April 16, 2013

Cocktail Talk: Dead Dolls Don’t Talk, Part II

Somehow, the other day when I was going on and on about Day Keene and how much I dig him as a writer of the pulps and pulpy and mysteries and noirs and their ilk, and dropped down a Martini quote from the fine once-fit-in-your-pocket-book now part of a worthy three-novels-in-one-book collection from Stark House called Dead Dolls Don’t Talk, well, I meant to put in two quotes. And that, friends, is what’s called a long sentence. And a mistake I mean to rectify by putting in the second quote right now (cause I don’t want you to miss it. And want you to read the book. So, go on, do both).

Coe put a cigarette in his mouth and offered the package to his employer. “The hell of it is we haven’t any way of knowing for how long you may be stuck.”

Hart lit his first cigarette of the day and enjoyed it. “That’s the hell of it,” he agreed. “But if I’m not back in a couple of days you might try sending out a Saint Bernard with a keg of dry Martinis.”

–Day Keene, Dead Dolls Don’t Talk

*See all Day Keene Cocktail Talks

April 9, 2013

Cocktail Talk: Dead Dolls Don’t Talk

Day Keene is one of my favorite pulp-ateers. And by that I don’t mean someone who does puppet shows with puppets made of fruit. Though that would be, um, interesting, too. No, I mean one of the writers who wrote in the middle of last century, and who wrote books that usually fit in your pocket and stories in magazine with vaguely lurid names. Both genres tended to be about crimes, criminal, down-on-their luckers, drinkers, back-alley brawlers, just-in-troublers, and anyone who’s run into, or looked for, trouble. Day Keene wrote a whole giant bar full of tales featuring those kind of folks, with tight plots that keep you on the edge and wondering how it’ll all end in a manner that’s not quite bleak, but close enough to call out to bleak without a raised voice. Anywho, his characters usually need a stiff drink, and Dead Dolls Don’t Talk (which is part of an amazing collection of three Day Keene novels reprinted by Stark House) isn’t any different. As this quote shows us:

As he sipped his second drink Hart gave the girl her due. Peggy made good Martinis, albeit they were a trifle strong and she served them in Old-fashioned glasses. The date, if it could be called that, was proceeding according to pattern. Peggy had made the usual announcement that she wanted to change into something cooler and more comfortable. However, instead of donning the usual filmy negligee, she’d put on a smart red shantung coolie coat that ended halfway down her thighs, creating the illusion that there was nothing by flesh and girl under the provocative garment.

Dead Dolls Don’t Talk, Day Keene

*See all Day Keene Cocktail Talks

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