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Lacy, Ed

Page history last edited by PBworks 18 years, 1 month ago

Ed Lacy was the pseudonym of Leonard S Zinberg (1911-1968), American author of novels and short stories. Zinberg lived in New York City, which was the setting for most of his books. Zinberg's wife was black, and he wrote sympathetically of black characters, including his detective in Room to Swing (1957), Toussaint Moore, who reappears in Moment of Untruth. His other series characters are Dave Wintino and Lee Hayes. He also wrote crime stories as Steve April.

 

A biography and appreciation of Ed Lacy can be found here.


Mike Grost on Ed Lacy

 

Such late short stories as "Death, the Black-eyed Denominator" (1963) and "Heir To Murder" (1967) are genuine mystery stories, written in a decade when the genre wasn't fashionable. They tend to be in a fairly hard-boiled mode, featuring either tough cops or private eyes. Both of these stories are constructed in three Acts. The stories open with biographies of all the key characters in the case, giving both their life stories, and involvement in the crime. Often these are narrated by the person who brings the case to the hero. These detailed biographies make pleasant reading. The hero then does some detective work. This detective work tends to involve either science or technology: medicine in "Black-eyed", high tech bugging equipment in "Heir". The detective work involves far more brain power than brawn. In general, the detective narrators of these stories are intelligent and sensible, and show few tendencies towards violence or anger. The high tech detection is fairly ingenious and original in both stories. At this point, the hero figures out the crime, and has a final thriller like show down with the killer. Interwoven with all this is the hero's pleasant relationship with his girlfriend, and good natured relationship with the other (male) detectives on the case. Lacy tries to have a puzzle plot solution to each story. The more ingenious one in "Black-eyed" surprised me, although the one in "Heir" was more predictable. "Black-Eyed" is also more hard-boiled, building to a thriller finale that would not have been out of place in a 1933 Black Mask tale.

 

Bibliography

 

The Woman Aroused (1951)

Sin in Their Blood (1952)

Strip for Violence (1953)

Enter Without Desire (1954)

Go for the Body (1954)

The Best That Ever Did It aka Visa to Death (1955)

The Men from the Boys (1956)

Lead with Your Left (1957)

Room to Swing (1957)

Breathe No More, My Lady (1958)

Shakedown for Murder (1958)

Be Careful How You Live aka Dead End (1959)

Blonde Bait (1959)

The Big Fix (1960)

A Deadly Affair (1960)

Bugged for Murder (1961)

The Freeloaders (1961)

South Pacific Affair (1961)

The Sex Castle aka Shoot It Again (1963)

Two Hot to Handle (1963)

Moment of Untruth (1964)

Harlem Underground (1965)

Pity the Honest (1965)

The Hotel Dwellers (1966)

Double Trouble (1967)

In Black & Whitey (1967)

The Napalm Bugle (1968)

The Big Bust (1969)

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