Jim Nisbet. The Gourmet (1981) 154 pp. [pbo]
Martin Windrow, an ex-cop turned private eye, gets drawn into a bizarre murder case when a man on whom he has been hired to serve divorce papers becomes the prime suspect. After a night of noisy sex, Virginia Sarapath is found brutally stabbed and mutilated in the bathroom of her apartment. Her next-door neighbor, Herbert Trimble, has vanished, leaving one provocative typewritten line on a sheet of paper: “I’ve always wanted to skin a woman.” The police also find Trimble’s fingerprints in Virginia’s apartment and a bloodstain on his inside doorknob. Determined to serve the divorce papers on Trimble before the police catch up to him, Windrow plunges into the investigation and winds up in San Francisco’s kinky underbelly, exposing a scene that prefers to stay hidden from the light of day. Re-published in 1986 as The Damned Don’t Die (Black Lizard Books).