Joe's your typical fictional reporter of the time: quick to crack wise, and not particularly adverse to playing fast and loose with the facts, if it will help him land the much-desired "scoop."
And I'm not kidding about the surreal bit. Here's Fender Tucker, editor of the recent The Jimmy Starr Omnibus (2011), summarizing the three books:
The first novel in the series was even made it into film, although the nutiness of the book was toned down to focus on the battle between Joe and rival reporter Rosemary Durant (Joan Blondell). The Corpse Came C.O.D. (1947, Columbia) kicks off when Hollywood dress designer Hector Rose is shot and killed and his body is shipped C.O.D. to the home of flaky movie star Mona Harrison (Adele Jergens) who calls on wanna-be suitor Joe Medford (played by George Brent). The screenplay was co-written by Black Mask boy Dwight V. Babcock (Homicide Hannah), and directed by Henry Levin.
Jimmy Starr was himself a Hollywood reporter, best known for his Hollywood expose, 365 Nights in Hollywood (1926). In the thirties, he worked as a screenwriter, and in the forties he became a press agent and columnist, offering up reviews, gossip and insights into the film world, as well as writing the three Joe Medford novels. After retiring from the Hollywood scene, he moved to Phoenix, where he worked for many years as Director of Advertising and Public Relations for Ramada Inn. His name is even dropped in the opening of the film version of The Corpse Came C.O.D., along with those of Heda Hopper and Louella Parsons.
Report submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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