First published as a two-part Doan & Carstairs story in Argosy magazine. Copyright un-renewed.
re I picked him up, do you?"
"I know where you said you picked him up. You said he was a stray soul lost in the wilderness of this great metropolis and that you had rescued him. You said you'd found him in front of your apartment building wasting away in the last stages of starvation, so I knew you were blind drunk, because the man had a belly like a balloon."
"In front of my apartment," Doan repeated thoughtfully. "This is all news to me. Could you give me a short and colorful description of this gentleman by the name of Smith?"
"He was tall and pot-bellied, and he had black eyebrows that looked like caterpillars and a mustache the rats had been nesting in, and he wore dark glasses and kept his hat on and his overcoat collar turned up. I mind particularly the mustache, because you kept asking him if you could tweak it."
"Ah," said Doan quietly. He knew now where he had gotten the instinctive warning about the metal case. Drunk as Doan had been, he had retained enough powers of obs
Fast moving, good old fashioned detective pulp fiction. Good for an enjoyable quick read.
Novelette-sized pulp detective story with Doan but sadly without Carstairs, most of the time. Which is probably why Doan has to use lots of profane violence to get them all. A good time-waster.
Norbert Davis (1909-1949) perfected the craft of mixing humor and the detective-noir genres and Holocaust House is a very good example of the marriage.
Sadly, he committed suicide at the age of 40 and missed his opportunity for recognition as a talented pulp writer.
Doan, the "hero" of this story is a small-time detective with a dry, sardonic wit, a huge Great Dane, and the ability to defend himself quite well if the situation demands it. In Holocaust House he is given the job of protecting a young heiress who is on the verge of inheriting millions.
If you like the adventures of Doan, they are continued in the following stories:
The Mouse in the Mountain (1943)
Sally's in The Alley (1943)
Cry Murder! (1944)
Oh, Murderer Mine (1946)
C. Alan Loewen
This was fun! Sort of a tongue-in-cheek approach to the hard-boiled mystery that saves it from the tired "gin mill" and "dolly" category. I'm starting the next one -- Mouse in the Mountain immediately.