I have some of the early Noon novels and a handful of the latter entries, but nothing in between. So I was glad when they began to offer them as ebooks. I first discovered Michael Avallone with his Man from U.N.C.L.E. novel and began searching out his works. Noon became a favorite. THE CASE OF THE BOUNCING BETTY is from the early fifties.
Four things got Ed Noon’s day off to a rousing start.
First, the Betty of the title walked into his office. Betty Heck wasn’t like most women that entered a P.I.’s office. She weighed four hundred-forty pounds and wanted to hire him for protection. In the last few days someone had taken a shot at her, had tried to shove into an elevator shaft, and tried to run her down. She laid a hundred dollar bill on his desk.
The second thing was the pounding on his locked door. Noon let in Bart Artel after Betty has squeezed herself in the office closet. He demanded Betty’s whereabouts and after Noon ad convinced him she’d gone, the man tried to buy him off to ignore what she’d told him. The price went from fifty to a hundred to two to three, all ignored by Noon.
The third thing was the bullet from his window that killed Artel.
The fourth was the two hoods that came in, grabbed Betty, and said if he wanted to see her alive again, he’d come see heir boss, Bim Caesar, a two bit hood.
All that and Noon still didn’t know what it was all about.
It’s not long before the police arrest Noon for a second murder, he makes a grand escape, and has to figure out what’s going on before the cops find him. After all, he’d threatened to kill one that was careless enough to get too close during his escape. never would have happened but they didn’t need to know that.
For more forgotten books, drop in on Todd Mason, who’s collecting the links this week.