Pure Gold ~ Three Cases of Gold by Theodore P. Druch
Cast loosely in the mold of such hard-boiled detectives as Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe, Joe Gold is an old-fashioned kind of guy, adrift in a modern world he doesn’t fully understand, full of characters he understands all too well. Times may change, but people don’t. And being Jewish is just another hurdle.
Down on his luck and behind on his rent, he’s approached by his old mistress, Maureen, now married to the corrupt mayor of Central City, with a serious problem. Their daughter, seventeen-year-old Julie who has no idea that Joe is her real father, has been abducted from her summer camp in a blackmail attempt of some sort. Before she can give him any important details, Maureen is murdered, and Joe is left on his own to put together all the pieces of the puzzle and rescue his daughter. Complicating matters, it appears that someone is out to kill him too.
Threading the dangerous needle that takes him through the seamy underbelly of Central City and Mayor Bill Wagner’s corrupt administration proves to be a real challenge, and he’s totally unprepared for what he finds at the end. The surprises don’t end there, however, as he discovers in his next two cases: a man who believes he’s a vampire, and another who purveys murder through the comments sections of a newspaper. Through all this, he’s aided by Jenny Martin, his long suffering business partner and Girl Friday, who struggles to keep him on an even keel—and alive.