Friday, April 20, 2018
FFB: Honey in His Mouth by Lester Dent
Giving away too much of the plot would steal from readers the pleasure of discovering this story for themselves. So, all I will say is this:
A shifty guy named Walter Harsh, who scratches out a barely legal living as a photographer, is approached by a shady man who has a money-making scheme. Harsh is a dead ringer for an important person.
Dent keeps the story moving, filling it with one unexpected turn after another. Walter Harsh hangs in there, twist after twist, focusing on the big money at stake, even though his life is at stake too. Greed keeps winning out. This is a noir novel with fear, criminality and sex on every page.
Lester Dent (1904-1959) who came up through the pulps and created Doc Savage, knew how to keep his main character and his reader hooked and squirming.
Publishers Weekly said Dent wrote the book in 1956, but it was not published until 2009 when Hard Case Crime issued it.
Posted by Elgin Bleecker at 7:47 AM
Labels: Doc Savage, Hard Case Crime, Honey in His Mouth, Lester Dent
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I'm a big Lester Dent fan. He's best known for his DOC SAVAGE work, but Dent was a writing machine. He churned out stories and novels that delivered action and adventure.ReplyDelete
George – A writing machine is right! Would you happen to know why this novel was not published in Dent’s lifetime?Delete
Dent is a fascinating writer. His fame rests on the Doc Savage novels, which are best described as spirited juvenile hokum. Dent developed a certain voice for the many Doc stories he wrote but he always harbored ambitions (and the talent) to establish himself as a serious writer and in fact he has been deemed worthy by editors of appearing on the same table of contents page with writers of the caliber of Hammett and Chandler. As a longtime fan, my favorites of his novels are the three he did in the mid-1940s for the hardcover publisher, Crime Club, each of which I highly recommend: DEAD AT THE TAKEOFF, LADY TO KILL and LADY AFRAID. These novels apparently did not due well. Dent later published interesting paperback novels in the 1950s but met editorial resistance because of their poor sales performance of those hardcovers and his reputation as a pulp hack. Dent himself blamed his Doc Savage work for ruining him as a serious writer.ReplyDelete
Stephen – Thanks for the comment. That would explain Dent’s trouble getting HONEY IN HIS MOUTH published. And thanks for pointing the way to my next Lester Dent reads. All three of the books you mentioned are available through Kindle.Delete
Not an author I've tried. Another one to keep an eye out for, if not actively seek out, cheers. This one does sound good.ReplyDelete