Book Report: Kill Me Tomorrow by Richard S. Prather (1969)

Book coverYou would think that since I have chased poor Rob Prather around the Internet for a decade, from his old blog Insults Unpunished to his guest time on Outside the Beltway to social media outlets telling him “I love your Shell Scott novels!” that I would have read more than two in that time period. You would be mistaken. I’ve read Kill Him Twice in 2008 and this book in 2011. I have read more than that, anyway, since I have at least one other paperback on my read shelves and might have gotten some from the Community Library back in the day.

Shell Scott goes to an Arizona resort to rest up and recouperate after being shot in a disagreement with some mob types, but shortly into his stay, movie star and Sophie Loren proxy Lucrezia Brizante seeks his help. Her father is in some kind of trouble, so Scott goes down to the Arizona retirement community to find out if the old man is really in danger. And he finds the mafia moving in, looking for some government money that’s coming to the retirement community.

The style of the book blends some lighthearted, irreverant humor with complicate plots endemic of Ross MacDonald or Raymond Chandler. It’s not quite as campy as the Dean Martin Matt Helm films, but Scott doesn’t take himself seriously, and one expects that Prather doesn’t take him entirely seriously either as some realism is sacrificed for spectacle. I think I was a little more down on it in 2008, as the review isn’t without reservations, but I guess if you’re in the mood for this particular style of book, it’s better than if you’re not.

So it’s worth a look if you’re in that mood.