Created by Michael Lawrence (pseud. of Lawrence Lariar; 1908-81)
"Call Me Amsterdam ...
-- Johnny Amsterdam. The "fun" private eye.
The cover blurb of the 1960 PBO I Like It Cool describes JOHNNY AMSTERDAM as the "eye with a beard (who) squares off with the world of the beatniks." He was also something of a dog -- and made no bones about it.
He was a fun loving kind of gumshoe, a swinging dick from the Big Apple who -- at least as depicted on his paperback covers -- would fit right in with other such "fun" P.I. studs of the era such as Shell Scott, Johnny Liddell, Mike Shayne, Peter Gunn and Pete Chambers.
So what if the curtains didn't match the drapes? This was an era when hard men wore guns and women dressed mostly in bikinis or negligees and high heels, waiting to be rescued or ravaged; an era when detective fiction seemed to be as influenced by Hugh Hefner as by Chandler or Hammett. And if the sexy romps on the paperback covers occasionally didn't quite match the stories inside, well, swing with it, baby.
According to J. Kingston Pierce, Amsterdam was:
The author also wrote, under his real name of Lawrence Lariar, several mystery novels, including two about Homer Bull, an overweight comic strip writer and amateur sleuth, and his Watson-type assistant, Ham McAndrews,who also happens to be his cartoonist. As Adam Knight he wrote eight novels featuring private eye Steve Conacher and another starring female P.I. Sugar Shannon.
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