In sun-soaked Florida, Crane pursues a kidnapper in between drinks
It does not take much to lure Bill Crane to Florida in the wintertime. The weather would be temptation enough, but the fact that there is money to be made and gin to be drunk makes a trip to Key Largo irresistible. His ever-soused companion, Doc Williams, at his side, Crane sets out south to find out who has been threatening millionaire playboy Penn Essex with blackmail notes, first on his pillow, then in his wallet, demanding $50,000—“or else.” But as Crane soon learns, the threat is not to Penn, but to his sister.
When beautiful young Camelia is kidnapped, Crane and Doc look for traitors inside the family circle. Lurching from cocktail hour to cocktail hour, they will do everything they can to find the missing girl, knowing that murderers—and hangovers—could strike at any moment.
About the author
Jonathan Latimer (1906–1983) was a bestselling author and screenwriter. Born in Chicago, he began his career as a crime reporter for the Herald Examiner, working there until 1935, when he set out on a twisting road to Hollywood, which included stints as a dude rancher, a stunt man, and a publicist. In the late 1930s he began writing screenplays for MGM, producing the scripts for several classic noir films, including The Big Clock (1948) and the adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key (1942), which starred Alan Ladd.
All the while, Latimer was writing fast-paced mystery novels such as The Lady in the Morgue (1936) and The Dead Don’t Care (1938). After fighting in World War II, he returned to Hollywood, where he continued writing novels and became a staff writer for the Perry Mason show.
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