RICHARD S. PRATHER & STEPHEN MARLOWE – Double In Trouble. Shell Scott #19 & Chester Drum #9. Gold Medal #d926, paperback original, 1959.

   Shell Scott, an L.A. private detective, gets a knock on his door in the middle of the night from a beautiful but icy buxom blonde in distress. He is of course in the nude when he answers the door, causing some brief embarrassment.

   Her dad, a famous labor law professor, has been kidnapped by the Teamsters right before he was scheduled to testify in front of a Senate Subcommittee about Teamster racketeering. Please find him, she pleads, before it’s too late!

   The buxom blonde then flies to D.C., where she is nearly kidnapped by a splinter group of Teamsters who are trying to use the Senate investigation as a coup opportunity. She just happens to be the wife of the current head of the Teamsters — a Jimmy Hoffa clone.

   But the highway kidnap is foiled by the serendipitous interference of D.C. private detective Chester Drum, who happens to be out on loan to the Senate Subcommittee investigating the Teamsters!

   Shell Scott messes with the Teamsters on the west coast whilst Chet Drum does ditto on the east.

   Each detective alternates chapters, developing the story from their own unique point of view

   And they clash. Boy do they clash. They hate each other. For the first 245 pages of this 290 pager, they hate each other.

   It’s funny because they are near mirror images of each other, with Drum the shadow side, more restrained and conservative and negative; Scott the irrepressibly exuberant show off. But they’re both very tough and hell with the ladies.

   They hate each other because they’re the same person. They are fiercely independent, they’re cagey about revealing who their client is, and they’ll beat the crap out of you if you don’t cooperate with them. So they beat the crap out of each other each time they meet, allowing the bad guys to escape, allowing their girlfriends (each of whom were picked up by Drum/Scott in prior coordinated chapters) to get abducted.

   It’s a heavyweight and blood soaked keystone cops caper as Drum and Scott each suspect the other is a Teamster thug, and nearly screw up everything before finally becoming pals and partnering up to save the day starting at page 245.

   It’s an enjoyable diversion, with an ending promising more tandem Drum/Scott adventures to come that I believe never came to be….