PETER CARTER BROWN – Meet Murder, My Angel. Horwitz-Transport, Australia, paperback, 1956.

CARTER BROWN Meet Murder My Angel

   I’ve written before that one of my guilty pleasures is the Al Wheeler books of Carter Brown. Back in the 1950s and early ’60s, when I was an impressionable teenager, I read a lot of Brown in those large but thin Horwitz paperbacks.

   I found them to be fast, breezy and humorous reads and those few I’ve read in later days have been similarly entertaining.

   I saw this 1954 production — when Carter Brown was still Peter Carter Brown on the spine and title page, though he had morphed to just Carter Brown on the front cover — in a second hand bookshop and, though it was rather tatty, it was cheap and I couldn’t resist it.

   More fool me. When I got it home and started on it I expected a couple of hours of brisk humour but what I got was absolute rubbish. The story, narrated by Californian attorney Mike Stone, involves hidden treasures, old gangsters and beautiful women but is absolute tosh. Worse, it isn’t in the slightest bit funny.

EDITORIAL COMMENTS. I think it confirms Geoff’s judgment on this book to point out that unless it came out under a different title, this book was never published in either England or the US. It’s also a scarce book. There are no copies for sale anywhere on the Internet.

   Luckily Geoff kept the one he reviewed — I wasn’t sure after I read the his comments about the book! — so that’s the one you see up above. He adds: “The book is number 23 in the Horwitz series, and I believe it’s an Australian edition though the copyright page lists distribution agents for the UK, Ireland and Europe. The cover also has 2/- which is two shillings (or was in 1956).”