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Larry Baker Books In Order

Publication Order of Larry Baker Books

Charlie Sent Me (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
No Blonde Is an Island (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
So What Killed the Vampire? (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
True Son of the Beast (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Iron Maiden (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Larry Baker Series

Going under the pseudonym of Carter Brown, the author Alan Geoffrey Yates was well known for his fun and inventive style of writing during his lifetime. A pioneer of the pulp-noir and hard-boiled thriller genres, he had a gift for engaging the reader in his genre fiction that would reshape the format in the years to come. Producing over almost 200 novels during his lifetime as well, he would become one of the most prolific writers during his long and illustrious writing career. Setting the standard for many writers to come, he would also create a number of highly iconic characters that are still read and enjoyed to this very day. Getting into the mind of each of these long-running protagonists, he would really draw out what they meant to the readers over the course of their run. This would allow his audience to relate to them, with each of them being easily accessible, as many of them endure for readers today.

Over the course of each of their series, they would mainly focus on solving cases and mysteries, all whilst overcoming their own personal demons and issues. Not only that, but he would also write with a high-degree of wit as well, knowing exactly how to bring each of his subjects to life, whilst also keeping them fun. With a whole backlog of series written under his Carter Brown pen-name, he would become especially highly regarded for a number of his detective and mystery series. One series that would come to exemplify this was that of his much appreciated ‘Larry Baker’ collection of mystery novels.

Combining humor with the mystery thriller pulp-noir novel, they would follow the TV gag writer Larry Baker, as he would come to solve a series of cases. A somewhat reluctant amateur sleuth, he always has a witty to line to hand to break the tension and keep the laughs constantly flowing. Constantly finding himself in a variety of different and increasingly difficult situations, he continually seeks to find justice and illuminate the truth. With a legacy that still lives on to this day, there’s still many fans that look to this particular series, which will continue for many years yet.

Whilst this may have only run for a total of six books, with it not being one of Brown’s most prolific series, it still made up for this with a collection of solid tightly knit mysteries. Starting out in 1965 and running till 1975, this would mark some of the later titles of Yates under the Brown brand name. Showing a clear sense of development as an author, it shows him having more fun with the format, playing with the genre template. It would also contain a lot more straightforward jokes, which he made under the context of his lead protagonist Larry Baker.

Charlie Sent Me

Initially published under the Signet Books publishing label, this would first come out in 1965 on the 1st of September. Establishing the series and lead character for the first time, this was the first in the series of Larry Baker books. It would also provide a stand-alone mystery for him to solve as well, giving the readers a clear idea of what to expect in the books to come.

With this being the first time that readers would meet the character of Larry Baker, it sets about introducing him as a fun loving protagonist. Always showing an eye for the ladies, it definitely features a number of tropes that were clearly of their period and era. Following a clearly defined mystery though, Yates writes with a high-degree of confidence under the name of Brown, setting it up as essential for anyone looking to make a start on the series.

Focusing on the television gag-writer, it starts out with Larry Baker living a somewhat conventional life as doing what he does best, which is writing top gags for TV. With his eye permanently on women, he’s always on the hunt for the next great script as well, seeing where the next great line lies. That’s when someone happens to ad-lib a murder off-screen and he’s Baker is regarded as the primary suspect in the case. From here he must become the amateur sleuth looking to clear his name and find the real killer and bring them to justice before it’s too late. Will he manage to clear his name and save the day? Who really committed the murder and why? What will happen when he declares ‘Charlie sent me’?

No Blonde is an Island

Brought out through the Signet Books publishing house once again, this would also be released in 1965 around the same time as the first. Following on from the original, this features another mystery for the fun loving TV gag writer turned reluctant amateur sleuth to solve. Giving him a clear arc, it is part of series that can be picked up at any point, all thanks to its highly accessible and casual nature.

Once again Larry Baker is thrown into the deep end, this time with him being whisked off to a plush private island. Believing that he has it all here living a life of luxury with three beautiful women, he initially has to just contend with two jealous husbands. That’s when an escaped lunatic is found to have escaped on the island and, as the bodies start piling up, Larry Baker must work out where they’re going to strike next. Can he stop them in time before it’s too late? Where will they strike next? Will Larry have the perfect line to hand when he finds that no blonde is an island?

The Larry Baker Series

As a definite product of its time, this really is a must for any fans of the genre hoping to look into its roots and format. This also goes for any fans of the author Alan Geoffrey Yates and his work under the name of Carter Brown and all that he had to offer. Working as solid pulp mysteries of their era, they offer a very clear template of the noir genre during that period, with the many tropes that would become a mainstay for many years to come. Using humor alongside the darker hard-boiled aspects, it plays both of these elements off against one another in order to provide the tone that Yates was going for. Still finding fans to this day, this will provide devotees of the genre and its history with plenty of material for many years to come.

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