A TRIO OF GOLD MEDALS: VENGEANCE MAN by Dan J. Marlowe, PARK AVENUE TRAMP by Fletcher Flora & THE PRETTIEST GIRL I EVER KILLED by Charles Runyon. Eureka, CA; Stark House Press; 2007. 1st omnibus trade paperback edition.
Three distinctive thrillers from the golden era of the paperbacks, all originally published by Gold Medal Books in the late 1950’s and mid-1960’s. New introductions by Charles Kelly and Ed Gorman.
Dan J. Marlowe:
“The Vengeance Man is his second best book, behind only The Name of the Game is Death. The corruption of virtually every important character in the book is thorough.” – Charles Kelly, from his introduction
“Marlowe’s narrative and linguistic style still have their appeal today thanks to his laconic and non-compromising attitude. His tones still grate on our ears or hit us in the gut.” –Josef Hoffman, “Playing With Fire”.
“Flora had remarkable range, successfully producing everything from hardboiled tales to police procedurals to straightforward whodunits to light whimsy to mainstream fiction. This range, as well as his abundant skills as a storyteller, is clearly in evidence in Park Avenue Tramp.” –Bill Pronzini
Park Avenue Tramp is an excellent example of the wry attitude often expressed in Flora’s fiction. It’s compulsively readable, not because of the plot, but because the reader is drawn further and further into each character, hoping for salvation for at least some of them.” –Charles Kelly, from his introduction.
“Charles Runyon was one of the good ones who got lost in the boom times of the late sixties and early seventies. He had the grim and grit of the true outsider in his books. That he seemed fascinated by madhouses was probably no coincidence.” —Ed Gorman.