Another Stacy Keach: Kill Me Darling by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, 2015, overdrive.com download.
One thing I really enjoyed about this is that Velda has disappeared. This means we don't have to put up with Hammer calling her "Kitten" all the time. Man, that gets annoying. The plot on this one was more straightforward than other Hammer novels. Hammer is not working a case - he is working to get Velda back. Velda is refusing to come back to NYC and Hammer has to figure out how to get her to return. That Velda is working undercover is no mystery - or spoiler - to the reader.
Anyway, Velda has disappeared. She up and left without telling Mike what, why or where. Mike ends up going on a four month -
I'm at the circ' desk killing a few minutes and typing this. I can see right to the entry vestibule where we have a public bulletin board. Prominent on the board is a sign saying that all posts must be approved. Sure enough, some young woman came into the vestibule, grabbed some thumbtacks and posted up some pages. She did not even try to stick her head around the door and ask. I'm going to take those postings and put them right in the circular file.
- booze bender. Well, Mike comes to long enough to hear about an old pal on the NYPD who was murdered on the street. He then gets pulled in by Pat Chambers who tells Mike that Mike has turned into a drunken bum and that Pat knows where Velda is living. Mike perks up. Mike gets in his car and spends a few days driving down to Miami as he fights his body's booze cravings.
Mike lands in Miami. Mike gets a motel room. Mike looks for Velda. Velda has been cozy with a local mobster who runs illegal casinos, prostitutes, night clubs, and is suspected in drug running from Cuba. Mike wants to tear off Gangster's head and take Velda back to New York.
More Hammer Style things happen. Fights. Killings. Insults. Sex. Sexual innuendo. Sidebar characters who are salt of the earth. Hammer justice versus legal justice. Hammer's hankering for Velda.
There is a really well done part where Hammer comes back to his remote motel and finds the motel owners murdered. Hammer figures out how to sneak into the motel room with the hidden killers, where he attacks and chases down the men. That was suspenseful.
Hammer has that weird Madonna-whore thing going on again. He does not want to sleep with Velda before they marry but has spent plenty of time sleeping around during his adult life.
1. I had several things I was thinking about the story as I listened to the novel. But, I never wrote those thoughts down and I finished this book a couple weeks ago and have forgotten.
2. Because I have forgotten those thoughts you are deprived of some deep and insightful commentary. Gnash your teeth.