The Convertible Hearse

The Convertible Hearse by William Campbell Gault

Gault’s Brock Callahan private eye series was clearly written to appeal to a wider audience than most pulp detective novels. Absent from this series is the brooding, cynical, Hardboiled down on his luck detective found I never most pulp novels. Replacing that solitary figure is an All-American hero Brock the Rock, star player for the Los Angeles Rams, although now retired with a bum knee. Also, Gault clearly made an effort to appeal to female readers by giving Callahan a steady girlfriend, Jan, an interior decorator, and often having them fight about his career, and petty jealousies, often resulting in Callahan getting in hot water. It’s an enjoyable series, although not as powerful as other pulp stories.

Here, an errand with Jan to purchase a car at a notorious used car dealership leads Callahan to stumble into a world of murder, kidnappings, and armed nasty hoods. This is one of the better Callahan mysteries, smoothly written and quite entertaining.

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