By Fran Moreland Johns
If it hadn’t been for Deets and Nick, I’d have been a goner. I was just flat out lucky that the two top sleuths in the U.S. had been having drinks at San Francisco’s Boom Boom Room just across the street. Whew.
I had been having a latte myself, around the corner at Starbucks, but as I walked around the corner headed home I was invited to stop in for a visit with the rock group in town for a gig at The Fillmore. They were in one of those giant, luxury buses that take up half the block parking in front of the building. But just as the band members were helping me up the step a couple of bad guys came dashing out of the Payday Loans place, guns drawn, making a dash for the getaway car right behind us. I was directly in their way, and clearly they were going to mow me down. I was VERY glad to see Deets Shanahan strolling up, pulling a revolver from the waistband of his scruffy jeans, and Nick Charles right beside him, extracting a chic little handgun from his blazer. Deets and Nick were casually blasting the bad guys’ feet out from under them when I woke up.
OK, it was only a dream – and I was more than a little bummed to wake up before I saw the inside of the bus, which is a serious wide-awake dream of mine – but it makes perfectly good sense.
Deets Shanahan, my favorite P.I. of all time, is now back in trade paperback and e-readers (start with Stone Veil and just try to quit before you’ve read every one. Can’t be done.) And Nick is back in town with his ace comedienne wife Nora, thanks to Emily Leider’s exhaustively researched and delightfully readable new biography, Myrna Loy – The Only Good Girl in Hollywood.
Deets and Nick would get along just fine, probably even in the Boom Boom Room. They might be different in decades, dress codes and locales, but they’re similar in cool when it comes time to get the bad guy. Deets’ Maureen would, furthermore, get along famously with Nora.
Happily for readers of great tales everywhere, the Shanahan series and Myrna Loy – The Only Good Girl in Hollywood are here for the reading. Happily for anyone who can make it to the Jewish Community Center on February 21, Leider will be presenting “Nick and Nora’s San Francisco,” presented by the San Francisco Historical Society and Museum at 7:00 PM. (Info Below)
It’s the stuff of dreams.
Disclosure: As you can readily guess, Fran Moreland Johns is a good and supportive friend as well as a talented writer. She is the author of Dying Unafraid (Synergistic Press), a nonfiction book telling of people who did just that, and of essays, articles, columns and short stories published since the 1950s. A real hit at cocktail parties, she’s now gone from death-&-dying to abortion, currently finishing a book on abortion before & after Roe v Wade. She works for arts, interfaith and end-of-life causes, and blogs about them (and other subjects) on Red Room, Open Salon and Boomers and Beyond.