Vice and murder prowl the back alleys of North Side Chicago…
Ed Hunter is eighteen, and he isn’t happy. He doesn’t want to end up like his father, a linotype operator and a drunk, married to a harridan, with a harridan-in-training stepdaughter. Ed wants out, he wants to live, he wants to see the world before it’s too late. Then his father doesn’t come home one night, and Ed finds out how good he had it. The bulk of the book has Ed teaming up with Uncle Ambrose, a former carny worker, and trying to find out who killed Ed’s dad. But the title is as much a coming-of-age tale as it is a pulp.
Fredric Brown’s first mystery novel, The Fabulous Clipjoint, won the Edgar Award for outstanding first mystery novel.