J. HARVEY BOND – Kill Me with Kindness. Mike Lanson #3. Ace Double D-349, paperback original, 1959. Published back-to-back with The Guilty Bystander, by Mike Brett (reviewed here ).

   J. Harvey Bond was the pen name of Russ Winterbotham (1904-1971), who was probably better known as a writer of science fiction, both novels and short stories, starting as far back as 1935 and “The Star That Would Not Behave” as R. R. Winterbotham in the August issue of Astounding SF for that year.

   All of Winterbotham’s detective novels were written as by J. Harvey Bond, and all four were mysteries tackled by a newspaper reporter by the name of Mike Lanson. Kill Me with Kindness is the third of the four.

   Written up in ths one is a tale that’s a reliable old standard, that of corruption in a small town, with only the town newspaper interested enough to nose around and find out who’s behind it. The police are handicapped by either a lack of will or a lack of evidence, and probably both. Dead is a anti-vice crusader who the owner of Lanson’s newspaper believes is not beyond doing a little bit of shakedown on the side himself.

   There is also a good-looking girl involved, a strip-tease dancer named Luzy McGuire — that is probably her shown on the front cover above — and not only is she involved, but as Lanson also soon begins to learn, she is the key to his entire investigation.

   I needn’t tell you more. It all plays out from here just as you might suspect. This is the literary equivalent of any number of black-and-white movies being made at the same time, this one with John Payne, say, as Mike Lanson, and Marie Windsor, Terry Moore or Audrey Totter as Luzy. It might even be better as a movie. I know that that’s one I’d watch!

      The Mike Lanson series —

Bye Bye, Baby! Ace Double D-279, 1958.

Murder Isn’t Funny. Ace Double D-301, 1958.

Kill Me with Kindness. Ace Double D-349, 1959.
If Wishes Were Hearses. Ace Double D-483, 1961.