Dodge Home
“James Whitney and Kitty MacLeod ... get married and settle down
right into a mess of trouble”
--Chicago Sun Book Week
Bullets for the Bridegroom, 1st ed.

Bullets for the Bridegroom


Publishing History

  • Liberty Magazine. Vol. 21, no. 25 (June 17, 1944)-v. 21, no. 31 (July 29, 1944)

  • (Image 64K) (Image 63K)
  • New York: The Macmillan Company, 1944
  • London: Michael Joseph, 1948
  • New York: Popular Library, 1950 (PL 252)
  • Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1953 (Penguin 923); Reprinted 1955
  • London: White Lion Publishers Ltd., 1972 ISBN: 0856178136

Series Character


  • Reno, Nevada

   “Now if the bride and groom will clasp hands, please. Fine, fine.” His voice dropped two octaves in honor of the solemn occasion. “James Whitney, do you take Kathryn McLeod for your lawful wedded wife....”
   They were married.
   Whit kissed Kitty, then Gladys, and then Kitty again to make sure that she still tasted better than anyone else. She did.
   Bullets for the Bridegroom, Chapter 5

Bullets for the Bridegroom, PL252


   As Bullets for the Bridegroom—David Dodge’s third installment of the Whit Whitney series—begins, Whit and his fiancee Kitty are driving to Reno to get married. They pick Reno because a friend of Whit’s family, Pop Foster, is a J.P. in Reno who had made Whit promise that if he ever got married he would let Pop do the “matrimonial welding job” on him and his bride. When they finally reach Pop’s house in Verdi at five o’clock in the morning they find a pair of thugs, Walter Gates and weasel-faced gunsel Sammy Kohler, inhabiting the house with Pop. Whit, however, has neglected to pick up a Nevada marriage license and the wedding is postponed, but not before Gates, who is a German spy sending coded messages to Japanese submarines about U.S. weapons movements in the Pacific, becomes convinced that Whit is a federal agent sent to track down his transmitter.

   Whit and Kitty have to forego the idea of Pop marrying them and instead get married in town. Along the way they pick up—or, rather, are picked up by—Jess Caldwell and casino-owner Lorenzo Colusa, two of Gates’ associates. They also run into Pete Weston, a newspaperman and former buddy of Whit’s, and Gladys Warren, a “pocket-size taffy blonde.” Whit then discovers another former buddy, Casey Jones, an electrical engineer—and the real FBI agent hunting Gates—posing as a street bum in Reno. When Gates and Co. start letting bullets fly in Whit’s direction, Whit calls in his former bodyguard—San Francisco policeman and ex-pug Swede Larson (from Death and Taxes)—to intercept them for him.

   Bullets for the Bridegroom is filled with colorful, well-drawn characters, both G-men (and G-girls) and spies. Other characters include Greek grill-owner John Masilikos, horse-wrangler Alex Hotaling, dice man Harry Jackson, and a pair of Reno lawmen, Sheriff Andy and Deputy-sheriff Strong. Whit and Swede manage to run down the radio and the whole cast gets involved in the final shootout that climaxes the novel.

Bullets for the Bridegroom, 1st UK ed.

Bullets for the Bridegroom, 1972

Cast of Characters

Jess Caldwell
Lorenzo Colusa
Pop Foster
Walter Gates
Alex Hotaling
Harry Jackson
Casey Jones
Sammy Kohler
Swede Larson
John Masilikos
Gladys Warren
Pete Weston
Kitty Whitney
Whit Whitney
Book Reviews
Previous novel Shear the Black Sheep (1942)
It Ain’t Hay (1946) Next novel

David Dodge Home | Novels | Travel Books | Short Stories | Travel Articles | Plays | Bibliography | Biography | Scrapbook | Miscellany