HOODWINK by Bill Pronzini


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The Nameless Detective is back again--in a likable, low-key mystery that features pulp-magazine nostalgia (a Pronzini specialty) and two locked-room puzzles (with pretty creaky solutions). Five veteran pulp-mag writers have each received a blackmail letter threatening to reveal a piece of alleged plagiarism, circa 1952. So the Nameless shamus goes a-sleuthing at the pulp-mag convention in San Francisco--meeting some of his writer-idols, falling for the gorgeous daughter of one. . .and discovering the body of old pulp-publisher Frank Colodny. The obvious suspect: alcoholic writer Russ Dancer, found with the gun and the body in a locked room. But the Nameless is convinced that Dancer's innocent--especially when another body (that of pulp-artist Ozzie Meeker) turns up in a locked shack. The trail leads to an Arizona ghost town--where our hero is shot at (in a locked room, of course). And though the plotting's only so-so, there's a nicely Rex-Stout-ish cast of characters, a sweet romance for the N.D., and the ruddy charm of Pronzini at his lightest.

Pub Date: July 3rd, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's