THOMAS B. DEWEY – Nude in Nevada. Dell 6508, paperback original; 1st printing, April 1965.

   I’ve read one or two of Dewey’s PI Pete Schofield novels, but I don’t remember it (or both) being as lackluster as this one is. It starts out poorly, as far as I was concerned, and never gets any better as it goes along. It does have some good moments, though, enough to keep me hoping, and I ended up finishing it. With another author, less known to me, I probably wouldn’t have.

   Pete Schofield is one of the few tough PI’s of the 50s and 60s era who happened to be married, and happily so. It did cut down on his womanizing, though that never seemed to stop him from looking. In any case, as the books begins, Pete and Jeannie are driving somewhere through the Nevadan desert when their car breaks down, miles from anywhere.

   Or so he thinks at first. Then he remembers that by pure chance an old friend, Strangler Martin, just happens to own a small garage and poor man’s resort a few miles back and off the road a way. He and Jeannie hoof it there, only to find Martin and his wife being held prisoner of a gang of foreigners whose language Pete doesn’t recognize. Perfect timing. What are the odds?

   The gang has killed the cook, so obviously they mean business. Also a prisoner is a young lady who is completely naked but covered with tattoos, and when Pete and Strangler Martin manage scare off the bad guys (this really puzzled me, how they managed to pull this off) the lady is happy to have them take a closer look.

   Then adding to the absolute weirdness of the evening, a horde of soldiers from a nearby army base stops by, and a party breaks out. A case might be made that this was meant to be a screwball mystery, but to me, it doesn’t make any more sense now when I’m telling you this than when I was reading it. As I said earlier, I was hoping Dewey could go somewhere with this wacky beginning, but other than morphing into a long and uninteresting story of international espionage, as far as I am concerned, he never did.

   Otherwise all ends well, but since this is last recorded adventure of the Schofields, I’m afraid we’ll never know where Jeannie wants to get a tattoo, or in fact if she ever did.

      The Pete Schofield series —

And Where She Stops. Popular Library, 1957.
Go to Sleep, Jeannie. Popular Library, 1959.
Too Hot for Hawaii. Popular Library 1960.

The Golden Hooligan. Dell, 1961.
Go, Honeylou. Dell, 1962.

The Girl with the Sweet Plump Knees. Dell, 1963.
The Girl in the Punchbowl. Dell, 1964.

Only on Tuesdays. Dell, 1964.
Nude in Nevada. Dell, 1965.