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“Romance, shooting and even a bit of grave-robbing”
--N.Y. Times Book Review
The Long Escape, 1st ed.

The Long Escape

(1948)

Publishing History

  • New York: Random House, 1948
  • New York: Unicorn Press Publishers, 1948 (Unicorn Mystery Book Club) [Published with: Sax Rohmer’s The Shadow of Fu Manchu; John Evans’ Halo for Satan; and, Arthur Upfield’s The Mountains Have a Secret]
  • New York: Dell Publishing Company, 1950 (Dell 405)
  • London: Michael Joseph, 1950
  • Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1954 (Penguin 1002)
  • New York: Mercury Mysteries, [1955?] (A Jonathan Press mystery ; no. 95)
  • London: J.M Dent & Sons, 1989 (Mastercrime) ISBN: 0-460-12596-6
  • Eugene, Or.: Bruin Books, 2011 (Bruin Crimeworks); ISBN: 978-0982633984 [Buy this book]
  • New York: Diversion Books, 2015. [Kindle edition]; ISBN: 978-1626816015 [Buy this book]

Setting

Series Character

Summary

The Long Escape, 1st British ed.

   In The Long Escape, David Dodge introduces his second series character, Mexico City-based private investigator Al Colby. Colby is hired by a Los Angeles attorney to find one Robert R. Parker, who deserted his wife and $250,000 worth of property in Pasadena five years ago. The wife doesn’t want him back; she just wants clear title to the property. Colby’s job is to find him—dead or alive—and either prove him dead or persuade him to contact the attorney in order to sign the necessary documents transferring the property. The attorney had been able to trace Parker to Mexico City.

   Colby picks up the trail in Mexico City and follows it through Central America to Santiago, Chile, where he makes the acquaintance of the beautiful socialite María Teresa (Terry) Ruano, her brother Fito, and her father don Rodolfo. He also meets Ann “Idaho” Farrell, a fellow norteamericana working in the Santiago branch of the National City Bank. Colby learns that Parker is really Roberto Ruano Parker, don Rodolfo’s brother, and that he is dead and buried on the Ruano fundo near Melipilla. Before he can unravel all of the Ruano family’s mysterious secrets, Colby gets shot at in Antofagasta, breaks into Roberto’s tomb—with help from a little distraction created by Idaho—slugs it out with Víctor Chavarría (the tough vaquero who runs the Ruano ranch), and lands in a Chilean calabozo.

   Señora Molly Jean Mendoza lived in a pretty good apartment house out toward Lomas de Chapultepec. A frowsy maid let me in without asking my name or business, then went to call the señora while I parked my hat on a pile of American movie magazines.
   Molly Jean turned out to be a rubia, a brassy blonde of the type a lot of Mexicans go nuts about. She was any age you want to guess, with a sulky mouth. She greeted strange gentlemen visitors in a form-fitting housecoat with a zipper running from neck to hem in front that practically said Pull me, kid. The handle of the zipper was a little bell that tinkled when she walked.
   The Long Escape, Chapter 1

   She said, “I have been told I look like Mapy Cortés.”
   That was it. Mapy Cortés was a Mexican movie star, and a pretty flossy one to look at. I had seen Mapy’s map so often on Mexican billboards that meeting it more or less in the flesh had puzzled me.
   The Long Escape, Chapter 4



The Long Escape, Dell 405
The Long Escape, Jonathan Press
The Long Escape, Bruin

 

Cast of Characters

Chuck Adams
Víctor Chavarría Serra
Al Colby
Ann “Idaho” Farrell
Willie Humphreys
Lee
Molly Jean Mendoza
Robert R. Parker
Fito Ruano
Roberto Ruano
Rodolfo Ruano
Terry Ruano

Book Reviews

Previous novel It Ain’t Hay (1946)
 
Plunder of the Sun (1949) Next Novel
 

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