Ross Macdonald. The Galton Case (1959) 242 pp.
Private investigator Lew Archer is hired to find Anthony Galton, who disappeared twenty years earlier, taking several thousand dollars of the family fortune and a young pregnant bride with him. Archer discovers that Galton changed his name to John Brown and moved to San Francisco to become a poet, so he follows the trail north, attends a poetry reading at “The Listening Ear” in North Beach, and interviews Brown/Galton’s former nurse in Redwood City. A set of human bones, missing the head, turns up in Luna Bay, south of San Francisco, followed closely by a young man claiming to be John Brown, Jr. Before Archer can unravel the mystery, he gets beat up in Reno, visits Canada twice, tangles with several unsavory—and one very savory—characters, and makes some surprising discoveries.
Baird & Greenwood 1732; Bruccoli A14.1.a; Herron