In Tickets for Death, Michael Shayne is called in to investigate counterfeit race track tickets at a small town outside of Miami. He and his wife Phyllis drive to a hotel. Before he can even get started investigating, he has to kill two thugs in self-defense.
This is a generally solid early Michael Shayne story. The story moves at a great pace, and we are given quite a bit of two-fisted action and a complex mystery with many clues as well as quite a few red herrings.
The only negative is that this novel continues his over-the-top playing fast and loose with the police and evidence. I thought that writer Brett Halliday had reached the point of reigning in how irresponsible he wrote Shayne as being until the last couple chapters, where he does the most egregious thing I’ve ever read Shayne do.
Despite that, this is a fun read. By no means is it a great novel, but if you’re looking for a detective story from the 1940s with a hard-boiled bent, this one will certainly do the trick.
Rating:3.5 out of 5
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