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Written in San Francisco’s Powell hotel in the early 1950s while on leave from the army, Willeford created a tale of deception featuring the crooked detective Jacob C. Blake and his nemesis–a beautiful, insane young woman who is the wife of a socially prominent San Francisco architect. Blake becomes entangled in a web of deceit, intrigue and multiple murders in this exciting, black humor, noir-drenched tale.

Product Description

Hard-Boiled Classic Noir: “She wasn’t wearing much beneath the skirt. In an instant it was all over. Fiercely and abruptly.” Charles Willeford’s Wild Wives is amoral, sexy and brutal…
ONLY A FEW COPIES LEFT! The first two novels by Charles Willeford surpass the works of Jim Thompson in profundity of hard-boiled characterization, simultaneously offering a deep critique of contemporary morality… San Francisco in the Fifties must have been quite a place… a place where you could get away with murder!

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Weight 0.35 lbs

1 review for CHARLES WILLEFORD Wild Wives

  1. admin

    “Nobody writes like Charles Willeford. . . . He is an original—funny, weird and wonderful.” –James Crumley

    “Elegant, tough, and rhythmic as a championship boxing match.” –San Francisco Chronicle

    “Willeford has a marvelously deadpan way with losers on both sides of the law.” –The Philadelphia Inquirer

    “Wow! He gives you . . . the viewpoint of the most fascinating asocial trash.” –Tony Hillerman

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The rain hit hard at my window. It slowed down to a whisper, then hit hard again. All afternoon the rain had been doing this while I sat behind my desk with my feet up, doing nothing. I looked around the ratty little office and wondered vaguely what time it was.

It wasn’t much of an office. The four walls were painted a sickly lime-green, and the only bright spot in the room was the famous Marilyn Monroe calendar with its flame-red background. Two ladder-backed straight chairs, a two-drawer file cabinet, a cheap combination typing-and-writing desk and a swivel-chair completed the furnishings. The rugless floor was laid with brown and yellow linoleum blocks. As I sat facing the door, looking over my feet at the milk-glass pane, I could see in reverse the lettering of my name:


Behind me was my single window with its excellent view of the air shaft. The office was on the mezzanine of the King Edward Hotel and it was probably the worst location for a private investigator in San Francisco. But I hung onto it for two reasons. One: I lived in the hotel. Two: It was cheap.

I lit a cigarette and tried my best to blow smoke rings. After several tries I blew a good one. While I watched it disintegrate the door opened and a girl entered. She was young and she held a pistol in her hand. I left my feet on the desk and raised my arms in the air as high as I could reach.

“Stick ’em up!” the girl said, out of the corner of her mouth.

“They are up.” My voice came out higher than I’d ever heard it before. My body felt suddenly cold and damp. The girl came around to the side of my desk, shoved the pistol into my face and pulled the trigger. A jet of lukewarm water splashed on my forehead and dribbled into my eyes. The girl made a noise, a foolish, school-girl giggle.