241 pages. Small octavo (7 3/4" x 5 1/2") bound in publisher's original grey cloth with black pictorial to front cover and gilt and black to spine in original pictorial jacket. First edition.
When Terry Rooke's girl slapped his face (on the side with the scar) the old headache, dating from years in the Pacific and more years in Army hospitals, returned - but bad. So when Terry, a fledgling private eye, entered the hotel room from which he was to try to observe a lady in flagrante delicto, he wasn't entirely himself. Less so she he found the lady naked, bolt upright in an easy chair, with a hole in her heart. No cloths in the room - no nothing. With the headache and the drinks he'd had, Terry couldn't be sure... Had he been here before. Chet Lassier, head of the detective agency, advised him to hide out on the Bowery while Chet investigated. Terry became a fugitive, half believing he might have committed the murder. The only possible proof of his innocence was that someone seemed to be trying to kill him, too. Terry had been on Skid Row before and some of his best friends were bums: Baserty, the bearded jockey; Killer Carney, heavyweight baby sitter; Professor, the Bowery's atomic expert; Shakey, Shakespearian scholar; and Knotty, the English dwarf. Marshalled by Tommy Twotoes, an eccentric millionaire penguin fancier, the bums were invaluable in the solution to Terry's problem, as was Cleo, the lovesick penguin. From midtown New York, the Bowery, a Greenwich Village night club and finally to Westchester, the weir chase leads Terry through a maze of mad adventure and suspense in which Twotoes emerges as one of the most original detectives since Sherlock Holmes, and a lot funnier. Author's first novel.
Corners and spine ends lightly rubbed, jacket corners and spine ends chipped, some light damp stain to wrapper, hinges rubbed, some closed edge tears, small chips at back heal edge, lightly soiled else a very good copy in a good to very good jacket.