Created by William Ard (1922-1960)
LOU LARGO must have been a pretty popular dick in his time, because when his creator, William Ard, passed away after having written just two books in the series, his publisher, Monarch Books, just kept pumping them out under Ard's byline, although they were actually written by Lawrence Block (one book) and John Jakes (three books). I haven't read any of Largo's adventures, but Ard's previous creation, New York P.I. Timothy Dane, who supposedly was the influence for Largo, is one of the great unsung private eye series.
A long-time favourite of mine, Brooklyn-born Ard was one of the unjustly forgotten hard-boiled writers of the fifties. An ex-Marine, a publicist and copywriter, he also worked for a brief time, just after WWII , as a detective. His career burned bright but fast, lasting little more than a decade , but in that time he mananaged to create several intriguing New York private eyes Lou Largo, Johnny Stevens, Barney Glines and Mike (later Danny) Fountain, as well as a string of well-regarded westerns (as Jonas Ward). Other pseudonyms included Ben Kerr, Thomas Wills and Mike Moran. The stuff I've read of his has all been solid -- check 'em out.
Our pal Gary Warren Niebuhr recommends Babe in the Woods in particular. He calls it "a thrilling novel about the private eye Lou Largo. In this book, our hero gets to bodyguard LiLi Kovar (who has a twin named LuLu -- can you say Gabor?). But that's not the cool part. The cool part is when he goes to bed with the two Swedish nude ice skaters. Er, that is they are both nude in bed AND when they ice skate....the author of this book is actually Lawrence Block."
Includes All I Can Get and Like Ice She Was, plus an intro by Francis M. Nevins.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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