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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » No Badge, No Gun: A Carl Wilcox Mystery (Carl Wilcox Mysteries)

No Badge, No Gun: A Carl Wilcox Mystery (Carl Wilcox Mysteries)

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Harold Adams

Harold Adams's series of mysteries about small-town South Dakota during the Great Depression are like the work of another great artist of that period--the photographer Walker Evans, who captured in black and white every grain and pore of the façades … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Harold Adams
Publisher: Walker & Company
1 review about No Badge, No Gun: A Carl Wilcox Mystery...

Prairie noir sweeps Depression-era Dakotas

  • Jan 5, 1999
Rating:
+5
For some of us too young to know better, the world of the Depression can seem as foreign a place as Moscow or Outer Mongolia. It was, after all, a half-century ago, before computers, television, the Interstate Highway system and couple of major wars.

Which is why following Carl Wilcox, part-time bum, former convict and itinerant sign painter as he travels from town to town in the Dakotas so fascinating. In addition to painting signs and doing what he can to bring body and soul a little closer together, he sometimes investigate cases in small towns like Hope, Jonesville and Greenhill.

For the most part, these are pretty quiet stories about small towns where there's not much to do, and where murders are few and far between. Adams's books describe a Depression-era Dakotas of quiet small towns where private reputations and public behavior mattered. His Wilcox is a quiet man, willing to work when he needs money and loaf when he doesn't. His constant pursuit of any semi-willing women would be off-putting were it not realistically depicted (i.e., he doesn't succeed very often).

One added bonus can be found in the design of the books, whose covers sport art by Edward Hopper and Thomas Hart Benton. Not your usual mystery book design.

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