Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/31/19: Detective Novels

The gruff private eye who investigated crimes with a world-weary cynicism had his start with author Dashiell Hammett amidst the throes of Prohibition when organized crime ran amok. Paperbook books began to be widely available in the decade after, and the two combined for masterpieces of vintage kitsch like the above (actual) novel by Fredric Brown, who also wrote horror,  science fiction and fantasy. The sultry brunette is clearly based on 1940s actress Veronica Lake and if you look closely, her shoulders are way too broad to be a woman’s. There’s also no way that red-gloved hand could belong to her, either, in the position the arm is in. But who cares? The whole is pure magic.

Looking for an imaginary detective novel to use in your work? Or perhaps gain inspiration from? A bunch of randomgenned titles below.


Hardboiled Detective Novels

The Waitress in the Cement Mixer

Death at the Luau

Larceny in Hell

Naked Came the Radical

Uptown Call Girl… she was pure sadism in go-go-boots!

The Blonde in the Bathroom Mirror

The Hairdresser of Muscle Beach

Boxing Club Temptress

The Claw Machine Murders

The Case of the Hamburger Killer

Diary of a Part-time Forger

The Case of the Hungry Fireplace

The Cinnamon Stick Killing

The Ferrari Murders

Brutal Ransom

Unlucky Reahead

Red Hot Emeralds

Murder in the Cat’s Eye

Kidnapping of an Escort

Death by Doberman

Blackmail at the Bikini Plant

The Gangster’s Moll Beside Me

Main Street Loser

The Tea-Time Murder

Farewell, But Don’t Tell Anyone


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