Five and a Half Tons

By John Bayliss

I really enjoyed this. Springer is quite a character and had me laughing out loud a few times. The plot is well thought out and the end result is diamond!



Not so much film noir as seaside gris. The year is 1962, and Westerby-on-Sea is slumbering through its drab off-season. Life is quiet for J.F. Springer, Private Detective – and, though he admires Philip Marlowe and Sexton Blake, quiet is pretty much how he likes it.

Called in to find a missing woman, he has high hopes of solving the case and getting paid in double-quick time. But for Springer, life is never so simple. Soon he’s embroiled in an affair that involves housebreaking, missing diamonds, threats to his life, an apparent suicide, and a pigeon-fancier who suspects Springer has amorous designs on his daughter.

The police take an interest, first arresting Springer, then warning him off, and finally using him as bait in a trap. To further complicate Springer’s life, Jim Tarbet, the local wideboy, is determined to make Springer repay a trifling debt… Like a famous predecessor, Springer tries to be taller, but all around there are too many goons and not enough brains.’


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