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Tuesday, he looked down on the body of a Mexican girl who'd been clubbed to death with a spade . . . Thursday, he took the examination for lieutenant and had a lot of trouble with it . . . Friday, his aunt died and left him more money than he bothered to count . . . Then Joe Burke, a sergeant out of Central Homicide, Los Angeles, turned in his badge. He bought a house, a car, good liquor, and even went in for amateur theater - just in time for a bloody off-stage killing. Joe found himself back on the homicide detail, unofficially this time, in a case that was to teach him more about ruthless murder - and about women - than he had learned in a dozen years on the force.
Lee Kaprelian, the son of an Armenian rug merchant, unwittingly gets involved into a murder plot by a woman no less beautiful than she is mysterious.
Some men were sewing a body into canvas. It was on the deck of a ship. There was a big seam up the middle of the canvas, and now only the face was still uncovered . . . ''You want to take a last look, champ?'' one of the men asked. ''We're about ready to dump him.'' The fighter bent to see in the moonlight. The face in the canvas was his own . . . The fighter was Luke Pilgrim, middleweight champion of the world. Luke could handle any man in the ring. He also could handle the hoods who were trying to muscle in on his next fight . . . But there was one thing he couldn't handle - and that was murder . . .
Now who would kill a used-car salesman? In a city like L.A., Brock Callahan figures there's about a million suspects--each with a motive.Nevertheless, the former gridiron star turned private eye is hired by the widow to find out just who killed the one and only Loony Leo Dunbar. It seems someone offed the king of the dubious deal as he was sitting in the front seat of his Lincoln. And now Brock "the Rock" is looking for Loony Leo's killer. It's not easy work; Brock's got to go through a bevy of Leo's girlfriends and seedy associates on a trail that leads into the sleaziest side of the used-car business he's ever seen ...
Brock Callahan doesn't have many fans left from his glory days on the gridiron. As a matter of fact, Warren Temple Lund III may be the last one. So how can Callahan refuse his request for help? It doesn't matter that Warren is not quite twelve with assets totaling thirty-two dollars.Callahan may have a soft spot for kids, but when he sets out to find his client's missing father, things get nasty indeed. Nobody - not the local police, the rich mother, nor her live-in-love - wants Callahan mixing in. And if he doesn't watch his step, Callahan may find himself in a county morgue with a tag tied to his big toe . . .
Brock Callahan, ex guard for the L.A. Rams is now a tough private eye, weighing in at 220 pounds with a passion for Einlicher beer. In Day of the Ram Callahan becomes involved with Johnny Quirk, ace quarterback of his old team, the Rams. Quirk fears he is being blackmailed by "The Syndicate" into fixing the games and when Quirk turns up in the morgue, Callahan moves in to find his client's killer.
So it's come to this. Brock "the Rock" Callahan, former gridiron star turned private eye - peeping in bedroom windows. It's a dirty job, and not the kind Brock would normally take on. If he had a choice.But an old teammate asked him for a favor: following a stray wife. And what begins as a dirty job, gets worse, much worse. Brock becomes a hunted man -- and the prime suspect in a savage murder.
With the motion picture industry in crisis, things were so tough for independent director Steve Leander that he was put to it to maintain his mortgage, his swimming pool and his attractive young wife. So, reluctantly, he agreed to direct a picture for Harry Bergdahl, a producer who never lost money on his pix but never got any Oscars either. Then came this insurance investigator Tomkevic with some sinister inquiries about an insurance fix on Bergdahl's lead, Hart Jameson. Soon after, Jameson, a Marlon Brando type, crashed over a cliff on the Coast Highway in his Jaguar, and was killed.Steve was the man who knew too much. He was hounded by a private eye, mistrusted by his wife, stymied by Bergdahl's slippery financing, and stricken by his own indiscretions. One of the latter, a torrid beauty named Pat Cullum, was fatally stabbed, after some strange revelations about the dead star.As events developed, Leander was on an even hotter spot with the police breathing down his neck; his position made more risky because of others he felt in conscience he must protect. How he managed to clear himself and finger the real murderer makes a story true to today's Hollywood conditions. It's tough, but the heart is in the right place.
He was a heel . . . a blue-blood gone bad, a low-brow with class, a bum with an income. He liked low-slung cars and top-heavy girls, and he took his pleasure where he found it. He was the consort of bookies, dope-peddlers, crooks; the buddy of has-beens, tough guys, and junkies. He dreamed the big dream, but played it small . . . free wheeling it down hill all the way, with a crack-up--and murder--at the bottom.Too many slow horses, too many fast women, and finally, one loaded cigarette; and after that . . . trouble: a woman who wouldn't stay, a dead man's face that wouldn't go away, and an alibi that wouldn't stick . . .
One of our call girls is missingIt sounded like a joke, but the old dame was scared stiff when one of her girls didn't show up for work that night. And this one was her prettiest - and most profitable.''Find her, shamus,'' she said. ''And fast!''''My pleasure,'' I said.My name is Joe Puma. I call myself a detective and I get a hundred bucks a day.The girl's name was Jean Talsman. She called herself an entertainer and she got a hundred bucks a night.The job had delightful possibilities - until some joker started making corpses out of the customers, and I found a few dealers in sudden death camped on my own doorstep.
When some strongarm hoods try to muscle in on the fight game, hefty Joe Puma is hired to find out who's doing the dirty work.What looks like a typical rackets murder turns out to be a dangerous deal for the private eye. He tussles with some trigger-happy punks and a couple of lethal beauties.Then in one quick leap from mattress to mat he finds himself in a clinch with a murderer who's still fighting, still hating, still bent . . . on the kill.
The femme was fatalShe was rich, red-haired and ready for anything. Her name was Fidelia and she was a tempting bit of woman even without the three million dollars she was to inherit. Only wherever she went - and she went everywhere - murder seemed to follow.That's how I came into the picture. My name is Joe Puma. I'm a private investigator..She hired me to scare off the wolves. I'm big for my age, handy with my fists and a fool for trouble - especially when it looks at me the way Fidelia did. It wasn't any picnic, though.Three million bucks wrapped in a prize package like Fidelia was powerful bait. Deadly, in fact. But some guys were just too greedy. They wouldn't give up even if it killed them - or me.
Stripped for MurderShe was a night club stripper, a black-haired, white-skinned beauty, an all-out performer few men could resist. When she came on, wolf whistles drowned out the music.And she was the kind of gal who loved her work. Something had to be wrong when she didn't show one night. In fact, she didn't show her face - or anything else - for quite a while.She had good reason to hide. Because she'd beat it from a shady, hot-pillow motel, where the other occupant of her bedroom was a dead man!
Get home early tonight. I have a key I stole last time I was there. Don't keep me waiting.The note was lying on the front seat of my car. It was on an engraved card - scented. Deborah Huntington's.I got mad. Who did she think she was anyway? I didn't bother to answer. I knew damn well who she was. She was rich, spoiled and beautiful - and I was bewitched, bothered and bewildered, and just the thought of her next to me had me to my eyebrows in a sweat of excitement.But she was also a suspect for murder. And I was being paid to find the killer.My good sense kept telling me not to go home early or otherwise. So who needs good sense? You can't take it with you.Night Lady - a smooth, hard blend of hot and cold running maidens, murderers and mayhem starring Joe Puma, William Campbell Gault's greatest gift to private-eye lovers everywhere.
Ex-bookie Tom Spears, framed for the murder of his wife, breaks out of prison and heads for Mexico and freedom. En route, he learns that the lawyer (and friend) who defended him has been murdered. He also discovers that his beloved wife had been unfaithful, that his lawyer friend had been one of her lovers, and that his defense had been deliberately botched. Resolving to unravel the mystery, Spears becomes entangled with his former associates and finds himself caught up in the crossfire between rival gambling syndicates.
"She was sitting at the bar, and I could tell she was the kind of woman a married man shouldnt look at-even once. But I thought I was safe enough-until the third martini. Then all of a sudden my wife and kids seemed very far away. When I woke up the next morning, I had a large hangover, the scent of the girls perfume in my nose, and a murder rap around my neck. And I couldnt remember anything that had happened . . . except the girl. "
She was slim and she was stacked and the gold of her hair matched the gold of her bank account.In a word, she had everything. The trouble was she was too eager to give it away. The money too.I'm Joe Puma. I was hired to investigate some crackpot cult she was playing around with. The crackpots were mixed up with thugs, the blonde got mixed up in murder and I got mixed up with the blonde. And somewhere a mixed-up killer was waiting to strike again.
Brock 'the Rock' Callahan might just be in over his head. Someone's killed one of the last of Hollywood's grand dames, and Callahan's hired to find out who and why.The case takes Callahan right into the celluloid heart of the movie business. He's surrounded by fools, thieves, has-beens, and never-weres. It's a high-rent shark tank that makes his career on the L.A. Rams defensive line look like a cakewalk. But Callahan's determined to find out who snuffed the old doll, even if it means rattling a few of those gilded cages in the Hollywood Hills.
Don't Mention MurderIt was a vulgar word in the swank millionaire town of San Valdesto. But knocking off a few citizens here and there seemed more than a grave social error to a tough-minded detective like Joe Puma.It made him sore when he discovered the natives would rather protect a well-bred killer than put up with a low-brow private eye.So he taught them a lesson and his red-blooded tactics set the town's blue blood to boiling.The Wayward Widow. . . another mad whirl on a murder-go round with that damsel-chasing knight in amour - Joe Puma.
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