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The nice-guy blues
The nice mild man named Edward Tollman had a problem. His lovely wife was missing, and he wanted her back -- fast. So he went to a fellow whose specialty was solving problems like that -- a very private detective called Barney Burgess. Burgess' methods were not pleasant -- but they got results. Burgess was used to sordid scenes and secrets. But after four quick corpses, a wild ride to Mexico, and a blonde sex bomb who threatened to blow the case wide open at the first wrong move, Barney began to wonder how such a nice guy got him into something this nasty... .

Kiss and Kill - cover pocket book edition, Dell N° 4567, 1969 (art by Robert McGinnis)Kiss and Kill - cover audiobook Blackstone Audio, Inc., read by Mark Peckham, February 1. 2015Kiss and Kill - cover Road, September 22, 2015 

Ghostwritten by Charles W. Runyon his third and last contribution to the series. (Death & Ghosts F.Nevins 1998). A tornado-paced fable of pursuit and menace complete with sex, sadism, machismo and a psychopathic monster. When a young Chicago housewife vanishes after returning from a solo tour of Mexico, her distraught husband and a local PI take up the trail and soon discover that everyone else on that tour has either disappeared or suffered a violent death.
About halfway through the book the action shifts to south of the border where Runyon had spent many years, and the two urban male protagonists, joined by a woman photographer from St. Louis, become instant experts at guerrilla warfare against professional killers. But neither this implausible development nor the recycling of tough guy fiction’s most overused climactic “surprise” diminishes the pure headlong storytelling drive that makes Runyon’s ultimate men’s-mag adventure impossible to put down unfinished. (Nevins)

"Kiss and Kill" - Richard Deming in 1960We also like to mention the existence of a 1960 unrelated book with the same title  ... Kiss and Kill by that other ghostwriter Richard Deming. The cover text reads: "Here was a deadly version of the worlds oldest profession". To be clear, Deming himself said in an interview to have written 10 books under the Queen-monicker and all are already accounted for, so this is just coincidence ...

Right: Kiss and Kill - Richard Deming in 1960


Kus me en Sterf - cover Dutch/Flemish pocket book edition, Het Spectrum Prisma-Detective N° 172, 1970
Kus me en Sterf - cover Dutch/Flemish pocket book edition, Het Spectrum Prisma-Detective N° 172, 1974.Casse-tete Azteque - cover French edition Presses de la Cite Nr148, 1971Feigenblatt Kaliber .32 - cover German edition Ullstein Krimi Nr.1333, 1970Frontiera maledetta - cover Italian edition, Collana Dei Gialli Mondadori, Nr 1119, July 12.1970Um Rasto de Morte - cover Portuguese edition, Livros do Brasil, Coleccao do Vampiro, Lisboa
Kys og do - cover Danish editionKys og do - cover Danish edition, Rosenkilde, Nov 16. 2017Besa y mata - Cover Spanish edition, Selecciones Septimo Circulo_Madrid_1975Besa y mata - Cover Spanish edition, El Septimo Circulo, 1971.Besa Y Mata - Cover Spanish edition, Club del Misterio, Nr. 93נשיקת המוות - Cover Israelian edition

Kiss and Kill Translations
Danish: Kys og dø 
Dutch/Flemish: Kus me en sterf 
French: Casse-tête Aztèque 
German: Feigenblatt Kaliber.32 
נשיקת המוות 
Italian: Frontiera maledetta 
Portuguese: Um Rasto de Morte 
Spanish: Besa Y Mata

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Other articles on this book

(1) Vintage Hardboiled Reads August West (July 7. 2008)
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