Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dewey Uncovered

Whew! It seems as if I’ve been working on this for weeks, but I finally completed an essay for my Killer Covers blog about the underappreciated 20th-century American detective novelist, Thomas B. Dewey.

Although that article focuses to a large extent on this author’s 1962 detective Pete Schofield novel, the screwballish Go, Honeylou, I was curious enough about Dewey to investigate his entire fiction-writing career. Not only did he compose the Schofield books, the action in which takes place mostly in California, but he’s probably best known for a somewhat more serious (and also longer) series of books featuring the single-monikered Mac, a former Chicago cop who, after being forced out of the department for being too honest, remakes himself as a private eye in the Lew Archer mold. Before he created those characters, however, Dewey developed stories around a bibliophilic amateur sleuth named Singer Batts, a sort of underfed and Midwestern Nero Wolfe.

I’ve tried to cover all of these protagonists, plus the exquisite work of Victor Kalin, one of Dewey’s book illustrators, in Killer Covers. Click here to read the results.


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