Fri 25 Mar 2011
MARVIN KAYE – My Brother, the Druggist. Doubleday Crime Club, hardcover, 1979. Trade paperback reprint: Wildside Press, 2011.
Marty Gold, druggist, travels to Washington, D.C., to attend a convention of jazz enthusiasts and record collectors. He’s accompanied by his large “actor” friend, Bill Finney, and tagging along for the ride is Mase O’Dwyer, a thirteen year old amateur magician who’s going to attend a magic convention.
Nearly everything Marty tries to do is wrong, and the detective is more a hindrance than a help. Before things are set right, Marty is so guilty that he’s barely visible.
If you can put up with the guilt, and with the insufferable Bill Finney’s insistence on speaking his own version of Elizabethan English (it’s all right to like Shakespeare, but to address people as “Sirrah” is too much), you’ll run into several nicely arranged surprises, a brief but entertaining look at record collecting, a credible solution to Mase’s disappearance, some funny lines, and other good things.
Editorial Comments: There was one earlier book in this series, My Son, the Druggist, Doubleday Crime Club, hc, 1977, but no later ones.
As Bill related in this earlier post, as a judge for the first “Nero” Award, My Brother, the Druggist was one of three books he considered as runners-up to his first choice, Lawrence Block’s The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling.