J.M. Flynn. Ring Around a Rogue (1960) 134 pp. [pbo]
At long last, ace car salesman Jere Deal has achieved his goal: he is the proud manager of a highly successful dealership located in San Francisco’s auto row, thanks to the financial backing of hard-edged moneyman Udell Bruggeman. There is trouble in paradise however, when Jere learns that a stolen car has surfaced on his lot and has been sold to a loud-mouthed customer. If this one car is hot, there might easily be others. Perhaps honest, hard-working Mr. Deal is at the center of a plot engineered by his competitors to put him out of business for good. Worried that the police will move in and accuse him of unloading stolen vehicles on unsuspecting customers (including the lovely Miss Sammy Travis), Jere decides to take matters into his own hands and do a little investing. Eager to learn the truth in order to salvage his business and his reputation, Deal’s investigation uncovers a network of vicious thugs who would like nothing better than to put Deal out of business once and for all. When several of Deal’s former business associates are found murdered, he quickly becomes the chief suspect, sought by local, state, and federal officials in both the murder cases and as the kingpin of a vast stolen car operation. Issued as Ace Double D-459 with The Hot Diary by H.J. Olmsted.
Summary from the George Kelley collection: http://libweb.lib.buffalo.edu/kelley/collectionoverview/det_ringaroundtherogue.php
Setting: San Francisco
Jaffery p. 83