Re: RARA-AVIS: Brett Halliday recommendations

Date: 06 Aug 2002


Re your question below:
> Can
> you recommend a few good [novels by Brett Halliday]?

Others have noted that Hallidays' Mike Shayne character seems to shine most brightly when taken out of his usual stomping grounds (Miami, FL) and investigates in "foreign" settings.

My favorite Shayne novel, A TASTE FOR VIOLENCE, fits right into that formua. It's a town-taming novel, set in a Kentucky mining community, very much in the vein of RED HARVEST.

It's been said that all the Shayne novels written after 1956 or thereabouts were ghost-written. It's a fact that virtually all the short stories about Shayne in MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE were ghost-written. In fact, our own James Reasoner was one of Halliday's ghosts on a couple of Shayne shorts.

However, I've also heard, from people in the know, that the novels were not so much ghost-written as they were ghost-collaborated. Whether or not this is true, and if so, to what degree Halliday actually participated in the writing, I can't say. However, the novels (which were assumed to be actually by Halliday until the names of some of his "ghosts" were revelaled) stopped appearing shortly after Halliday's death in 1977, while the MSMM short stories (which everyone knew were ghosted) continued for several years. That's not conclusive evidence, but it is indicative.


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