Created by Robert O. Saber (pseud. of Milton K. Ozaki; 1913-1989)
A slightly shady but quite believable Windy City gumshoe, CARL GOOD is short, fortyish, and a good few pounds overweight. He appeared in a string of PBO's from various publishers (Phantom, Handi-Books and Graphic) in the early fifties. Suitably downscale and glitz-free, his Chicago is populated with goodtime girls, smalltime grifters, corrupt cops and petty thieves. He works out of an office over a coffee shop, across the street from a police station. His best friend is his equally shady syster pal Morrie Tannen, who has an office in the same building.
It's just too bad Carl's cases aren't quite as believable and down-to-earth as Carl is. They tend to fall into the hard-to-swallow category -- coincidences abound, and there's just too many guys coming into rooms with guns in their hands. And Saber definitely has a rather twisted and sometimes-tortured relationship with the English language. In other words, there's a high cheese quotient in these tales, despite themselves. You've been warned -- now go ahead and enjoy yourself.
Adding to the real cheese flavour is the fact that some of the books include a "Glossary of Terms Drawn From Thieve's Argot" at the back, full of hopelessly outdated slang. Thank God, though, because now I know that a blister is "a woman of loose morals."
At the end of Murder Doll, Carl's married off to a woman he met while working in a case in a nudist colony (would I make this up?) but she's never mentioned in the rest of the series -- nor in the unofficial last book in the series, under his own name for another publisher, where Carl becomes Carl Guard.
Robert O. Saber, who was really Milton Ozaki, was a Chicago newspaperman, artist, tax attorney and beauty salon operator who turned to writing crime fiction after World War II, and gave us a couple of dozen hard-boiled novels, all but two of them paperback originals, and all of them full of enough sex, violence and over-boiled prose to fulfill all your daily cheese requirements. Under his real name, he created several other Chicago P.I.s, including Rusty Forbes, Max Keene and Sarah Livingston.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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