- Libro de bolsillo: 223 páginas
- Editor: Hard Case Crime Novels; Edición: Unabridged edition (27 de mayo de 2011)
- Colección: Hard Case Crime
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0857683470
- ISBN-13: 978-0857683472
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº523.267 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
Murder Is My Business (Hard Case Crime) (Inglés) Libro de bolsillo – Versión íntegra, 27 may 2011
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Reseña del editor
Ten years ago, private eye Mike Shayne did a job for one of the richest men in El Paso, digging up dirt on a boy courting the tycoon's daughter. Now the daughter's back, all grown up and dangerous. And so's Shayne - but this time it's to investigate murder...
Biografía del autor
Brett Halliday (real name: Davis Dresser) was one of the most prolific and popular hard-boiled crime writers of all time, penning fifty novels about redheaded shamus Michael Shayne. Shane Black's 2005 movie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was partly inspired by a pair of Mike Shayne novels.
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“It’s a neat way to dispose of a body, to cover up a murder. It would have stayed on the books as a traffic accident if I hadn’t horned in with an autopsy.”
“Why don’t you leave it the way it is?” Carmela cried out suddenly. “If you solve the case and prove that someone else murdered the soldier and put him there it’ll clear Father completely. He’ll win the election. I thought you hated him as I do. Ten years ago, you said—”
“Ten years ago,” Shayne told her flatly, “I told your father what I thought of a man who would pay to have me dig up non-existent dirt against Lance Bayliss to prevent his daughter’s marriage. My opinion remains the same today. But I’ve stumbled onto a murder, Carmela. Murder is my business. And I’ve got some money and time invested in this thing now. I’ve got to figure a way to collect a fee.”
My impression is that Mike Shayne was the Chevy to Perry Mason's Cadillac. Walking (and drinking) his way through several dozen mystery novels with a certain Zen (or Stoic) assurance that showing up is nine-tenth of success.
She pulled herself up with an effort, and cried wildly,
“I’ve kept myself for him! Do you know what that means? Do you know what it means to be a woman of thirty? I’m getting drab. I’ve dried up inside,” she ended, and the room rang with her loud, angry laughter.
Shayne said quietly, “You’ve got a lot of years left, Carmela.”
I really wouldn't have minded this- if the mystery is complicated, then the detective's personality should be simple, and I enjoyed the build up of this mystery, set in wartime El Paso, right up to the solution, which certainly tied everything together, but in a way that was not wholly satisfying.
Beginning in 1938, Dresser wrote fifty Mike Shayne novels under the pen name Halliday. Ryerson Johnson, who is better known as Kenneth Robeson, the creater of Doc Savage, co-wrote many of the Shayne novels, although not always getting title credit. After Halliday stopped writing the Shayne novels, Robert Terrall took over and wrote twenty-seven more for a grand total of seventy-seven. Some number of the books after 1958 were ghost-written and the pen name Brett Halliday was generally credited as being the writer.
The Mike Shayne character was apparently so popular that it also became a radio series and was the basis for twelve motion pictures starring Lloyd Nolan and Hugh Beaumont (Beaver Cleaver's father in Leave it to Beaver). It also spawned the Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine which ran for thirty years, generally included a Mike Shayne short story in it.
Murder Is My Business is the twelfth Mike Shayne novel and was published in 1945. In it, Shayne, who apparently is not great at having high-paying clients, agrees to take a job from an elderly woman whose son had been in Mexico when his draft letter came. Eventually, the son returned to the states and enlisted under a pseudonym to serve his country. The mother got a letter from the son, explaining that he was engaged in top secret duty. The following day a newspaper reported the son killed in a car accident. It seemed suspicious. Shayne flies from New Orleans to El Paso, finding that the driver of the car in the accident was a local politician running for Mayor (Jefferson Towne), who it just so happens had employed Shayne ten years earlier to dig up dirt on a guy (Lance Bayliss) dating the politician's daughter.
The rich politician's daughter is Carmela Towne. As Shayne explains upon meeting her in his hotel room, "Her lips were dry and hot and hard. Ten years had done some shocking things to her. She had been a leggy youngster with a rich, dark beauty that burned beneath the surface and glowed in her eyes. She had been vital and alive, tingling with youth and a fervid passion for life and love." "Now," he explains, She was the embodiment of a woman who for a long time had made a habit of drinking too much, and sleeping and eating too little." A lot has changed in ten years.
At Shayne's request, an autopsy is done and, lo and behold, the soldier who had been run over had been killed before the accident. Both Jefferson and Carmela ask Shayne to lay off the case, figuring they are better off the way things are. An accident is easily explained. A murder is messy. Digging into it can lead other things to be exposed, things no one wants to have to explain. But, Shayne tells Carmela, "Murder is my business. And I've got some money and time invested in this thing now. I've got to figure out a way to collect a fee." Thus, the title of this novel.
Carmela's reasons for asking Shayne to stay out of the business are different than her father's though. She hates her father and does not want to see him exonerated. "It was as though something had rotted away inside of her, and her tears were a suppurating excrement bubbling up under the pressure of long decay."
This is my introduction to the Mike Shayne series. Only seventy-six more Shayne novels to go. The writing is fluid and the story flows by very quickly. Very enjoyable. Shayne is no-nonsense in his approach, but he seems honorable, except that he tries to get a fee from anyone he can. This is truly great stuff and stands well the test of age. Hard to believe that this was written almost seventy years ago.
The book has none of the comedy aspects that one sees in the old Mike Shayne movies. This is just a hard boiled detective doing his thing in the way that people in the 1940s thought detectives acted. It is very good in that regard.
This is the first Shayne mystery I've read (although I've seen many of the Shayne movies and listened to the old Shayne radio shows), but it won't be the last!