Dex Nolan

Created by Floyd MaHannah (1911-76)

Floyd Mahannah isn't exactly a household name, even among fans of the genre. He only cranked a half dozen or so books and a handful of shortt stories in the digests of the time in the fifties.

But they were good stuff.

A case in point being The Golden Widow (1956), a hard, nasty noir full of violence and sex that owes at least as much to James M. Cain as it does to Raymond Chandler.

DEX NOLAN is a former cop caught in one hell of a fix -- he blew off his job to run a gold mine in Arizona, but a few bad decisions and a load of back taxes have cost him his mine.

So when a former girlfriend snaps her fingers and asks him to help her out of a blackmail jam, Dex jumps.

Naturally, she's the widow of the title. She's got a dead husband and suspicions of murder dogging her.

Poor Dex. The next thing you know, the poor sap's banging around with gangsters, smugglers, a suitcase full of lgeetus, a murder frame and the usual double- and triple-crosses; not to mention having the crap beat out of him several times.

But he's got a few tricks up his sleeve...

Like I said, good stuff. And if you're into it, Mahannah cranked out a couple of other P.I. standalones, The Yellow Hearse and The Golden Goose. And don't miss the short story, "Prognosis Negative," a quick, mean blast of nastiness.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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