All I Can GetBy: Ard, William (male)
Publisher: Monarch Books, Inc. (124)
Place of Publication: Derby, Connecticut
Catalog #: Kelley Box 419: PS3551 .R35 A75 1959
Contributor: K. Quinlivan
GeneralEra: 1950s Author as on Cover: William Ard Geographic Locale: New York City; Tampa and Gulf County, Florida Date of Publication: 1959 | Original Date: 1959 Setting: urban; upscale Manhattan office buildings and apartments; various neighborhoods in a mid-size Florida city and surrounding areas Motives: murder, lust for political power and control between rival organized crime groups
When wealthy newspaper magnate Milt Weston is captivated by the beautiful but brainless Merrie Noel, he calls on his favorite private investigator, Lou Largo, to perform a routine check on the lovely lass. Despite the fact that Lou digs up plenty of dirt on Miss Noel, Weston is determined to marry her, and arranges for a quick wedding in Florida once he's finalized the sale of a newspaper that he owns in the Tampa area. Just before the sale is completed, the local sheriff is murdered, a page one feature story that's too big for Milt Weston to ignore. Temporarily shelving his wedding plans, Weston returns to the world of investigative journalism, breathing new life into his dying newspaper. He vows to expose the sheriff's killer and reveal the corruption that exists among local law enforcement officials. Once again, Weston turns to Lou Largo, enticing him with the promise of a fat fee if he will assist in the urgent crusade to uncover the murderer's identity. Posing as a reporter, ex-Marine Largo relies upon a combination of brains and brawn when his search for the killer leads him to a confrontation with both the Mafia and the Cuban Syndicate.
Lou Largo adult male, tall, good-looking, intelligent, slightly sarcastic ex-Marine, now a private detective
Merrie Noel (real name Marion Ann Newpaltz), adult female, 22 years old, attractive redhead, dim-witted but fun-loving actress whose mere presence sets male pulses pounding
Milton Rudyard Weston "Milt", middle aged but youthful-looking male, enthusiastic, domineering, owns a chain of successful newspapers
Mac McCord adult male, solid citizen, county sheriff, respected by the local citizens, well able to control the local organized crime rackets
Gino Alvarez adult male, Cuban, short, stocky, organized crime boss, controls the Cuban syndicate in Tampa, nemesis of Sheriff McCord
Mario Lopez adult male, Cuban, tall, slender, handsome in the Valentino tradition, second-in-command to Gino Alvarez
Augie Gio adult male, organized crime boss, controls the Mafia in Gulf County
Ben Driver adult male, deputy sheriff of Gulf County
Bill Marsh adult male, 30 years old, idealistic, hard-working editor of the Gulfside Independent newspaper
Owen Jenks adult male, tough, crotchety, hypocritical owner of the Gulfside Herald, harbors a deep resentment against all Northerners
Willy Kast adult male, plodding, sluggish, uncommunicative, assistant deputy sheriff
Rollie Webb adult male, good-for-nothing businessman convicted on charges of running an illegal numbers racket for the Florida-based Cuban syndicate
Alice Rand adult female, intelligent, caring, down-to-earth orthopedic specialist
guns, including .45 and .38 caliber automatics
Level of Violence
moderate level of violence, including vivid descriptions of fist fights and assaults. Members of both the Mafia and the Cuban gangs are tough-talking gunmen who seek vengeance when one of their members is killed and they obey orders from the boss without question. Several violent incidents involve physical abuse of women by male characters; fist fights are commonplace and there are gangland-style killings when the two rival mobs get caught up in a territorial dispute.
Merrie Noel flaunts her attractiveness at every opportunity, and her sexual encounters with Lou Largo are described in fairly graphic detail. She definitely knows what she likes when it comes to men, and isn't the least bit hesitant about using her sexuality as a tool to manipulate the men she encounters.
traditional; the women are secretaries, actresses or girlfriends of various mobsters with no specific careers of their own. The lone exception is Alice Rand, a female doctor, whose intelligence and air of common sense contrasts sharply with party girl Merrie Noel. The mobster's girlfriends serve primarily as window dressing for the men who have enough money to give them a certain lifestyle.
stereotypical Italian-American and Spanish-American characters form the basis of both the Mafia and the Cuban gangs. Both groups are depicted by the author as violent, hard-hearted mercenaries who control gambling operations in Florida, speak broken English and live in segregated communities.
liquor is readily available to just about everyone, and most characters drink alcohol to some extent, mainly in bars and restaurants. Most characters also automatically reach for alcohol as an antidote to tension, when cops and rival gangs are hot on their trail. It is understood that the Mafia and the Cuban syndicate control the drug rackets, but this is not examined in great detail.
there are both good cops and bad cops, with greed and a desire for power motivating the bad cops. There doesn't appear to be any middle ground; the "good guys" seem totally immune to corruption, while the opposite is true for their counterparts. The same holds true for politicians, who are depicted as being capable of selling out to organized crime if the price is right.
scattered brief references to political events of the period, e.g. Batista's reign in Cuba and Castro's regime. There are also brief insights into the world of 1950s journalism, e.g. teletype machines, wire stories, rewrite departments, etc.
Newspapers/ Detectives, Private/ Florida-Tampa/ Mafia/ Gangsters/ Gangs/ Crime and Criminals/New York (N.Y.)/Cubans/ Cuban Americans