Sugar Shannon by Lawrence Lariar
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Lawrence Lariar was a well-know cartoonist and editor of the Cartoon of the Year series of books. In the late 1940s-1960s he also wrote crime and mystery novels under the pseudonyms Adam Knight, Michael Stark, and Marston La France. Similar to Carter Brown, Lariar had a few different series characters, most notably the Homer Bull and Steve Conagher P-I novels. Although this novel is billed as "an exciting new series," as best I can tell this was the only appearance of Sugar Shannon, who, along with her friend Gwen Moody, are not P-Is, but reporters for a lower-tier New York newspaper. This was an ok mystery but not too exciting. Greenwich Village setting. Lots of quirky artist-types for the reporters to interview as they try to track down the killer. No action sequences. No sex scenes. Just a lot of room searching and interviewing of potential suspects. Sugar is tough-talking and fond of repartee. Stylistically, a Carter Brown comparison seems a close fit. This is the only Lawrence Lariar mystery that I've read and although I'm not rushing right out to find one, I wouldn't mind checking out another. In 2019 Mysterious Press/Open Road re-published all of his novels as eBooks so they are readily available.
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