Friday, April 6, 2012

Noir: Death Is My Lover

Stuart Brock is a forgotten writer of the post-World War II era. His Just Around the Coroner (1948) is a mystery featuring his private eye Peter Cory. This sort of punning title is common in the pulp magazines of the era, but Brock only appeared a few times in the pulps, in 1952 as "Brock", and six times under his real name, Louis Trimble. The best parts of this book are Chapters 1 - 5, in which Cory is sent to investigate jewel robberies at a swank hotel. These sections show Brock celebrating America's new found post war affluence. He seems extremely proud of the modernistic elegance of his hotel, and the book looks forward to all the executive suites and modernistic offices and hotels that will be built during the 1950's. His detective too, while having tough guy mannerisms, is calculated to express a new sophistication in America. Cory is a former tennis bum with a Nob Hill background and an elegant wardrobe of $200 suits. He has an upper class appearance, which is why he is sent undercover as a wealthy hotel guest in the novel. His character is an Ordinary Guy who gets to move among the economic elite. He clearly represents the dream of many returning vets that they could move into the upper middle classes, a dream that would become a reality for many ordinary Americans during the next thirty years, as America moved from the mass poverty of the Depression to the mass affluence of the 1960's.

1 comment:

  1. A torrid cover! I may not know much about art, but this is art.

    See you in November

    Cheers, Jonathan