New York's PATRICK HARDY is the "classic, 1970's paperback private eye", according to Max Allan Collins, in his intro to the 1998 anthology Private Eyes that he co-edited with Mickey Spillane, and which included a short story in which an older Hardy resurfaced. I'd never heard of him, but reader David Nobriga was kind enough to fill me in.
Hardy was a private eye with an unusual gimmick, guaranteed to make you roll your eyes. During the Vietnam War, he was an overweight screwup drafted into an experimental military program by the U.S. Army. The plan was to turn a bunch of cowardly misfits into a team of fierce warriors, using "the Pavlovian Theory of Conditioned Reflex." In other words, Uncle Sam rewired them psychologically so that when danger threatened and their brains told them to flee, their bodies automatically went into fighting mode, sort of like Woody Allen suddenly becoming Bruce Lee in times of stress. This worked pretty well in actual combat, but between battles there was a high rate of desertion. The Army finally admitted failure, rounded the AWOLs up and moved to ship all of them out. But a transportation accident killed everyone in the unit, except for Hardy.
He finished up his hitch as an office MP, shuffling papers behind a desk in Europe. No doubt, this experience helped him obtain a private eye's license upon returning stateside to New York City.
Billed as "Hardy, the sensuous sleuth," this "very private eye who preferred sex to slaughter" starred in a PBO series published by Popular Library (and, in 2000, were made available once moreby iUniverse).
Martin Meyers started his writing career with the Patrick Hardy series in the 70s, and later went on to co-write the popular Tonneman family series of historical mysteries with his wife, Annette Meyers, under the joint pen name of Maan Meyers.
STRAIGHT FROM THE AUTHOR'S MOUTH
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