RARA-AVIS: Mike Shayne and More

From: Mark D. Nevins ( nevins_mark@yahoo.com)
Date: 01 Apr 2007

In response to the James-Tim exchange below, I'm sure this newbie is not telling most of you anything new, but the Thrilling Detective entry on Mike Shayne and Brett Halliday is pretty good, and seems to cover the ghost-writers angle well: http://www.thrillingdetective.com/shaynemike.html

I've read a handful of the Mike Shayne novels, and I quite like them--especially the earlier ones that are praised in the link above.
(I have not read the earlier ones programmatically, but given the praise in the above I may do so.)

I also like the Shell Scott novels, which are to my mind a pretty direct descendent of the Shayne novels--though to be fair (and no disrespect to the recently departed Mr. Prather) I don't think even the best of the Shell or Shayne novels are terribly well-written, though they are often charming.

I have been, over the years, amassing large stacks of Shell and Shayne books, and also Carter Brown, not least for the covers--including the McGinnis, of course, but also some of the non-McGinnis are great, especially the Shaynes. I have yet to read a Carter Brown--they look a little unreadable on a skim, but I'd love opinions; man, that guy was prolific.

By the way, if anyone knows of a good resource that lays out all of the different editions of both the Shell Scott and Mike Shayne series in a clear "checklist" form, so I can assess what I have and what I'm still looking for, I'd be very appreciative. Some of those books were reprinted what seems like dozens of times, with different covers, and it seems that in some cases McGinnis created 2 or even 3 different covers for a single title over the years. I have been able to re-create McGinnis lists from the excellent Graeme Flannagan web-site, but have not yet been able to complete create series lists.

Mark Nevins

Clipped text:
> Didn't Dennis Lynds (maybe even Gayle) write Mike Shayne novels? I
> once worked decades ago for a NYC magazine publisher that included
> The Saint Magazine in its stable. Of course Charteris never wrote a
> word of it or edited any of it. I did meet him once when he visited
> the office.
> Tim

Dennis Lynds wrote Shayne novellas for MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE, two or three of which he expanded into full-length Shayne novels. I don't believe Gayle ever had any connection with the character. At least two other authors ghosted Shayne novels: Ryerson Johnson and Robert Terrall. Others probably did, too. And numerous people wrote Shayne stories for the magazine as well.

James Reasoner

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