Solomon's Vineyard

Solomon's Vineyard

Jonathan Latimer / Nov 19, 2019

Solomon s Vineyard First written in but banned from publication in the United States until this hard boiled mystery covers such unsavory but potent topics as grave robbing religious cults kinky sex and who

  • Title: Solomon's Vineyard
  • Author: Jonathan Latimer
  • ISBN: 9781854800763
  • Page: 496
  • Format: Paperback
  • First written in 1941 but banned from publication in the United States until 1988, this hard boiled mystery covers such unsavory but potent topics as grave robbing, religious cults, kinky sex, and whorehouse violence In this classic noir novel, a private eye from St Louis, who likes his steak rare, his liquor hard, and his women fallen, arrives at the small town of PaultFirst written in 1941 but banned from publication in the United States until 1988, this hard boiled mystery covers such unsavory but potent topics as grave robbing, religious cults, kinky sex, and whorehouse violence In this classic noir novel, a private eye from St Louis, who likes his steak rare, his liquor hard, and his women fallen, arrives at the small town of Paulton to protect his wealthy client s daughter from a suspicious religious cult Throughout the span of the case, he confronts Paulton s mob boss, avenges his partner s death, and falls for a classic femme fatale named Princess.

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      Published :2019-08-11T10:55:25+00:00

    About "Jonathan Latimer"

      • Jonathan Latimer

        Jonathan Latimer was born in Chicago on 23rd October 1906 His main series character was the private investigator Bill Crane An important character in the development of the hard boiled genre A notable title is Solomon s Vineyard, the controversy over the content saw the US publication delayed by nine years The author later concentrated on screen plays and also worked for five years on the Perry Mason television series.


    800 Comments

    1. The best hardboiled detective novel you've probably never heard of, Solomon's Vineyard was published in Britain in 1941, but never issued in unexpurgated form in its author's native U.S.A. until 1988. As Detective Karl Craven tells us in his brief introduction: "This is a wild one. . . it's got everything but an abortion and a tornado." Does it ever. It begins like classic Hammett (a wandering daughter job, a murdered partner, "Red Harvest" style intrigue), gradually transforms into Chandler bar [...]


    2. "That's Solomon's Vineyard.""What?""You heard of it," the driver said. "A religious colony . Raise grapes . . . and hell."Dunn-dunn-dunnnnnnnnnnn!Private dick Karl Craven is hired to spring a rich man's daughter from a freaky cult and enters into a world of cranky gangsters, willing women and more religious nutjobs than you can shake a shepherd's crook at.Labeled too hot for US publication in 1941, it seems pretty tame by today's standards. (Because NO ONE EVER HAD S-E-X way back when. Right?)(v [...]


    3. opening lines: From the way her buttocks looked under the black silk dress, I knew she'd be good in bed. The silk was tight and under it the muscles worked slow and easy. I saw weight there, and control, and, brother, those are things I like in a woman. I put down my bags and went after her along the station platform. The pulpiest pulp detective novel to come out of the 40's! The story was considered too risque at the time of publication for the sensibilities of readers more used to the posh set [...]


    4. *3.5 Stars*From the way her buttocks looked under the black silk dress, I knew she'd be good in bed. The silk was tight and under it the muscles worked slow and easy. I saw weight there, and control, and, brother, those were things I like in a woman.Yea, from that first line, we know that this book puts the "hard" in hard-boiled. This one might just be the "hardest" of them all. I can see now why it's publication was delayed for FORTY years(!) due to content. It follows private detective Karl Cr [...]


    5. This is a classic piece of pulp fiction that was first published in Britain in 1941, but which was deemed much too racy for the U.S. at that time. Accordingly, it was first published here in an sanitized version that glossed over all the parts that were too "adult" for the delicate sensibilities of the American reading public. The opening couple of sentences of the original version might suggest why:"From the way her buttocks looked under the black silk dress, I knew she'd be good in bed. The si [...]


    6. Karl Craven believed there were two ways to approach the private detective business; underground or on top. The way he saw it, ”Underground you had the element of surprise on your side, but it was harder to move around. On top you went everywhere, taking cracks at everybody, and everybody taking cracks at you. You had to be tough to play it that way.” Craven was tough. He could stop a lousy moke’s fists with his face or scuff up a gangsters shoes with his ribs. He liked his men manly, his [...]


    7. This was the second time I'd read this.I own the Black Mask Online edition but decided to download the Kindle version for reading while on vacation. I became suspicious about the Kindle version after reading comments someone over in the Hardboiled Group Reading Thread posted re: the Kindle edition being an edited version of this.I decided to wait to return home and read my original Black Mask Online edition.I had fun with this. As much fun as I had the first time I read it.As good as this is, it [...]


    8. A quick, fun, gin-soaked ride of a story. In many ways, ahead of its time, especially in its approach to sex and violence (probably why it wasn't in print in the US unedited until 1988). Even though it was written in 1941, it feels much more like a Mickey Spillane era story.As it states in a kind of mini-prologue (I'm paraphrasing): This is a wild one. It has everything but an abortion and a tornado.I would be interested in reading THE FIFTH GRAVE, the edited version that was published in the US [...]


    9. The most brutal detective novel ever written. A dick gets sent to Heartland USA to find a missing girl hidden in a crazy religious compound protected by vicious racketeers. Our rotund hero is (literally) in bed with the Cult's princess and the gangsta's gun moll, too. Loads of sex and murder, "Solomon's Vineyard" never gets boring. And I didn't even mention the necrophiliac part, either.


    10. A private detective is hired to bring a rich man's niece home. But the niece is being held captive by a religious cult with a sinister plan for the girl, and the cult is led by a beautiful blonde. There's also a local mob boss, who has the prettiest girl in town.This book was written in 1941 but banned from publication in the U.S. until 1988, though I can't figure out why. The "kinky" sex scenes are brief and almost laughable, but no more graphic than any other pulp writing at the time.The writi [...]


    11. I was pretty optimistic about this one, based on other reviews touting how hard-boiled it was. Well, maybe it was, but I thought the plot (what little there was of it) got overwhelmed by the hard-boiled elements, which was basically some rough sex with a masochistic nympho and the buckets and buckets and vats of bourbon and beer downed by our hero-detective no matter the hour of the day.Whiskey for breakfast, bourbon bottle in the shower or sauna, raw eggs in whiskey for hangovers, bourbon for l [...]


    12. This book is touted as a forgotten classic, suppressed when it came out in 1941 because of its sexual frankness and general lurid disreputability. By current standards, of course, it's pretty tame, and the only reason to read it is because it flaunts just about every touchstone of the classic hard-boiled PI novel, in spades.Karl Craven is a St. Louis PI hired to get a millionaire's niece out of the clutches of the weirdo cult she has fallen in with in a smallish town of unspecified location. He [...]


    13. for plot, etc. feel free to clickhere. Otherwise, continue. The very short preface to this novel states the following:"Listen. This is a wild one. Maybe the wildest yet. It's got everything but an abortion and a tornado. I ain't saying it's true. Neither of us, brother, is asking you to believe it. You can lug it across to the rental library right now and tell the dame you want your goddam nickel back. We don't care. All he done was write it down like I told it, and I don't guarantee nothing."Th [...]


    14. “ FROM THE way her buttocks looked under the black silk dress, I knew she'd be good in bed. The silk was tight and under it the muscles worked slow and easy. I saw weight there, and control, and, brother, those are things I like in a woman. I put down my bags and went after her along the station platform. “ I defy any fan of Hard-Boiled/Noir crime fiction to read the above first paragraph of 'Solomon's Vineyard' & not feel compelled to read on. Reminiscent of 'The Dain Curse' by Dashie [...]


    15. Loved this one. Justly deserves its reputation, although the brief passages that had kept it from publication in the US and made it a banned book in the 1940s seem tame even by 1950s standards, so it's hard to see why it wasn't brought back into print earlier. Has a Red Harvest vibe to it, but with a more violent and a more sexual edge. Really loved the way the novel starts because there is no clear sense who the protagonist is or what he is up to and the way that is slowly revealed through the [...]


    16. Originally published in 1941, Solomon's Vineyard was ban in the US for it's mature content. The book was publish 74 years too early, it easily fits right into today's publishing world. It's a hard boiled book about PI Karl Craven, who eats large amounts of food, drinks a lot and quite a ladies man. Can only imagine what Craven would say about thongs, braless dames or dames that go commando. I liked the book, found it tamer, than I thought it would be, and definitely will read more from Jonathan [...]


    17. This is the kind of '40's style noir that is as fun to read as a ride through a Coney Island Scare House from decades ago. It's got everything from whorehouse scenes to grave robbing. And, guess what? A femme fatale named Princess. When the first line of a book reads: "From the way her buttocks looked under the black silk dress, I knew she'd be good in bed", then you know you have the real thing in your hands. All the hard-boiled writers of today owe a tribute to Jonathan Latimer.


    18. I'll have a whisky and some steak.r breakfast and keep the booze coming! And that dame in the corner is a looker too. I don't care that she belongs to a gangster thug who bumps off peopleg on the action. And the copseir all crooked too. I know just how to play em. Watch your back



    19. A short and convoluted crime noir brimming with hedonism. Like ANTONY AND CLEOPARTRA, the characters in SOLOMON'S VINEYARD live only for pleasure, and most of them end up dying for it.


    20. Six years before Mickey Spillane blasted across the pages of history, there was a hardboiled world of Hammett, Chandler, Horace McCoy, James Cain, and Jonathan Latimer. He wrote a book- Solomon's Vineyard- that was so violent and filled with sexual heat that it was banned in the US for forty years.If you like Mickey Spillane, you will like Latimer. This book is red hot, sizzling, and as violent as it can get. And, the most unbelievable thing is that it was published in 1941. They didn't have bo [...]


    21. A darkly humorous spoof of the hard-boiled detective novel. How dark is the humor? I'd compare it to Evelyn Waugh's "The Loved One." Way too dark for the early 1940's censors. As a result, the book was banned in the U.S. for many years. Latimer would have done well to warn his readers, the way Waugh did in a brief foreword: "is is a nightmare, and in parts, perhaps, somewhat gruesome. The squeamish should return their copies to the library or the bookstore unread."Karl Craven is a picaresque PI; [...]


    22. This novel is quite a find. Made one list I saw ranking the best 15 private eye books of all time. Perhaps American P.I. novels. If the author's name had not been on the book I would have bet that Hammett wrote it. I've never read anything that was so much like The Continental Op. Jonathan Latimer has to be the most underrated writer of the pulp style hard boiled school. Published in 1941 the book opens with this: From the way her buttocks looked under the black silk dress, I knew she'd be good [...]


    23. They withheld this book for publication for a few kinky moments although you would have no trouble shooting this story for basic cable these days. Outside of the controversy it's a well done detective caper. The protagonist is in the mold of the Continental Op, in that he's heavy-set and emotionally detached. There is an homage to Red Harvest here too in the detective's endgame. I wouldn't say that it's as good as the best Op stories but it's as good as the average ones which is pretty good prai [...]


    24. An excellent specimen of hard-boiled detective fictionI'd never heard of Jonathan Latimer before buying this book on a whim. How could I go wrong? Certainly the 99 cent price made it worth a tumble.The book was written in the early 1940's but was banned from publication for forty-odd years. You can see why after reading the first paragraph! Latimer put to paper what Chandler only obliquely referred to. The result is a gritty story featuring gangsters, femme fatales, prostitutes and even a religi [...]


    25. Solomon's Vineyard by Jonathan Latimer is a book that time may have forgotten, but worth seeking out for fans of hardboiled fiction and pulp. Check out my full review for more information on this banned book from 1941.everythingnoir/2015/09/21/


    26. Great fun. Easy read. First half better. Once Latimer got all the balls up in the air he had to get them all back down again


    27. This is definitely the most hard-boiled detective story I've ever read. Couldn't decide on the number of stars and finally gave it five. I really liked it and yes, it was amazing when you consider the amount of action and pace for a novel that will soon be 80 years old. Craven the name the protagonist gives out as his moniker, is super tough but definitely very flawed. The don't make them like that anymore (thankfully). Craven has a conscious but only on his terms. He doesn't want to be a thief [...]


    28. Don’t recall ever having as much fun with a pulp fiction as I did with this one. I dare you to read the first page and put the book down: “FROM THE WAY her buttocks looked under the black silk dress, I knew she’d be good in bed. The silk was tight and under it the muscles worked slow and easy. I saw weight there, and control, and, brother, those are things I like in a woman. I put down my bags and went after her along the station platform.”With a plot involving assassins, shady lawyers, [...]


    29. Whoo boywhat a doozyx double lamb chops.quarts of bourbonur pound steaksfatty is one of hell of a private eyei'm not whether this was all meant to be a practical jokebut it was a fun readi just had a thoughtOrson Welles could have done wonders playing Karl Craven.


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