The first full-length novel written by author Fredric Brown, The Fabulous Clipjoint is the first in a series of seven detective novels featuring Ed and Ambrose Hunter, an uncle-nephew team of investigators. When Ed’s father is murdered, the police dismiss his death as just another dissolute drunk coming to a bad end. Ed is left with no other option but to investigate his father’s death on his own—with the help of his uncle Am, a rootless carnival worker.
Together, the pair encounter a host of unsavory characters as they are drawn further into Chicago’s seamy underworld of crime, prostitution, and corruption. As Ed comes closer to the killer, he realizes that his father was more than the drunken roustabout he always seemed to be—and may have been keeping a secret that still has the power to kill.