allow them to perform the services they provide for the Company. For example, when you provide us with personal information to complete a transaction, verify your credit card, place an order, arrange for a delivery, or return a purchase, you consent to our collecting and using such personal information for that specific purpose, including by transmitting such information to our vendors (and their service providers) performing these services for the Company.
However, certain third-party service providers, such as payment processors, have their own privacy policies in respect of the information that we are required to provide to them in order to use their services. For these third-party service providers, we recommend that you read their privacy policies so that you can understand the manner in which your Personal Information will be handled by such providers.
IV. HOW WE PROTECT INFORMATION
We implement reasonable precautions and follow industry best practices in order to protect your Personal Information and ensure that such Personal Information is not accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed. However, these measures do not guarantee that your information will not be accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed by breach of such precautions. By using our Service, you acknowledge that you understand and agree to assume these risks.
V. YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING THE USE OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
VII. LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES
VIII. AGE OF CONSENT
By using the Service, you represent that you are at least 18 years of age.
X. MERGER OR ACQUISITION
XI. EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS & OPTING OUT
We will send you Service-related announcements on occasions when it is necessary to do so. For instance, if our Service is temporarily suspended for maintenance, or a new enhancement is released, which will affect the way you use our Service, we might send you an email. Generally, you may not opt-out of these communications, which are not promotional in nature. Based upon the Personal Information that you provide us, we may communicate with you in response to your inquiries to provide the services you request and to manage your account. We will communicate with you by email or telephone, in accordance with your wishes. We may also use your Personal Information to send you updates and other promotional communications. If you no longer wish to receive those email updates, you may opt-out of receiving them by following the instructions included in each update or communication.
XII. CONTACT US & WITHDRAWING CONSENT