For love of fine, wily Imabelle, hapless Jackson surrenders his life savings to a con man who knows the secret of turning ten-dollar bills into hundreds—and then he steals from his boss, only to lose the stolen money at a craps table. Luckily for him, he can turn to his savvy twin brother, Goldy, who earns a living—disguised as a Sister of Mercy—by selling tickets to Heaven in Harlem. With Goldy on his side, Jackson is ready for payback.
Many people had reasons for killing Ulysses Galen, a big Greek with too much money and too great a liking for young black girls. But there are complications—like Sonny, found standing over the body, high on hash, with a gun in his hand that fires only blanks; a gang called the Moslems; a disappearing suspect; and the fact that Coffin Ed’s daughter is up to her pretty little neck in the whole explosive business.
Outside the apartment where a wake is going on, the manager of the A&P across the street is robbed. Reverend Short, a storefront preacher addicted to opium and brandy, is watching from a bedroom window in the flat. He leans too far and falls out; a bread basket, sitting outside the bakery below, saves him. Back inside, he says he sees a vision of a dead man. Outside, in the very basket Short landed in, lies the body of Valentine Haines. Who murdered Val? It is up to Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson to find out.
"The word is out on the street, and the hopheads and whores and flimflam artists are running scared: Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones are back in print." —Newsweek
New York is sweltering in the summer heat, and Harlem is close to the boiling point. To Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, at times it seems as if the whole world has gone mad. Trying, as always, to keep some kind of peace—their legendary nickel-plated Colts very much in evidence—Coffin Ed and Grave Digger find themselves pursuing two completely different cases through a maze of knifings, beatings, and riots that threaten to tear Harlem apart.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the start, nothing goes right for Coffin Ed and Grave Digger. They are disciplined for use of excessive force. Grave Digger is shot and his death announced in a hoax radio bulletin. Bodies pile up faster than Coffin Ed and Grave Digger can run. Yet, try as they might, they always seem to be one hot step behind the cause of all the mayhem—three million dollars’ worth of heroin and a giant albino called Pinky.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Big Gold Dream is the explosive and shocking hardboiled classic that explores the shadowy underbelly of New York as an urban civil war erupts on the side streets of Harlem, pitting murderers and prostitutes against corrupt politicians and racist white detectives. Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson attempt to maintain some kind of order—in the neighborhood they have sworn to protect—in a world gone mad around them.
Mike Shayne has just poured himself a drink when Phyllis Brighton tries to throw herself out the window of his downtown apartment. Luckily, he blocks her just before she can launch herself over the sill. She tried to warn him she was crazy, but he didn’t listen. Her doctor and her new stepfather, on the other hand, both believe Phyllis is suffering from a kind of Electra complex— a fixation with her mother that is so intense that Phyllis would rather kill her than share her with anyone else. Shayne agrees to do whatever he can to keep Phyllis from killing her mother, but that doesn’t ensure that the woman will live.
When Mrs. Brighton is found with a knife buried in her back, all signs point to the Phyllis’s guilt. But this hard-boiled private investigator didn’t stop someone from jumping out a window just to send her to the electric chair. And it doesn’t take a degree in psychology to find a killer—it takes brains, eyes, and two strong fists. Mike Shayne is just the man for the job.
Luke Devereaux was a science fiction writer, holed up in a desert shack waiting for inspiration. He was the first to see a Martian - but he certainly wasn't the last.
It was estimated that one billion of them had arrived - one to every three human beings on Earth. Obnoxious green creatures who could be seen and heard (but not harmed) and who probed private sex lives as shamelessly as they exposed government secrets.
No one knew why they had come. No one knew how to make them go away - except perhaps, Luke Devereaux. Unfortunately he was going slightly bananas, so it wouldn't be easy.
But for a science fiction writer nothing was impossible...