The Cold, Cold Ground - William Campbell Gault - ebook

The Cold, Cold Ground ebook

William Campbell Gault

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A singer is missing, and the man looking for her is about to find trouble. Mortimer Jones drives a Duesenberg, a behemoth of a car that seems to come from another era. Jones is the same way. In a city of tough guys, Jones has a soft touch. In a town of loudmouths, he is the rare PI who knows how to stay mum. When Flame Harlin goes missing, her aunt trusts no one but Jones to find her. Flame is a nightclub singer, with looks to spare and a smidgen of talent, and some of the town's deadliest men are hooked on her charm. Loving Flame Harlin is dangerous - and looking for her may be too. When another PI on the same case is killed, Jones gets cautious. Whether dead or alive, Flame Harlin does not want to be found.

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Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Introduction

The Cold, Cold Ground

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Looking for more suspense?

Cover

Begin Reading

About the Book

A singer is missing, and the man looking for her is about to find trouble.

Mortimer Jones drives a Duesenberg, a behemoth of a car that seems to come from another era. Jones is the same way. In a city of tough guys, Jones has a soft touch. In a town of loudmouths, he is the rare PI who knows how to stay mum. When Flame Harlin goes missing, her aunt trusts no one but Jones to find her. Flame is a nightclub singer, with looks to spare and a smidgen of talent, and some of the town’s deadliest men are hooked on her charm. Loving Flame Harlin is dangerous - and looking for her may be too.

When another PI on the same case is killed, Jones gets cautious. Whether dead or alive, Flame Harlin does not want to be found.

About the Author

William Campbell Gault (1910–1995) was a critically acclaimed pulp novelist. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he took seven years to graduate from high school. Though he was part of a juvenile gang, he wrote poetry in his spare time, signing it with a girl’s name lest one of his friends find it. He sold his first story in 1936, and built a great career writing for pulps like Paris Nights, Scarlet Adventures, and the infamous Black Mask. In 1939, Gault quit his job and started writing fulltime.

The Cold, Cold Ground

A Smashing Detective Story

William Campbell Gault

 

BASTEI ENTERTAINMENT

 

Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG

 

Copyright © 2015 by Bastei Lübbe AG, Schanzenstraße 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany

 

For the original edition:

Copyright © 2012 by The Mysterious Press, LLC, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY. U.S.A.

 

Copyright © 1947 by Popular Publications, Inc.

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

Cover design by Andrea Worthington

 

E-book production: Jouve Germany GmbH & Co. KG

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-616-0

 

www.bastei-entertainment.com

 

All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this e-book or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Introduction

William Campbell Gault (1910 – 1995) was a highly regarded, prolific writer of mysteries (31 crime novels), and a very successful author of action books for young adults (33 novels), mostly about competitive sports and fast cars. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, and educated at the University of Wisconsin, Gault moved to Southern California after serving in World War II and became a full time writer.

His first mystery pulp story, “Marksman,” appeared in Clues magazine in 1940. He wrote several hundred detective stories before he produced his first novel, Don’t Cry for Me (1951), which won the Edgar Allan Poe Award. Between 1946 and 1950 Gault wrote nine detective tales for Black Mask, five of them starring his colorful, articulate detective, Mortimer Jones. Gault’s Black Mask stories were so popular that they were almost always featured on the magazine’s cover.

Mortimer Jones is a typically athletic William Campbell Gault hero, a knock-about fellow who likes people, enjoys sports, and adores the finer things in life, especially fancy cars. But Jones is also something uncommon in the hard-boiled hero, a detective who is a quietly observant, compelling, first-person narrator. Mortimer Jones was a precursor of Gault’s greatest series character, ex-LA Rams guard-turned-South California private eye, Brock Callahan. One of the first of the compassionate private eyes, Brock was also one of first series detectives to have a steady girlfriend. In fact, critics and fellow authors like Fredric Brown, Dorothy B. Hughes, Bill Pronzini, and Kevin Burton Smith have all noticed that Gault was one of the first American authors of detective mysteries to pay more attention to the human relations in his novels than the details of the mystery. In this regard, Ross Macdonald, a writer often credited with transforming the classic American detective mystery from a popular genre formula into important, mainstream novels concerned with real families facing contemporary problems, dedicated his last novel to William Campbell Gault.

Gault’s popularity never faltered. By the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s, Gault turned away from the detective novel and concentrated on the young adult adventure novel, which was more lucrative for him. He gathered an avid younger audience that has continued to renew itself. Then, in the 1980s, Gault began writing a new series of novels about his most durable hero, Brock Callahan. William Campbell Gault never stopped writing or publishing. His last novel was published in 1995, shortly before he died.

“Cold, Cold Ground” appeared in the January 1947 issue of Black Mask Magazine.

Keith Alan Deutsch

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!