Created by Fletcher Flora (1914-1968)
PERCY HAND is the poor sap private eye who gets sucked into looking for the missing third wife of a wealthy and much-married local businessman, Graham Markey. The catch? He's been hired by the woman who intends to be the fourth Mrs. Markey.
Pronzini praises "Hand's reliance on brainpower instead of violence, anabundance of barbed humor, and a solution that may well take the reader by surprise."
The author wrote all over the map, including works of historical fiction, satire, social dramas and even lesbian romance, but most of his work was in the mystery and hard-boiled genres. The majority of this novels were paperback originals in the fifties, but he also sold over 150 short stories and novellas to the crime digests of the time, including Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock, Manhunt, Ed McBain's Mystery Book, Detective Story Magazine, Detective Tales, Pursuit, Shell Scott Mystery Magazine, Escapade, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, Dime Detective et al. Flora wasn't big on series characters, but he did crank out a few interesting private eyes in various standalones and short fiction, including Gaspar Vane and Danny Clive.
A condensed version of the full novel.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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