What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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UNSOLVED: One specific book > 1982 mystery PB with dwarf private eye (NOT Chesbro) and a man screaming in front of a child on the cover

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message 1: by Michael (last edited Jul 31, 2016 03:17PM) (new)

Michael Sloane | 3 comments I hope someone can help me. I've been trying to identify this novel for years and just learned of this forum.

It was a paperback mystery novel (probably a paperback original) that I read probably not long after it was published in October, 1982 as I bought it off a newsstand.

The cover art depicted a man in a suit standing and leaning back and apparently screaming, with his arms outstretched and downward, on a playground, while a frightened young child stands in front of him and people behind them look on in shock. I recall the cover art having a purplish/greenish color scheme but I could be wrong.

The plot involved a private eye who was a dwarf / little person....but it was definitely NOT George Chesbro's character Mongo. What I can remember of the plot is that the P.I. was hired, I think by a woman, to find out some information involving the missing heir of a prominent wealthy family, either what happened to him or what was wrong with him. The scene depicted on the cover was a scene where a man (the heir) whom they see leaving a house and walking silently through the neighborhood. At one point, I think the P.I. protagonist and the woman (who might have been a family member) see him as he approaches a child on the playground, and leans back and begins screaming, as shown in the scene on the cover. The plot concerned some horrible thing that had happened to the screaming man in the past that had caused his mental illness.

I've tried looking for lists of P.I.s who were little people / dwarves without success. I'm a fan of George Chesbro's novels featuring Mongo and have read them all, this definitely was not one of his Mongo series (although a member of the "Straight Dope" message board did helpfully suggest a cover for Chesbro's "An Affair of Sorcerers" which does depict a man holding his face and screaming, this was definitely not the same plot or cover.)

I'm only aware of one other dwarf detective, a character that was created by Harlan Ellison for the mystery pulps in the 1950s, but the author was definitely not Ellison.

I don't recall the publisher, but it seemed to be one of the many mass-market paperback publishers like Dell, Bantam, Ballantine, etc. that produced paperbacks.

That's all I can remember. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!


message 2: by Kym (new)

Kym | 1058 comments Could it be anything by Lawrence Sanders.

https://www.worldcat.org/title/tenth-...


message 3: by BookWoman (new)

BookWoman | 125 comments Possibly James Herbert's Others? As I recall, the protagonist is a private eye, suffers from, I think, spina bifida, and is asked by a woman to locate her missing child.


☯ DαякєηRнαℓ  ❛ ᶜʳᵒᵘᶜʰᶤᶰᵍ ʰᵘᵐᵃᶰ ; ʰᶤᵈᵈᵉᶰ ᵗᶤᵗᵃᶰ ❜   (darkhearteternal) | 864 comments For some reason I just thought of Penelope, the film with Christina Ricci & James McAvoy.


message 5: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 40226 comments Mod
Michael, are you still looking for this or did you find it?


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