Richard S. Prather and Stephen Marlowe, or What are your favorite author team-ups and cross-overs?
But when Prather's Shell Scott and Marlowe's Chester Drum teamed up for Double in Trouble in 1959, the excess flew out the window, each author concentrated on what I presume he did best, and the contrast between the ebullient Scott and the somber Drum provides extra fun. Marlowe's descriptions of women who catch Drum's eye seem touchingly chaste next to Prather's enthusiasm, for one. (The novel alternates chapters narrated by Scott and Drum. I assume Prather wrote the Scott chapters and Marlowe the Drums, but who knows? Maybe each took a stab at the other's style.)
I don't know Marlowe's style well enough to judge whether he altered it all for Double in Trouble. But one of Prather's descriptions leavens the joy with a bit of concern. The result is just beautiful, screwy but affecting and empathetic, and it may be my favorite description of them all:
"She was a big, healthy tomato with plenty of tomato juice in her, but somehow without all the usual seasonings."Your turn now. What are your favorite crime-fiction collaborations, particularly if they involve both authors' characters teaming up? Why do you like them?
© Peter Rozovsky 2016