Publication Year: 1985
Tags: Detective, Writer, Golden Gumshoes
The year is 1949. A young writer of pulp fiction struggles with the feeling of death that surrounds him as the city tears down the great amusement pier in Venice, California. There will be no more rides, no more side shows, no more games of chance, no more fortune tellers and snake-oil salesmen. The huge movie marquee, where great names like Fairbanks, Chaney, Garbo, and Hepburn once lent their grace, reads only GOODBYE.
Death hits closer to home as well. Four bodies turn up – one trapped in a lion cage that lies submerged in the Venice canal, one in a cheerful flophouse, and two others in houses across town. The deaths could be natural, or they could be accidents, but our unnamed writer (Bradbury himself, at age 29, as he would have been in that year?) doesn’t think so. It just feels wrong. And although he claims to believe only in facts, Detective Elmo Crumley has to admit that he, too, doesn’t trust the appearances of innocence that surround the deaths. Unfortunately, it will take clues and facts to solve the crime – if there is one – and no one seems to have a motive of any kind. Continue reading “Death is a Lonely Business”