Doan, a chubby, wisecracking private eye, and Carstairs, a Great Dane so huge he ought to be considered a new species, follow a trail of mayhem and confusion from Hollywood to the Mojave Desert town of Heliotrope, a place so thoroughly offensive that neither California nor Nevada will admit that it lies within its borders. It’s 1943 and Doan is persuaded by government agents to sweet-talk the location of a valuable ore deposit out of an old desert rat with a mad-on for the government. But first they have to deal with a number of other equally odd characters, including film star Susan Sally, the very lovely and very wacky Harriet Hathaway, who’s about to become a WAAC, Doc Gravelmeyer, the sinister local medico who also doubles as an undertaker, and Mr. Blue, a man of mystery who claims he doesn’t even know there’s a war going on. There’s plenty of action, including a wild chase through Hollywood studio backlots, and even more laughs, before Carstairs finally gets his man.
“If this is not the funniest PI novel ever written it’s at the top of a very short list.”
—The Drood Review
“An old-fashioned romp that matches its bloody crimes with belly laughs.”
“Sheer delight, a must read for lovers of detective fiction and screwball comedies.”
“Chapter 6 is one of the funniest in detective fiction annals.”
—Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
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