JACK WEBB – The Gilded Witch. Father Shanley & Det. Sgt. Sammy Golden #9. Regency Books, paperback original, 1963.

   My first meeting with Father Joseph Shanley and Detective Sergeant Sammy Golden, and I must admit that I’m quite impressed. Both detectives are interesting and thoughtful men and the problem they face is the death of Gil Barta, author of a blockbuster novel that has drawn perhaps too vivid a picture of the local township.

   More deaths follow, Golden travels to Phoenix in search of Barta’s past life and Father Shanley goes down with a virus infection. The lady of the title turns out to be Betty Ames Angelo, and it is her connection with Barta and his past that eventually helps unlock the mystery.  Golden is quite smitten with the lady but there is more to her than meets the eye.

   Another good novel and yet another failure in the Adey clear-out-the-shelves campaign.

– Reprinted from The Poison Pen, Volume 4, Number 3 (June 1981).