B.C.: Mysterious Newsies Paul D. Marks and yours truly know a think or two about noir, but there's a new kid on the block, or not exactly new, but this 1940s case just surfaced. I'd introduce you, but she's no wallflower. This gal gumshoe's got gumption.
Update October 17
Walter Forbes checked in at Amazon to see if the early buzz was a fluke. It wasn't.
Not Since Chandler
(5.0 out of 5 stars) C. Clever
I didn't know what to expect on starting this noirvella, as the author calls it. I previewed a little taste, and wanted to sink my teeth in immediately. This story is not to read like most books. One must hear the characters talking in the brain (sure wish this would go Audible) to settle into the jig that the author dances while telling Nelle's, not-Harry's, and others' parts. This book is FUN, something a reader like me isn't exposed to often as I stick to the crimefics of the world but really. It's perfect. Absolutely perfect. Pick up your own Damp Fedora and take a stroll in the rain.
N.C.: Hello there. Cop a seat. Sit a spell. They call me Nelle. Nelle Callahan. I’m a private eye with a penchant for winking trouble’s way. I can load a Luger or lead on a loser without looking over my shoulder, come the end of a coffee and doughnut day. That’s how they come at you. When you least expect it. But you knew that. You’re no flimflam or chump. You’re jake.
And stories? Every sucker behind the eight ball’s got a soppy one. You think they’re on the up and up? No way, Buster Brown. Not even when those crumbums hit the pavement and eyeball their bottom dollar, sucking up their last breath with their puss down. Every bird is workin’ an angle, I tell ya. My job? Cut through some slick con’s shadow, lift a corner of chintz off the mist, let some truth shine in for the chippies and the chopper squad— you know— menfolk who measure themselves by how big their tommy guns really are. Yeah. You get my drift. Everyone’s a dreamer. And everyone wants to grill their beef. They amble in to see me when they don’t know the diff and wanna get someplace where they’re not. Usually in a jiff. You can see ’em comin’ like butter and eggs men. You know the type, the rubes and yokels who flash big wads in nifty nightclubs and wonder what hit ’em on a not so nifty night. Usually it was a .45.
B.C.: Paul, I don't know what you've done from your side, but when a fast-talkin' dame like this saunters onto our turf, I tell my PI Walter Forbes to ask around.
Here's the scoop on the case.
W.F.: In this outing, Nelle finds herself helping a damp fedora wearing Harry - who's not a Harry - Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus, MLB pitcher Paul Katcher and her OSS handler-agent, none other than former White Sox catcher Moe Berg.
BC: And here's the lowdown on her sidekick Pilarcik.
"Noir fiction evolved from the hard-boiled and crime genre fiction with origins in the 1920s, particularly the stories from Black Mask magazine. Dashiell Hammett created the suave, clever Sam Spade and the ever-charming Nick and Nora Charles. Raymond Chandler conceived tough guy detective Philip Marlowe. In The Damp Fedora, Kate Pilarcik introduces Nelle Callahan...her lingo, her cracking wise, never lets up throughout the case. She manages to garner respect with her wits and moxie without having to sacrifice her sex appeal and femininity. In one scene, the bountiful banter between Nelle and her debonair, damp fedora-wearing new client is reminiscent of the sexy and smart verbal exchange between characters Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell portrayed in the movie, “His Girl Friday.” The choice of the word “scene” was no accident as Pilarcik’s novella would effortlessly translate into a film. The story weaves fictional intrigue with events and supporting characters of historical accuracy all to a 1940s soundtrack.
At the end, it may seem Nelle leaves you too soon, but hold onto your hat because she’ll be back. Oh, she’ll be back and until then, her jaunty words will keep you company. You’ll see." --Kristin Fouquet, author/phototographer.
B.C. Uh oh, sounds like she means business. But wait, maybe it's just a chick thing.
“Original, distinctive, and quirky, there’s something legendary about Kate’s writing. ‘Writing’ doesn’t fully describe the evocative prose, it sings off the page with the sultriness of a Hollywood starlet and raps with the cool of the Rat Pack. I can’t decide if she carries her pen in a holster on her stockinged thigh or in a violin case alongside her Tommy gun.” —Matt Hilton, author of the international bestselling Joe Hunter thrillers.
Take a look-see.
Suspense author and intrigue promoter (as Absolutely*Kate), has moxie. World needs more moxie. Kate’s noirvellas of 1940’s Detective Nelle Callahan feature OSS illusion flair interwoven with history’s last laugh in this ongoing serial of intrigue published by Down & Out Books.
Her author-presentation sites promote wordsmith-stars on the soar: *AT THE BIJOU* ("Writers' raves for Readers' faves"), AUTHORS RISING, NOIRBOROUGH, THE ESPRESSO CAFÉ, Women-Lovers-Friends & Mothers and soon, *SHADOWS KNOW* (an excerpt-staging site).
Pilarcik is a proud advo'kate member of Private Eye Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Bouchercon International Crime-Writers, mystery's Sisters In Crime, brand ambassador for Noir Nation, and new broadcaster & editor for Authors On The Air ~ Global Radio Network.
Just to prove that I ain't scared of no dame muscling in on my turf and that I ain't sufferin' from no fedora envy, I'll see your fedora and raise you an oilskin Aussie hat. Yeah, I'm from Portland freakin' Oregon. I ain't afraid of no damp.
Maybe it's just that I feel threatened, but after you're done reading The Damp Fedora, you may want to check out Vortex by Paul D. Marks or my personal guided tour of noir, neo-noir, Hitchcock, and Last Heartthrob.
Boucherconfidential | The Macavity-Barry-Anthony-Shamus Awards and The Lou Berney Conspiracy | Allen Eskens - The Heavens May Fall | Kate Pilarcik - The Damp Fedora | Shannon Baker - Stripped Bare | Upcoming Issues
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