Death in a Bowl

Death in a Bowl The only novel to feature Ben Jardinn a two fisted hard drinking PI with an office just a couple of blocks from Grauman s Chinese Theatre Hardly a cat and goldfish story Death in a Bowl is about a

  • Title: Death in a Bowl
  • Author: Raoul Whitfield
  • ISBN: 9781596540293
  • Page: 152
  • Format: Paperback
  • The only novel to feature Ben Jardinn, a two fisted, hard drinking PI with an office just a couple of blocks from Grauman s Chinese Theatre Hardly a cat and goldfish story, Death in a Bowl is about a murder that takes place in the Hollywood Bowl during a concert, with a lot of action and some surprising twists at the end.

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      Published :2019-09-05T07:31:01+00:00


    About “Raoul Whitfield

    • Raoul Whitfield

      Although born in New York, Raoul Fauconnier Whitfield s early life was shaped by his father s transfer to the Philippines where he led the privilege life as the dependent of a Territorial Government bureaucrat Young Whitfield would later travel through China and Japan where his memory of Asia would prove to serve him well Back in the States, the teenager aspired to motion pictures, where his rugged good looks graced the silent cinema If it weren t for America s entry into the Great War in 1917 we might know him as an actor, but Whitfield enlisted in the Army and was initially assigned to the ambulance corps Desiring action, he sought and won a commission as a pilot and saw duty on the German Front as a combat pilot After the Armistice, Whitfield spurned his steel business based family s desires, married his first wife Prudence and landed a job with the Pittsburgh Post as a reporter Prudence encouraged his long held desires to write pulp fiction stories His writing drew upon his childhood travels in the Far East his Jo Gar, Island Detective character was based in Manila along with his recent wartime exploits He succeeded in selling stories for Boy s Life, War Stories and Battle Stories under the pseudonym Temple Field but he s especially notable for his contributions to Black Mask, the creme of the pulps His Crime Buster Black Mask stories were so popular they were amalgamated into his first novel, Green Ice published in 1930 earning the praise of none other than the genre master, Dashiell Hammett, with its hard as nails emphasis on action Whitfield had a total of 9 books published during the depths of the Great Depression The speed in which he ground out work was amazing but it also drew criticism his lesser stories were spurned as hack work Whitfield often wrote under the pseudonym, Ramon Dacolta, who ironically proved a heady rival in readership popularity Many of his 1927 33 stories easily ranks with the best authors of pulp fiction Whitfield s screen writing career began in earnest after his divorce from Prudence and relocated from Florida to Los Angeles in 1933 He landed a job as a writer for Paramount and on a whirlwind trip to New York City, met and married the wealthy and unstable Emily Davies Vanderbilt Thayer, with emphasis on the Vanderbilt Life was good for a short period the couple purchased a large ranch outside Las Vegas, Nevada and Whitfield s writing productivity slowed to a trickle The Whitfield s marriage was wobbly, masked by partying Emily experienced bouts of manic depression and the couple separated in early 1935 Her mental state was far fragile than anyone had imagined, she committed suicide at the Nevada ranch that May Whitfield was inconsolable over his wife s death and he was utterly destroyed Contracting TB in his 40s he died at a military hospital in California in 1945.



    511 thoughts on “Death in a Bowl

    • I've been reading Whitfield lately, because he's one of the early hard-boiled writers and Hammett liked his writing. Of course he was also a drinking buddy of Hammett's so there's that. And Hammett was shagging his wife maybe he felt guilty. For me, he's a middle-tier hard-boiled writer. He's not a patch on Hammett or Chandler, but he's leagues ahead of John Carroll Daly. This book was put together from three connected stories of P.I. Ben Jardinn. He'd appear in two more stories in Black Mask in [...]


    • Raoul Whitfield was one of the big stars of BLACK MASK magazine, a contemporary and friend of Dashiell Hammett, and a leading exponent of the terse, hard-boiled detective story. DEATH IN A BOWL is a Hollywood mystery, with the suspects being a director, a screenwriter, and an actress. Whitfield is not a good writer, but there is something in just about every chapter that pulls you along. Detective Ben Jardinn likes women but doesn't trust them, he has doubts about journalists, and he sees Hollyw [...]


    • Black Mask stuff. Tough hard guy detective. Life is hard and then you die, can't even trust the dames, that kinda stuff. Fact is you can't trust anybody, so's the story can get kinda convoluted, everybody’s got something to hide. Every clue brings a new angle. Tough guy has got to figure it all out, but that's his job, worth a couple hundred bucks, so he does.Terse choppy sentences, bullets fly, character's die, that's the way it is, hanging around the guy's at Black Mask. Could of used a litt [...]


    • Whitfield was a prolific first-wave hardboiled writer whose work has seldom been reprinted in America, though he seems to be more regarded in Germany and France. While this book is definite hackwork, it kept me entertained throughout. Whitfield is a good, functional writer. The mystery is overly byzantine considering how telegraphed the ending is. In the latter half of the book, it often seems like there are plot twists designed only with the word count in mind.


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