Barney Huggins

Created by Mike Shelley

According to the blurbs, BARNEY HUGGINS is profoundly dangerous and without a doubt London's most corrupt private eye (and master of disguise). It's clear the author, Mike Shelley, knows his hard-boiled P.I. schtick. Just listen to this torrent of hyperbole from the blurb for Madame Eddie's Chamber of Horrors (1984):

"Barney Huggins is looking for a tough lady with a scar on her face. His mastery of disguises takes him effortlessly into the nether regions of redlight Soho where he forms a Kamikaze squad of shock-troops, made up of wino's and dropouts. Cleverly marshalling this desperate band, and by dint of some hard double-crossing, he promotes himself to boss of an infamous gang. Yes, Barney was doing all right until Madame Eddie comes along and starts to take prisoners."

Shelley adds that "all of the predicaments and sticky situations he (finds) himself in (are) brought about by his own greed, duplicity and disregard for the welfare of his associates."

A nice bit of nasty, anyway you cut it...

Not that the author's other detective, Bernard Holland, the so-called "last private eye in Belfast," is a saint, either. All three books were self-published by the author back in 1984, and John Conquest, in Trouble is Their Business, contends they're parodies, although I'm not so sure. Crazy fun, for sure, though.

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