INSIDE ALBERT SHIFTY
DO-IT-YOURSELF - HOW ELSE?
Two paperback editions came out on Star in 1977 & possibly a hardback edition on WH Allen but never seen one...
The first (and most common) paperback edition features a bright yellow cover, the familiar Star Stanley Morgan logo and a lady's thumb and forefinger, scarlet painted nails, holding...um...a screw...geddit? Just unearthed is a rarer Star paperback second cover that fits the theme of the other Star Tobin/Horn/Randy Comfort books - ie a semi-naked lady this time with what I believe would commonly be referred to as "pendulous breasts" - hammering a nail into the floor for no particular reason. 3/10 for the first edition and even less for the second (she needs to have a health & safety at work assessment I reckon).
In all honesty this isn't one of the greatest books in the Morgan canon but it is a good read and has some great set-pieces. The premise is simple - Albert Shifty is an odd-job man who lives in a boarding house, has a daft mate and gets into scrapes (mainly revolving around the ladies). Other than that not a lot actually happens but how many book do you read these days where loft-ladders get such frequent mentions?
Only a slight variation from Russ Tobin and Randy Comfort character-wise, Stan was obviously trying to expand his repertoire, but therein lies the problem with both Albert Shifty (and Gabriel Horn for that matter). Without having chance to develop these characters in further novels, they seem little more than 2nd rate Tobins - which is a real shame. 6/10 as I'm sure Albert could have come into his own given a couple more books-worth of adventure