IN THE HOUSE OF SECRET ENEMIES by George C. Chesbro

IN THE HOUSE OF SECRET ENEMIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ten Mongo stories--nine of which were published in mystery magazines in the 70's, and one (""Candala""--the author's favorite--a muddled excursion ""into the dank, murky realms of racial discrimination, self-hate and self. degradation') that appeared two years ago. In his introduction, ""The Birth of a Series Character,"" reprinted from The Writer, Chesbro valiantly tries to explain why Dr. Robert ""Mongo"" Frederickson, the dwarf detective with a Ph.D. in criminology, a black belt in karate, and a career as a circus star-acrobat behind him, is not more mystery clichÉ; but the early stories here--""The Drop,"" ""High Wire,"" ""Rage,"" and ""Country for Sale""--which rely on pulp-fiction punch-'em-ups, sniper-perfect shooting, and assists from brother Garth, of the NYPD--hardly bare this out. In later pieces, ""Book of Shadows,"" for instance, and ""The Healer,"" much of Mongo's physicality is played down while Chesbro spins Mongo off into the Twilight Zone--the kabala as interpreted by Esalen--in the overwrought, metaphysical style of the recent Mongo novels. Cornball plotting throughout, but interesting in that it tracks Mongo as he leaps from trend (the Bruce Lee Kick) to trend (the Shirley MacLaine inner journey). A sort of biographical scrapbook for Mongo fans.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1990
Publisher: Mysterious Press--dist. by Ballantine