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book cover of A Dirty Way to Die

A Dirty Way to Die

(A book in the Jim Saddler series)
A novel by

They called her Angel, but she was a devil in bed, as Saddler found out when he sampled her favors at Miss Molly's New Orleans bordello. When he awoke, he found that his Angel had flown - and so had his gambling winnings of five thousand dollars.
His search for the money and the girl led him into more danger than he could possibly have imagined. He'd have to be quick on the draw and fast on his feet if he wasn't going to wind up on Boot Hill!


Peter J. McCurtin, the man behind 'Gene Curry', was born in Ireland on 15 October 1929, and immigrated to America when he was in his early twenties. By the early 1960s, he was co-owner of a bookstore in Ogunquit, Maine, and often spent his summers there.

McCurtin's first book, Mafioso (1970) was nominated for the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award, and filmed in 1973 as The Boss, with Henry Silva. More books in the same vein quickly followed, including Cosa Nostra (1971), Omerta (1972), The Syndicate (1972) and Escape From Devil's Island (1972). 1970 also saw the publication of his first "Carmody" western, Hangtown.

McCurtin's view of the frontier is harsh and unforgiving, a place where a man with any sense looks to his own safety, and to hell with everyone else. His westerns are fast, violent and chauvinistic, but the violence and sex are seldom overtly explicit.

McCurtin's editor at Leisure Books remembers that he was "a terrific, fluent, natural writer of action, and a solid researcher for his westerns and mysteries. Leisure did not, in my time (1979-1981), let anyone else write under Peter's name, but Peter wrote under other names in addition to his own byline. He was a real workhorse with, unfortunately, an alcohol problem (like so many), and without question the very best writer that Leisure was publishing at the time. Perhaps he could have been better and more prolific under better circumstances." For a while, McCurtin himself also worked as an editor at Leisure Books.

An acquaintance adds: "When he wrote most of his books, he lived in a studio in Murray Hill, on 39th Street, only a few blocks from the New York offices of Tower Books, which at the time were located at 2 Park Avenue. His building was called the Tuscany Towers back then. It's now a W Hotel. He had a Murphy bed, a kitchenette, and a desk with manual typewriter. There was no phone except for the payphone in the building basement. He liked eating at Automats, he went to the movies several times a week and spent a lot of time reading."

Peter McCurtin died in New York on 27 January 1997. His westerns in particular are distinguished by unusual plots with neatly resolved conclusions, well-drawn secondary characters, regular bursts of action and tight, smooth writing. if you haven't already checked him out, you have quite a treat in store.

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Genre: Western    

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Used availability for Gene Curry's A Dirty Way to Die

Paperback Editions

July 1990 : USA Mass Market Paperback

Title: A Dirty Way to Die (Saddler)
Author(s): Gene Curry
ISBN: 0-8439-2966-9 / 978-0-8439-2966-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Leisure Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

August 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Jim Saddler 1: A Dirty Way to Die (A Jim Saddler Western)
Author(s): Gene Curry
Publisher: Piccadilly Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA