Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Strange, James. James Strange was created by Eleanor Baker Quinn and appeared in One Man’s Muddle (1936) and Death is a Restless Sleeper (1940).
James Strange is a former Scotland Yard inspector who was corrupted by the easy money in the narcotics trade and began accepting bribes. He was caught and did four years on a manslaughter charge (of which he was innocent). On release, he went into the countryside for some solitude, only to stumble, in fine noir style, on a murder case. Complications mount, and Strange has to first lie, then give a great deal of help to the local police. In the sequel he becomes a more straightforward private detective.
* I'm including the James Strange novels in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because they are criminally forgotten about hardboiled noir masterpieces. Eleanor Baker Quinn is a mystery, and how she came to anticipate Raymond Chandler (see Philip Marlowe) and the noir movement so effectively is a very interesting question. To quote critic David Vineyard, "One Man’s Muddle and its sequels are an interesting look at a Marlowe that might have been, one of those curious side roads that sometime run parallel to a more successful track. And well worth reading and discovering as first rate mysteries by a writer who deserved more recognition than she got." Can't recommend highly enough.
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