STEPHEN MARLOWE – Murder Is My Dish. PI Chester Drum #4. Gold Medal #658, paperback original; 1st printing, March 1957. Second printing: Gold Medal s1078, 1961. Cover art by Lu Kimmel.

   I’m of mixed opinion on this one. The first third of this adventure of Washington-based PI Chester Drum takes place in the New York City area, with Drum of the trail of the miscreants who’ve knocked off an associate of his, and in parts it’s as tough as nails.

   From there, though, the tale leads him to South America, into the middle of an incipient revolution in one of the many fictional countries down there, and let’s put it this way: my mind wandered. Later on in his career Drum gave up his PI status, I believe, and he went into the espionage business almost exclusively.

   I think it may have been a mistake myself, based on this story, but this was the era of James Bond’s growing popularity, and certain adjustments had to be made.

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