In Corpses are Where You Find Them, Michael Shayne is preparing to go out of town with his young wife Phyllis despite pleas from the Mayoral candidate he’s supporting. However, his plans change when a beautiful young woman shows up high. He deposits her in his apartment and drives his wife to the train station, but he returns to find her dead and is then accused of kidnapping by the political opponent of the candidate he’s supporting. Shayne has to solve the murder to not only save his candidate’s campaign but also to avoid going to prison.
Corpses Are Where You Find Them is a fast-paced, fun read with the body of the murdered woman disappearing and re-appearing, political intrigue, and hidden agendas.
The writing of Brett Halliday (aka Davis Dresser) is improved from the first book, where Shayne’s antics could be insufferable. Here Shayne doesn’t do anything too off the wall until late in the book where he steals the clothes of an insane asylum patient, but that turns out to have a good reason.
Overall, this is a solid 1940s mystery with hard-boiled overtones. For lovers of these sort of books, this makes for a fun, diverting read.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5
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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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After finishing a case in Miami, Johnny has to drive up to Sarasota. If he doesn’t, it could send another insurance agent to jail. Then Johnny meets a mysterious woman and finds himself investing a robbery.
Original Air Date: Sometime in the first half of 1961