Needing a book, I settled on Ed McBain’s So Nude, So Dead. It was one of the books that I got in the large order that I received from Edward R Hamilton last week.
So far, it’s just OK. So Nude was McBain’s first crime novel, published in 1952. It concerns a jazz piano player (Ray Stone) who becomes a junkie. He wakes up next to a dead woman and is hunted throughout New York City. So far, it’s good, but not great. So many authors have mined the basic mystery format that you feel as though there needs to be something else for a novel to work.
The book is hard to believe. My sense is that a junky who needed a fix would not be able to conduct an investigation into who framed him for murder.
The book’s cover is also odd. I suppose it intends to show Eileen Chalmers, the dead woman in Stone’s bad. However, the book states that Eileen was a blonde and that she was shot in the abdomen. Finally, the artist drew Eileen with a “mannish” face. I’m quibbling, but – assuming the cover means to depict Eileen – it should have been better.
So far, So Nude is about a 6.5 out of 10.