The Double Take by Roy Huggins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Roy Huggins, the legendary Hollywood producer and screenwriter, started his career as a detective novelist. He was clearly a follower of Raymond Chandler - not a bad thing. Wise cracking PI Stuart Bailey gets involved over his head in this nicely plotted crime caper, meeting a slew of interesting characters, getting beat up, and doggedly chasing the twisting clues to a satisfying conclusion. The novel is certainly on par with the best of the 1940s era hard-boiled PI books that I've read. He later adapted this book for a film called I Love Trouble starring Franchot Tone which is very underrated. Someone has put it up on YouTube. Not a great print but it's watchable, and definitely worth watching.