Ring a Ding Ding


In the twentieth novel of the Johnny Liddell private eye series, Frank Kane revisits some popular pulp themes such as the sultry nightclub singer, the blackmail scheme, the tough guys hanging around the clubs, and the various dead bodies that turn up with the private eye being the prime suspect. However, Kane manages to make this private eye tale feel fresh and new. The Liddell series is a terrific private eye series with a tough guy private eye and this book is no exception. It opens with Liddell paying a late night visit to a prospective client – only someone got there first and tipped off the homicide squad. And, the action never lets up from there: “She was redheaded. She was stacked. She was also very dead.” Kane uses some great phrasing in this one such as telling us that the sultry nightclub singer “was stacked like an 85 cent sundae” and “she looked as if she had been sculptured from milk chocolate, wrapped in good foil.” Granted, Kane’s Liddell novels did not manage to break new literary frontiers, but they are just good-old fashioned fun to read. The menare tough and ready to brawl. The women are all eye candy. And, no one it seems has a heart of gold. Tough, hard-nosed, cynical just as a good private eye tale should be.

What else has Frank Kane written:

(1) The Fatal Foursome (1947); (2) Green Light For Death (1949); (3) Slay Ride  (1950); (4) Bullet Proof (1951); (5) Dead Weight (1951); (6) Bare Trap (1952); (7) Poisons Unknown (1953); (8) Grave Danger (1954); (9) Red Hot Ice (1955); (10) Johnny Liddell’s Morgue (1956); (11) Key Witness (1956); (12) A Real Gone Guy (1956); (13) Juke Box King (1957); (14) The Living End (1957); (15) Liz (1958); (16) Syndicate Girl (1958); (17) Trigger Mortis (1958); (18) The Line-Up (1959); (19) Trial By Fear (1959); (20) The Flesh Peddlers (as Frank Boyd) (1959); (21) A Short Bier (1960); (22) Time To Prey (1960); (23) Johnny Staccato (1960); (24) Due Or Die (1961); (25) The Mourning After (1961); (26) Stacked Deck (1961); (27) The Conspirators (1962); (28) Crime Of Their Life (1962); (29) Dead Rite (1962); (30) Hearse Class Male (1963); (31) Johnny Come Lately (1963); (32) Ring-A-Ding-Ding (1963); (33) Barely Seen (1964); (34) Fatal Undertaking (1964); (35) Final Curtain (1964); (36) The Guilt-Edged Frame (1964); (37) Esprit De Corpse (1965); (38) Two To Tangle (1965); (39) Maid In Paris (1966); and (40) Margin For Terror (1967).

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