Item description for Slot-Machine Kelly: The Complete Private Eye Cases of the One-Armed Bandit by Dennis Lynds...
A MASTER OF THE PRIVATE-EYE TALE
Dennis Lynds (1924-2005), who was best known for his work under the pseudonym "Michael Collins," was probably the most important and influential writer of private-eye stories to emerge in the past forty years. His series about one-armed detective, Dan Fortune, which began with the Edgar-winning Act of Fear (1967), is filled with the sense of pace, setting, and characterization of a master stylist, and the social consciousness of a committed human being. As Robert J. Randisi says in his introduction, "His work not only entertains, it informs and provokes."
Slot-Machine Kelly contains Dennis Lynds' earliest P.I. tales, published between 1962 and 1966, and never previously in bookform.
Dennis Lynds added prefaces to each story, explaining their significance in his development as a writer. He checked the final proofs a week before his untimely death, so this collection has become a memorial to the extraordinary writer who was Dennis Lynds and Michael Collins.
Slot-Machine Kelly is the 18th in Crippen & Landru's series of Lost Classics. The cover design is by Tom Roberts.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.3" Width: 6.2" Height: 0.8" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Nov 15, 2005
Publisher Crippen & Landru Publishers
ISBN 193200940X ISBN13 9781932009408
Reviews - What do customers think about Slot-Machine Kelly: The Complete Private Eye Cases of the One-Armed Bandit?
A good collection of pulp fiction Jan 15, 2006
This is a complete collection of the short stories featuring Patrick "Slot-Machine" Kelly, the one-armed PI created by the author using the pen name Michael Collins. The 13 stories were written between 1962 and 1966. The first story, "If the Whiskey Don't, the Women Will," was the first commercial short story and the first PI story written by the author. At a penny a word he was paid $40. Payments for short stories have not improved a lot since that time.
I pointed out to someone once that writing stories is like announcing sports, there is play by play action and there is color commentary. At a penny a word, an author had to crank out a lot of words to make any money, and good authors became adept at the color commentary. Reading the stories from start to finish, one can see the development of both the main characters in the stories, and also the development of the author as a writer as he honed his writing skills.
The author finished the editing shortly before his death last year, and added introductory comments before each story, something of possible value to fledgling writers. The main character in the stories eventually evolved into Dan Fortune, and a collection of those short stories is available separately (see Fortune's World). The author was an exceptionally talented writer, able to devise a large number of plots.
The last story, "Viking Blood," is obviously the best, and raises the question of where a person's obligations lie, i.e., to his family, to society, to his friends, or possilby to himself. This applies to a lot of characters in the story. Will a mother sacrifice a child for the good of the family? Will a son go against a family's interests to save himself? And who do you need to fear the most?
Like most collections, the stories have a somewhat mixed quality, and you will like some better than others. It is especially recommended to fans of PI type fiction.