Created by Keith Laumer
Tough, cynical JOE SHAW's the man in this one-time, heavy-on-the-Chandler effort by a writer better more for his science fiction, although, according to Bill Crider, " a number of Keith Laumer's SF novels have a nice hardboiled feel to them."
In his only appearance to date, Joe gets hooked up with a wacko wealthy family of screwballs while trying to track down the long lost daughter of a mobster on the run from his former gang. Not bad, not bad at all.
In fact, it's even dedicated, in its cheekiness, to "the incomparable Raymond Chandler, And to his peerless private eye, Philip Marlowe."
It was later made into a so-so flick, 1975's Peeper (also known as"Fat Chance"), starring Michael Caine and directed by Peter Hyams. But for some reason, hard-boiled Shaw became a bespectacled, bookish-looking nerd called LESLIE C. TUCKER. It was played mostly for nostalgic kitsch (the opening credits are spoken by a Humphrey Bogart impersonator) and laughs, though there weren't too many of the latter.
Hymans did a much better job of spoofing the P.I. genre a few years earlier in Good Night, My Love, a 1972 made-for-TV movie.
-- Kirkus Reviews on the novel
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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