GAYLORD DOLD – Hot Summer, Cold Murder. Mitch Roberts #1. Avon, paperback original; 1st printing, April 1987.

   I don’t know how many full-length adventures of PI Mitch Roberts there were, but this is one of four that I have been able to track down. It takes place in Wichita, circa 1956, and even though Kansas is in the Midwest, and it’s about a decade too late, this is Chandlerville USA, no doubt about it.

   Roberts, hired to find a junkman’s son, a kid who’s been sniffing around one of the wealthiest girls in town, the stepdaughter of the head of the Vice Squad, soon finds himself in some pretty deep trouble, although he never quite admits it.

   While Gaylord Dold is doing some fancy work with similes and metaphors, his leading character is busily trying to cut himself in on a heroin deal. I thought he was in over his head myself, so I let the story coast on downhill, more or less on its own. It picked up some momentum in the final few pages again, and just in time, when it was almost (but not quite) too late.

— Reprinted from Nothing Accompliced #4, November 1993 (very slightly revised).

      The Mitch Roberts series —

Hot Summer, Cold Murder (1987)
Snake Eyes (1987)
Cold Cash (1987)

Bonepile (1988)
Muscle and Blood (1989)

Disheveled City (1990)
A Penny for the Old Guy (1991)

Rude Boys (1992)
The World Beat (1993)
Bay of Sorrows (1995)
Schedule Two (1996)
The Devil to Pay (1999)
Samedi’s Knapsack (2001)

COMMENT: The series switched from paperback to hardcover with A Penny for the Old Guy, and so did the locale of the stories. His later cases took Roberts away from Kansas to adventures all around the world.