Wednesday, 23 December 2020

 

NOT A XMAS MESSAGE: CHESTER #HIMES, THE CRAZY KILL.



Himes, who began his writing career in the 30s while serving a sentence for robbery, is a master of hard-boiled crime fiction, the Afro-American answer to Raymond Chandler. The Crazy Kill is, among other things, a great source of fashion and d├ęcor in Harlem during the 50s.
 
Doll Baby: a brownskin blonde in rainbow-hued whore-shoes with the four-inch lucite heels; the choker of cultured pink pearls; the diamond-studded watch; the emerald bracelet; the heavy gold charm bracelet; the two diamond rings on her left hand and the ruby ring on her right; the pink pearl earring shaped like globules of petrified caviar.
 
Valentine: heavy,  black silk knitted tie knotted about the collar of a soft sand-colored linen silk shirt…an olive drab sheen gabardine suit…crepe-rubber soled, lightweight Cordovan English-made shoes.
 
Johnny Perry: He was wearing a powder blue suit of shantung silk; a pale yellow crepe silk shirt; a hand-painted tie depicting an orange sun rising on a dak blue morning; highly glossed light tan rubber-soled shoes; a miniature ten-of-hearts tie pin with opal hearts; three rings…his cuff links were heavy gold squares with diamond eyes.
 
Mamie: a black satin dress with its skirt that dragged the floor, reminiscent of the rigid uniform of whorehouse madams in the 1920s…toes of the men’s straight-last shoes protruding from beneath…two-carat diamond in the platinum band encircling her gnarled brown ring finger, white jade necklace that dropped to her waist like a greatly cherished rosary with a black onyx cross attached to the end.
 
Fats: he wore an old-fashioned white silk shirt without the collar, fastened about the neck with a diamond-studded collar button, and black alpaca pants, but his legs were so large they seemed joined together, and his pants resembled a funnel shaped skirt.