Bill Crane series by Jonathan Latimer (#2~3)
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Overview: Jonathan Latimer was born in Chicago on 23rd October 1906. His main series character was the private investigator Bill Crane. An important character in the development of the hard boiled genre. A notable title is Solomon’s Vineyard, the controversy over the content saw the US publication delayed by nine years. The author later concentrated on screen plays and also worked for five years on the Perry Mason television series.
2. Headed for a Hearse
Just days from meeting the reaper, a convicted murderer hires Chicago’s most hard-boiled PI to save his neck—before the executioner can claim it..
Robert Westland’s death is just around the corner when he finally decides to fight the murder rap that’s sending him to the electric chair. Fingered for his wife’s grisly demise, Westland is in a bind, and his last hope is Bill Crane, a booze-soaked detective who’s as ruthless with a quip as he is when trawling the streets for Chicago’s most brutal criminal element.
Crane’s got just a few days to suss out the real killer—someone clever enough to off Westland’s wife and lock her in a room whose only key belongs to Westland himself. Fueled by an abundance of liquor and a habit of bad manners, Crane sets his sights on a cast of oddball characters among whom hides a murderer. But in 1930s Chicago, everyone’s got a secret, and the pressure is on for Crane to separate the dangerous from the truly homicidal before it’s too late.
3. The Lady in the Morgue
A vanished corpse leads a hard-drinking PI on a madcap chase..
More than forty corpses fill the cold Chicago basement, but no crime has been committed here. After all, there are supposed to be bodies in the city morgue. Tonight, one is attracting particular attention: a beautiful young woman whose apparent suicide captured the imagination of every newspaper editor in town. Learning how and why she died is too great a task for any cub reporter. Only Detective Bill Crane is up to the job. A few minutes after Crane wakes from a nap in the morgue, the mysterious woman’s body has disappeared. With the howls of the mental patients as a soundtrack, Crane leads the police on a wild search through the hospital and across Chicago, stopping for a nap or a cocktail whenever the situation demands. It may be a matter of life and death, but that is no reason to rush.