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Richard Burke

Burke: Sinister Street

Burke: Sinister Street

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Private detective Quinny Hite is hired to investigate a robbery in a wealthy neighborhood, but an actor's murder soon exposes a deadly plot.


First published in 1948.


Burke starts this new story on Riverside Drive, once a section of grandly ornate mansions, some of which are still inhabited by their owners in spite of inroads by apartments and rooming houses.

It is to one of these mansions that Quinny is called by Henry Page, of THE Pages, to investigate a jewel theft. Quinny, of course, would much rather bask in the affections of his current girlfriend, Berte Dill, the Pott’s Crossing heiress, than trudge around town after sundry suspicious characters, but he will answer the call of duty, particularly when backed up by a good cash retainer. The cash becomes even more important when it seems that Quinny must play around with Page’s beauteous step-sister, Glory, who makes all the spots and has many thirsty friends.

Complications pile up, leading back to the half-world of the streets just off Broadway, where it seems that Glory Page, sable coat and all, is involved with a bunch of most unsavory characters. When an obscure actor is killed by a jeweled dagger from Henry Page’s collection, things begin to look really bad for the girl. This is where Quinny’s knowledge of such Times Squares denizens as the irritable dwarf and the secretive strip-teaser comes in very handy, when Our Boy, through a surprising plot twist with slam-bang climax, does his job.

(Santa Maria, CA, Times, 1948)

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