RARA-AVIS: Re: Bret Halliday

From: Richard Moore ( moorich@aol.com)
Date: 07 Feb 2007

Brett Halliday's Michael Shayne was my first hardboiled hero. I was about 12 and it was all new to me. Some years ago I went back and read several novels in the series and the early novels--say until Mike moved back to Miami from New Orleans--hold up reasonably well. There are negatives. So many of the trappings of the series are now cliches. There is the newspaper reporter friend, the friendly cop and the unfriendly cop, and (eventually) the faithful secretary/girlfriend who never quite makes it into Shayne's bed. How many of these originated with Halliday (or Davis Dresser to give his real name) I don't know. I also think the Shayne novels would have retained more favor if they had been in first person. Third Person distances the reader from Shayne, who beyond a few habits and attitudes is not that fully developed a character.

Some of the later novels in the 1950s were not at all hardboiled but won praise from Anthony Boucher and others for being quite good "fair play" whodunnits.

Everyone should be aware that ghostwriters are responsible for all the novels after about 1958 and almost everything under the Halliday name that appeared in the Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

Richard Moore

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "ninposamurai" <ninposamurai@...> wrote:
> Hi. How does,Bret Halliday,compare with other hard-boiled writers?
> good was he,in your opinion? Does anyone here collect his books?
> Thanks.-------------------------- Jeff Brown

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