Earlier this year I became hooked on Richard S. Prather's series about detective Shell Scott. These books were extremely popular in the 50's and 60's, selling somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 million copies. Obviously Prather isn't as well known now as he was in his heyday. It may be that his books were simply too lighthearted to be taken as seriously by critics as the works of many of his pulp contemporaries. But I think the Shell Scott books are great fun, and a few of them contains some of the funniest scenes I've ever read in mystery novels. Unfortunately, Prather died earlier this year. I've since read a couple of extensive interviews with the man in which he talks about a final Scott book that he'd recently finished. It's called The Death Gods and supposedly was around 1,000 pages in manuscript form. Is anyone out there aware of the current status of this manuscript? I hope some publisher is able to work with Prather's estate and get this out there. I've read about fifteen of the Scott books so far and still have a big stack of them remaining. But I'd love a chance to check out Prather's final tale.

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Comment by Bryan Smith on August 30, 2007 at 4:48pm
Hard Case was my first thought on this, too. But the reported length of 1,000 manuscript pages would seem to rule them out, as they tend to publish much shorter works than that. Unless maybe they could split it up and publish it as two or three books...hmm...
Comment by Donna Moore on August 30, 2007 at 4:44pm
Bryan - I snap up the Shell Scott books whenever I see them (which is not often enough). I think they are hilarious and wish they would be reprinted. That's interesting about his final novel. I hope Hard Case Crime are one the ....errrr...case.

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