I’m pleased to see that independent publisher Raven’s Head Press has recently released a new edition of Harold Q. Masur’s first novel, Bury Me Deep. That 1947 book, which introduced Masur’s long-active lawyer-detective protagonist, Scott Jordan, was also given a favorable write-up this morning in John “J.F.” Norris’ Pretty Sinister Books blog. He explains that the novel opens with Jordan returning home to discover “Verna [Ford] in her lingerie helping herself to expensive brandy in the appropriate snifter.
She’s been waiting for someone in Jordan’s apartment but it can’t possibly be him. He was away in Miami and cut his trip to come home. No one was expecting him. Verna tries to put the moves on Jordan but he won’t have any of it. Then she downs her brandy and immediately passes out. Jordan foolishly takes her to a cab, bribes the driver to baby sit her until she comes to and asks him to let her out at her home. But the driver soon discovers Verna is not dead drunk, just dead. The lawyer is immediately suspected of doing her in and trying to dispose of the body. So he decides to find out who she is, why she was in his apartment and who poisoned her brandy. The case becomes a lot more complicated than that as it turns out Verna was involved in a legal battle involving a will that will provide millions of dollars to the proper surviving relative of a husband and wife who died in a car crash. Lots of down and dirty action that turns pretty nasty. Villainy and double crossing galore! It’s a corker, gang.I wholeheartedly agree! And it’s a kick to see the cover illustration on Raven’s Head’s reprint, done by artist Doug Klauba, following the sexy example set by previous editions of Bury Me Deep--though I think this 1984 Quill paperback cover still has the new one beat. I’m only hoping that somebody at Raven’s Head caught the egregious typo on the back cover of this edition before it went to press. As you’ll note in the image above (click on it for an enlargement), the last line of the copy reads, “Under suspicison of murder, Scott Jordan, newest detective sensation, raced the police to a desperate killer in this rapid biting tale of pulp fiction.” Oops!