Red Diamond (aka Simon Jaffe)
Created by Mark Schorr
Imagine if Robert Leslie Bellem had written Don Quixote...
Once upon a time, there was a forty-something cab driver from Hicksville, Long Island by the name of SIMON JAFFEE.
Now, Simon, well, his life wasn't going so well. He had a nagging wife that didn't understand him, a genius son that he couldn't understand, and a tramp daughter that didn't seem to understand anything at all.
And they all lived together in a heavily-mortgaged house slowly sinking into the ground. Simon's one pleasure in life was his collection of old pulp magazines and detective novels. Only in his partially finished, very damp basement, surrounded by his beloved collection, could Simon find some peace and, more importantly, some escape...
One day, Simon picks up a fare by the name of Charlie Flitcraft (Maltese Falcon fans please take note), who asks Simon if he's ever felt like chucking it all and starting over. Peculiar, but Simon's picked up far stranger fares in his day. And then Simon returns home, only to discover his wife, Milly, has sold off his collection for $2300 to pay off the bank loan.
Suddenly, Simon isn't simply Simon anymore. He's RED DIAMOND, the shamus who can "outpunch Mike Hammer, outdrink Nick Charles, outsleuth Sam Spade, outshoot Race Williams, outwisecrack Philip Marlowe, outstud Shell Scott (and) outbenchpress Spenser." And Red's got a job to do. He has to rescue his gal, Fifi LaRoche, from the slimy clutches of his mortal enemy, mobster Rocco Rico.
As much affectionate tribute as parody, no fan of the genre should miss out on Red's three novels, published in the mid-eighties.
Looney Tunes & Other Reality-Challenged Eyes
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.