RARA-AVIS: Wade Miller's Max Thursday

Kevin Smith (kvnsmith@colba.net)
Sat, 14 Aug 1999 10:47:36 -0400

Anita wrote:

>Came across the name of Wade Miller (which is a pseudonym for two people??)
>and it seems he was writing in the 40's and 50's. Have an opportunity to
>acquire some paperback reading copies of four of his books... Murder Charge,
>Uneasy Street, Calamity Fair and Shoot to Kill.
>Is he a good read? Comments?

Weird. Those are the exact same four books I've stumbled across over the years, and the only ones that I know of that were reprinted a while back by some British publisher (Serpent's Tail, was it?) What happened to the other two in the Max Thursday series, GUILTY BYSTANDER and FATAL STEP? Were they originally smaller press runs or a different publisher or is it just a coincidence?

And, as I'm sure everyone's pointed out by now, Wade Miller was Bill Miller and Robert Wade. They wrote some really great hardboiled stuff, but my favorites are the Max Thursday books (at least the ones I've been able to find).

People who despair of a private eye series having recurring characters or the detective having a personal life should check out this series, which shows how it can be done without turning into a bubble bath. Each book leads more or less into the other, yet stands alone, as well. And Max is a great character, complicated, confused, flawed, as tough as he needs to be, but not as cynical and hardboiled as he claims to be.

Six books, and none of them runs more than 160 or so pages.

And why do folks keep calling me Steve?

Kevin Burton Smith The Thrilling Detective Web Site http://www.colba.net/~kvnsmith/thrillingdetective/ Now available! Our Summer Issue, focussing on Radio Private Eyes, plus new fiction by Peter Parmantie and Kathy Korty.

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