Fresno: Saber Books, 1961. First Edition. Wraps. 16mo. Mass market paperback. Light edgewear and spine creasing. Pages toned. Very good plus. Saber Books SA-18. Very good +. Item #23260
Early and influential gay pulp, whose iconic cover shows detectives Francis Morley and Tiger Olsen on either side of a distressed blonde; their shared gaze goes (literally) over her head. Rand passes easily between barely-coded irony (young men are "vague," the "nervous type," "in the business") and straightforward didactic exposition: "Now, since the war, we've got this new thing in Bay City. Everyone calls them 'gay'. We have gay bars, gay parks, gay clubs, gay theaters and hotels." With its emphasis on masquerade -- for undercover police purposes, the detectives pretend to be straight men pretending to be gay men, as one does -- THE GAY DETECTIVE prefigures Victor Banis's cheerfully camp Jackie Holmes spy novels of the later sixties, and parodies the hardboiled crime genre even as it fully belongs to it. [Young 2150*].