Book Report: This Is It, Michael Shayne by Brett Halliday (1950)

This is a sixty-year-old book holds up pretty well. Frankly, if you remember the days before the Internet and before cell phones, you’ll only find one jarring dated note in the book: an evening postal delivery? Come on!

Mike Shayne, the red-haired and rangy Miami detective, is called to the hotel room of an investigative syndicate reporter who fears for her life. When he gets there, she’s murdered–and has half of a torn $500 bill in her hand. Since she’d already sent the other half as a retainer, Mike Shayne takes it upon himself to find out who killed her. Was it her ex-husband? The crime boss whose gambling halls she was shuttering? Or someone else.

If you’re like me, you know it’s someone else and you know who way early. But the final plot twist didn’t twist exactly like I expected. And it’s good late pulp crime fiction. This is a Red Badge Mystery, which means there’s another set out there I could accidentally start to collect.

(Previous Mike Shayne reports: Murder Spins the Wheel and The Careless Corpse.)

Books mentioned in this review: