JOHNNY COME DEADLY by Philip Race (aka E.M. Parsons)

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They call him Johnny Berlin and he has an instinct for cards… for trouble…and for women.

Johnny was a crap game hustler, but when he blew into town they pegged him wrong. The cops said, ‘Killer,’ and slugged him simple. ‘Lover,’ the rich gal said, and got him even worse mixed up. Next came the ex-striptease queen with the heart of gold or pewter, and the Happiness Boys from the Syndicate…

All Johnny had going for him was a fast pair of legs, a faster set of wits, and just maybe, the one female around who could be counted on to win it or lose it for keeps. A fickle broad named Lady Luck.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elmer Merle Parsons was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1926. In 1949, when he was 23 years old, he was convicted of burglary and grand theft for stealing a car from a Phoenix used car lot and leading police on a wild chase that ended in a crash. He served three years in Chino State Prison…but didn’t stay free for long. In 1955, he was arrested in Pasadena, CA for passing 22 stolen checks, which he told the court he needed to “tide him over” while awaiting money for a script he claimed he’d sold and because he couldn’t get a job due to his prison record. He was sentenced to five years in prison, which he served at San Quentin, where he became editor of the prison newspaper and sold his first novel, “Self Made Widow,” to Fawcett for $3500 advance under the pen-name “Philip Race.” He wrote wrote & published two more novels, “Killer Take All” and “Johnny Come Deadly,” under his pen name. After his release in 1960, he wrote one novel (“Dark of Summer”) and several westerns under his own name and also contributed scripts for many TV series, including Sea Hunt, Cheyenne, Ripcord, Bonanza, The Dakotas, The Virginian and Flipper.