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Richard S. Prather’s Find This Woman was published in 1951, the third book Prather had published that year (the other two were Bodies in Bedlam and Everybody Had a Gun).. This is Shell Scott’s fourth adventure and Prather is still experimenting with his formula. A rich man hires Shell Scott to find his daughter. The search leads to Vegas where Victor Dante operates a night club called–what else–The Inferno. Bodies are found, Shell Scott gets roughed up, and there’s a tiny bit of sex thrown into the mix. The elements that the Shell Scott series will be famous for–clever one-liners and convoluted plots–are understated in this book. But, if you want to see how Prather started to tweak his creation, Find This Woman can be revealing.

21 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #354: FIND THIS WOMAN By Richard S. Prather

  1. Todd Mason

    I dunno, Bill…that earliest cover rather displays the character’s pulchritude impressively as well.

    Wonder if Prather ever looked at the TV series DANTE and wondered if Blake Edwards had been reading a certain novel when he devised that series…

  2. Art Scott

    I hit Bill’s blog first, so he got my first thoughts on this well-deserved multi-party tribute. I mentioned there that Prather did the foreword for my first McGinnis book. He recalls how thrilled he was when the first Gold Medal Shell Scott with a McGinnis cover appeared (a surprise), and how appalled he was by the godawful photo covers when he switched to Pocket. “Shell Dork”, he called him. Time to put a Shell Scott on my nightstand!

    1. george Post author

      Art, Rob McGinnis created some great covers for the Shell Scott series! I picked FIND THIS WOMAN partly because I love the McGinnis cover!

  3. Wolf Böhrendt

    I just remembered!
    Rob McGinnis also did the covers for Carter Brown – we talked about him early last year.

    Again, the covers are better (and more suggestive …) than the books themselves …

      1. Wolf Böhrendt

        Thranks, George and Art – and Mc Ginnis too of course for that stuff!

        Looked at some of the great pictures and the comments on are hilarious.

  4. maggie mason

    I don’t think I’ve ever read one of the Prather books. I seem to remember that the late Barbara Burnett Smith (mystery writer) was his daughter in law. I could be mistaken though, it may have been another author of that era

  5. Jeff Meyerson

    I loved the McGinnis covers too. Loved the “Shell Dork” comment. I read a few of these over the years but usually liked the humorous ones better. I just let them wash over me without paying too much attention to the plot.


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