Say It With Bullets (Hard Case Crime) Mass Market Paperback – 28 Jan 2011
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About the Author
After leading a successful career at one of America s largest advertising agencies , Richard Powell became the author of a popular series of comic mystery novels starring the crime-solving couple Andy and Arabella Blake. Powell was also the author of The Philadelphian, which became an Oscar-nominated film, as well as Don Quixote, USA, the basis for Woody Allens film Bananas
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, Bill's back. He's tracked down his so-called friends and he's determined to get the truth out of them by any means necessary. Happily, they're all distributed in the Southwest, so he can visit them all (and keep a low profile) by the simple strategy of joining a tour group.
Despite the book's constant movement, Say It with Bullets truly is a basic cozy. Bill surprises his first friend, only to witness (and be framed for) their murder. The pattern continues and the bodies pile up at regular intervals with a carefully measured portion of red herring meted out in every chapter. Can Bill and his Pretty Blonde Tour Operator sidekick/foil find the real murderer? Who knows Bill is back? Why are they framing him? And, most importantly, will Bill and P.B.T.O. ever kiss?
Despite being at the heart of a mass of slayings, there's never really any danger - Mr. Powell clearly preferring romantic tension to any other kind. The who of the whodunnit is also broadcast from the very beginning as the story follows the essential form of any mystery: pick the least likely suspect and wait for them to start monologuing. Say It with Bullets is also littered with slapstick moments - a straight out of Off-Broadway gambling spree in Reno topping the list. The book's real plot is plain to see: this isn't about Bill getting his revenge, its about Bill getting to the point where he doesn't care. Stop looking for the truth and smootch the girl in front of you.Read more ›
Now back in the U.S., Wayne wants answers. Playing tourist, he signs up on a bus trip that visits each of his former cohorts' home towns, and, to keep him company, he's taking along his trusty .45 automatic . . .
Richard Powell's 1953 story would probably have to be radically overhauled if it were to be set in the modern day. You couldn't really imagine a hero making his way through various action-packed scenarios via a bus in this day and age (Keanu Reeves excepted, perhaps). However, this is one road trip that you want to be on.
As you would expect from top-of-the-range pulp stories, there's colourful prose and snappy dialogue coursing through the pages. Bill Wayne's laconic patter when confronting his former friends is particularly pleasing. He uses a similar technique on the pesky Deputy Sheriff Carson Smith, a man who may put the mockers on Wayne's venture. Blonde bombshell, Holly Clark, the tour's hostess, is also taking a shine to the deputy, much to Wayne's displeasure.
Hard Case Crime has published some real gems and `Say It With Bullets' is one of the best that I've read so far. I'd also recommend Gil Brewer's superb anti-hero tale, `The Vengeful Virgin'.