The First Novel in the Steve Bentley Series

“The Steve Bentley series simply rocks, a string of entertaining high-energy, hard-boiled romps that are perfect examples of the late fifties/early sixties paperback P.I.” The Thrilling Detective

Ex-spy Steve Bentley works as a Washington D.C. accountant with a tendency to get into trouble… and this time it comes from two women, Iris Sewell and her sister Sara, daughters of an American diplomat. A 29-carat emerald known as Madagascar Green is missing from their father’s safe… and the search for it soon pits Steve against drug smugglers and killers.

“Howard Hunt chose Washington, DC, as setting for the Robert Dietrich thrillers starring Steve Bentley. He writes knowledgeably of the brokendown bars, the seedy downtown area, the life along the wharfs in his hard-boiled pages.” Gore Vidal, New York Times

“Steve Bentley [is] series fiction’s toughest tax accountant. This is one of the better books in the Bentley series and most of the tough narrative rings true.” Bill Pronzini & Marcia Muller, 1001 Midnights, The Afficionado’s Guide to Detective Fiction

“As ‘Robert Dietrich,’ E. Howard Hunt wrote ten novels starring Steve Bentley, a Washington D.C. accountant who solves murders in private-eye style. The first thing to know about Bentley is that he isn’t just a paper-pushing CPA. He’s a Korean War veteran who was employed at one time by the U.S. Treasury Department. If you love vintage crime-fiction you should enjoy this tale.” The Paperback Warrior


Robert Dietrich was a pseudonym for E. Howard Hunt, better known for his role in the Watergate scandal rather than for his great crime novels. Gore Vidal wrote this about “Robert Dietrich” in The New York Times: “In 1957, H.H. gave birth to ‘Robert Dietrich,’ who specialized in thrillers, featuring Steve Bentley, formerly of the CID and now a tax consultant. H.H. plainly enjoys composing plausible (and implausible) biographies for his characters—not to mention for himself. In Contemporary Authors, H.H. composed a bio for his pseudonym Robert Dietrich, taking ten years off his age, putting himself in the infantry during Korea, awarding himself a Bronze Star and a degree from Georgetown.”

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