Reno, 1938. A wide-open little town rife with an assortment of gangster/politicians running the gambling, prostitution, dope, and, of course, "easy divorce" rackets. San Francisco detective Shean Connell is hired to clear up a divorce case in the charming burg, but soon finds himself in the thick of a frame-up, after having the tip of his ear shot off while viewing the divorcee's corpse in the local morgue! Originally published by Hillman-Curl as a "Clue Club Mystery" in 1938, 42 Days for Murder was the only novel published by Black Mask writer Roger Torrey during his lifetime. Torrey was one of the "mystery men" of the Mask (along with Paul Cain and several others), in that very little is known about his life, although, like his private eye hero Shean Connell, he was apparently an inveterate gambler, alcoholic and barrel-house piano player, and he supposedly died in the arms of his mistress somewhere in Florida in the late 1940s. In any event, he could write a hell of a hard-boiled tale, and aficionados of the genre will get a kick out of this fast-paced and complexly plotted novel.
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