Book Review: [For NetGalley and Brash Books]
Poor Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston
“Traditionalist veteran cop Lt. Mike Stone is partnered with Inspector Steve Keller, a young, inexperienced college-educated go-getter in the homicide division of the San Francisco Police Department. The two enjoy a bantering relationship while they hunt down the bad guys..”
Except that this isn’t a summary of the book but of the TV series that was created from the book!
First aired in 1972. Yes 1972.
This another book that has been taken and re-issued by Brash as a digital book, and yet despite it having been written some 40+ years ago has stayed the test of time and you wouldn’t necessarily have realised just how old it was until you looked up the author’s bio.
You might remember the somewhat tinny theme song if you heard it (and are old enough of course!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgPZ81xA_Ao to listen to it and then do look at the actors too… you must surely recognise that rather pitted and jowly face of Karl Malden and the young Michael Douglas.
It ran until 1977, was filmed actually in San Francisco (that makes a change but close to Hollywood of course), there was even a TV movie made, but no episode covered the storyline of Poor Poor Ophelia that I can work out. *
So in this book story there is a lawyer who gets reluctantly involved with the police investigation of a drowned girl to whom he gave a laminated business card, which she was found clutching. It was a very suspicious death as the pathologist Deacon remarked – ‘Deacon was famous for preliminary reports full of what he called ‘details’, and the card being one of these famous details.
The girl lived in a bedsit with a very nosy landlord -‘It’s a crime or something to keep an eye on your property?’ – perhaps a voyeur? And yet the landlord didn’t ask for any proof of identity when a man claiming to be the dead girl’s uncle – a man he had never seen before – came and collected her post after her disappearance – more than once.
The cop looking for her murderer was
‘Depressed by the idea of another air-tight compartment in a society hellbent in separating itself into rival camps…tribalism’
when looking at her set of apartments for singles only.
I liked this book a lot and will give 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
I have been told by Brash Books that The book *was* filmed as the pilot episode of STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO. Robert Wagner played the attorney!
You can watch the whole thing on YouTube. Here’s the link to the pilot episode.