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This was one of two Ed Noon mysteries published in 1956. Although hard boiled this does in some ways go back to the earlier whodunnits from the Thirties and Forties in its structure. In this novel a girl does indeed walk into a bar looking for Noon, but this girl is only ten years old. Saying that her father is trying to kill her mother, she offers Noon just shy of two dollars to take on the case. Of course this is Ed Noon, without a current case, and a sap for children.

Following the girl, Lucille, to her home, he soon finds that her mother has been shot dead, and so another case is under way for the P.I. Lucille's father is Guy Prentice, famous actor and currently star of a hit Broadway musical. Could he have shot his wife? When Guy is himself shot, he wants Noon's help. When Noon is nearly killed he knows that something deep is going on, and with a host of suspects can he find the killer, as the police aren't having much luck?

I must admit that before the story ends it isn't really that difficult to work out who the killer is, it does become sort of obvious, but you then carry on to find out the motives and secrets that have been going on and kept from Noon. This is really an enjoyable read that will get your little grey cells working and keep you entertained. If you don't normally go in for hard boiled pulp novels like this, this may still be one worth considering, as it does have more of a mystery element than lots of others in the genre.
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