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University at Buffalo Libraries

George Kelley Paperback & Pulp Fiction Collection

Go to Sleep, Jeannie

cover image By: Dewey, Thomas B. (male)
Publisher: Popular Library (G302)
Place of Publication: New York, NY
Catalog #: Kelley Box 230: PS3507 .E883 G63 1959
Contributor: P. Fordham

General

Era: 1950s Author as on Cover: Thomas B. Dewey Geographic Locale: Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada Date of Publication: 1959  |  Original Date: 1959 Setting: urban; most scenes take place in various locations throughout Los Angeles; many of these areas center around wealthy and middle-class neighborhoods, however, several main events occur within city limits. Motives: the mystery is revealed through murder, but also involves extortion and blackmail

Plot Summary

While spending a quiet evening at home, detective Pete Schofield and his wife, Jeannie, discover a corpse at their doorstep. Threatening phone calls, hired thugs and an ever-increasing list of suspects involve Schofield in a search for the identity of the murder victim and her killer. Schofield's search takes him throughout various parts of Los Angeles, then to Las Vegas and back again. Prior to the discovery of the corpse, Schofield had been working on a case for Marilyn Cox, sister of millionaire playboy Wilton Harridge. Once he realizes that there is a connection between the two, Schofield attempts to resign. But it is too late; he is too deeply involved. The identity and motive of everyone he meets is questionable, even his own wife. Just when it seems as though there is nowhere else to turn, Schofield has an innocent and unexpected meeting with a blonde in a casino, and the case is cracked wide open.


Major Characters

Pete Schofield adult male, mid-30s, medium build, professional private detective of confidential investigations

Lois Britain adult female, early to mid-30s but looks older; might be attractive given the proper attention; a nurse

Howard Reed a.k.a. the "Duke of Hot Springs,"adult male, small build, late 30s/early 40s, a seemingly nervous man with glasses and small hands; teacher

Peter Zenga adult male, expensively dressed, dark hair and complexion, average height and build, middle-aged, casino owner

Diana Holly adult female, tall, blonde, late 20s or early 30s, known as a corpse for the first part of the story; dancer

Pat Flynn adult male, fascination with mannequins, large muscular build, co-owner of Z-F Manufacturing Co. - Mannequin-Dress Forms-Custom Built

Jeannie Pickering adult female, slender, pretty, redhead, secretary and wife of Detective Pete Schofield

Marilyn Cox adult female, alcoholic, but attractive and well-kept, millionaire

Raymond Cox adult male, 20-ish, attractive, very attentive to his mother, Marilyn

Wilton (Milton) Harridge adult male, deceased, tall, attractive playboy and millionaire; brother of Marilyn Cox


Weapons

guns, fists


Level of Violence

two people are shot to death with single bullets, apparently at close range, three people are badly beaten, one more than once. The presentations of the violent acts are descriptive, but not glorified.


Sexuality

most of the sexual allusions involve Pete Schofield and his wife. Throughout the novel, the couple's attempts at foreplay and intimacy are constantly interrupted. The degree of intimacy between the two is clearly and sensually alluded to, but never fully developed or explored in detail.


Gender Roles

both male and female gender roles are traditional and at times stereotypical. The men are at times heroic and even brutish. Several of the men are described as "ladies' men" with a significant amount of power over the women. The women are not portrayed as being particularly strong characters. Most of them need to be rescued at some point by or from one of the male characters. The women are typically housewives, secretaries, nurses and dancers. Even those women who are financially secure are portrayed with major faults (e.g. millionaire Mrs. Cox is an alcoholic).


Ethnicity

few, if any references to race or identity are made. The references that come most near are references to hair color (the blonde, the redhead, etc.).


Alcohol/Drug Abuse

most characters drink socially and in times of crisis, at all times of day. There are few references to characters smoking. One female character who drinks excessively is an object of embarassment more than contempt.


Law Enforcement

only one law enforcement character is developed to any degree besides Pete Schofield. That character is Sergeant Gregg of the local police force. The police are generally responsible and competent. Schofield is friendly with Sgt. Gregg and in general, he has respect for the police. However, he is aware of the boundaries and his limitations where the police are concerned. He works around them, instead of with them. He feels responsible for them and reports criminals and crimes to them.


Subject Headings

California - Los Angeles/ Detectives, Private/ Greed/ Murder/ Blackmail


Psychological Elements

all of the suspects are motivated by unhealthy greed. Each one is willing to go to extreme lengths to secure a piece of the deceased Harridge's estate. The characters manipulate others and put themselves at great risk in the pursuit of financial gain. Their greed comes at the expense of trust, honesty and love. One of the most significant potential victims is two-year-old Harry along with his adoptive parents, the Clarks. The Clarks feels that Harry's life is at stake since he is the rumored illegitimate son and heir of the deceased Harridge. The suspects try to scare and manipulate the Clarks, thinking of Harry only as a possession to be acquired.