RARA-AVIS: Mike Shayne Month

From: Mbdlevin@aol.com
Date: 06 Dec 2000

Alas, I'll be the first naysayer. I read "Heads You Lose" (aka "Blood on the Black Market"), published in 1943. The prose felt pretty dated to me. It also seemed sort of sentimentally overcharged. Shayne reminded me a bit of Bart Spicer's Carny Wild (though I've read only one of that series). Shayne reminds me a little of a comic book (apologies) hero--everyone knows him, he has a direct line to the chief of police, etc. The datedness of the content--WWII black market--doesn't bother me, but how the story and characters unfold. Leaving Hammett and Chandler aside, two other earlier writers that we've read have aged better in my mind: Howard Browne and Latimer. Doug

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