Sunday, August 15, 2010

Book Review: Peter Cheyney, Poison Ivy (1937)

Lemmy Caution, American "G" man, is the creation of Peter Cheyney, a British writer who made a bundle with his ersatz hardboiled writing. The plot of Poison Ivy, the second Caution novel, deals with the mob's attempt to rob a bullion shipment headed from New York to England, but the main thing readers (especially American readers) are likely to remember after finishing this book is Caution's over-the-top, unintentionally parodic (at least I think it's unintentional) narrative voice. As a literary creation, Caution is so bad that he is almost entertaining. I can imagine someone wanting to read a second Caution novel, but I can't imagine someone wanting to read a third. Grade: D+

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