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Violence Is My Business by Milton Lesser

Violence Is My Business (1958)

by Milton Lesser

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To recover his license, Drum must unlock the mystery of a professor's suicide Duncan Hadley Lord seems too happy to kill himself. But then, he has no reason to sleep around, either. For three months the history professor has carried on an affair with a call girl, and for the last few weeks Chester Drum and his partner, rookie PI Jerry Trowbridge, have watched him do it. When Lord steps onto a fourth-story window ledge on Homecoming night, Drum gets through the police cordon just in time to watch the professor fall to earth. An embittered local sheriff, convinced that Drum and his partner were blackmailing the professor, has their license revoked. To salvage his business, Drum must find the real reason for Lord's suicide. He has tangled with politicians, thieves, and spies, but no detective can truly know treachery until he steps into the hallowed halls of a college campus.… (more)



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Great pulp novel. Great entertainment. Chester Drum is a hard Talking tough guy private eye based in Washington D.C. and whose cases often cross paths with Cold War issues and whose travels take him all over the world.

"Violence Is My Business" is a terrific hardboiled tale that takes Drum into a case involving a suicide, a blonde call girl who melts his heart, a rival investigator, a mean Southern sheriff who has it in for Drum, political intrigue, license suspensions, barroom brawls, and a mad dash on skis across a frozen wasteland.

It's a fairly short novel and a real quick read. Great pulp novel. Great entertainment. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
First published in 1958, the Chester Drum series, of which this is #6, represents some of the best "noir" writing of the fifties. Chester Drum runs a D.C. private investigation firm and he arrives at the scene of a college professor's suicide just as the man leaps from his office window, missing the fire net. (A cliché, I know, but apparently such nets, invented in 1887, actually worked although the practical limit was said to be about six stories. There is one firefighter who jumped into a net from the 10th floor and survived without a scratch.) Drum had been hired by the dead man's wife to follow him and discover if he was having an affair. Drum's associate, a newly hired member of the firm, had fallen in love with the dead man's daughter just to complicate matters. All the typical ingredients are on display, the crooked cops, the beautiful call girl, the iconoclastic P.I., etc.

Soon, Chester is in the midst (of course he inserts himself whenever possible) of a conspiracy involving highly placed officials, some crooked cops, and a -- wait for it -- lovely hooker with a --wait for it -- heart of gold.

My sarcasm aside, it's a good story, if a bit archaic, well told and I can see why Marlowe was popular. I hope they bring more of his works back in Kindle form. Not as good as Ross MacDonald, but then, who is? ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
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