Friday, December 1, 2017

"A Cop Killing Would Make the Rap No Worse"

"Murder on Santa Claus Lane."
By William G. Bogart (1903-77).
First appearance: G-Men Detective, January 1943.
Reprinted in X Is for Xmas (2011).
Short story (10 pages).

"With a Blackout in Hollywood, Rookie Patrol Car Cop Johnny Regan Does Some  X-Ray Work to See Through Crime!"
There may be a world war going on overseas, but there's also another kind of war underway on the homefront, and a fresh recruit in the battle is about to find out how a guy can get killed, even on Christmas Eve . . .

The usual suspects:
~ "Big Ben" Slattery:
  "For six months now, ever since getting on the force, Regan had been riding the bus
with Big Ben. Slattery was a big truckhorse of a guy, jovial and easy-going. He was well established on the Force, and he had shown Regan the ropes. They got along."
~ Johnny Regan:
  "Come on. Look at things. No lights. Dimouts! Maybe even a blackout tomorrow night.
And they used to call this Santa Claus Lane!"
~ The woman:
  "She was the kind who could take your mind off Christmas, and the fact that tomorrow
night you had to work."
~ Pete Kelsey:
  "But try—get them—three men—guns—"
~ Lieutenant Anderson:
  "That’s the way he said it, quietly, but Regan knew what Lieutenant Anderson was
thinking. A couple of patrol cops on the job and crooks had slipped right through
their fingers."
~ The landlady:
  "So many people are always coming in and out to look at rooms. Why, that hussy
even kept the key to my front door, and she must have known I was going out last
~ The air raid warden:
  "So I saw these lights and hurried over here to complain to the night watchman,
and . . ."
- As far as we know, our author was not related to Humphrey. As a journeyman pulpster, Bogart wrote in all genres and was responsible for 14 Doc Savage adventures, as well
as a trilogy of novels featuring his own P.I. Johnny Saxon; see J. F. Norris's Pretty
Sinister Books weblog (HERE) for more.
- Much additional author info is available in Duane Spurlock's mini-bio at Hidalgo Trading (HERE), Wikipedia (HERE), the SFE (HERE), and the ISFDb (HERE).
Santa Claus Lane, Hollywood Boulevard, in the 1940s when there was no blackout on.
- For background about "Poverty Row" movie studios, see Wikipedia (HERE); concerning Santa Claus Lane and the annual Christmas parade, consult Wikipedia (HERE):

  "The Parade was suspended from 1942 to 1944 due to World War II, but reopened in 1945 with record attendance."

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