Re your question below:
"Does anyone on the group know who handles or owns the licensing rights to
Davis Dresser (Brett Halliday) Specifically the Michael Shayne books. And
Richard Prather's Shell Scott?"
Not sure about Mike Shayne, although some years ago, the short-lived Harlequin mystery line, Raven House, reprinted the first Shayne novel, DIVIDEND ON DEATH, presumably after the rights at Dell had lapsed. There's a Mike Shayne website here:
It's operated by a fan, but he might have info on who controls the rights. If James Reasoner is still on the list, he might have info, too. Once upon a time, he ghosted Shayne short stories as Halliday for MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE.
If he's not on the list anymore, he does have a blog at which he sometimes talks about his Mike Shayne days. You can find it here:
More recent info about Shell Scott is available. Before his recent death, Richard S. Prather arranged to have all, or at least most, of his Scott books reprinted as e-books. You can find out more here:
If you contact them, you may be able to get info on ancillary rights.
From your signature line, I infer that you might be seeking comic book or strip rights to the characters. Shell Scott, at least, has been used in a comic book. There's a European version of the Dashiell Hammett's mysterious FBI man, SECRET AGENT X-9. In one story from that comic book series, Shell Scott made a guest appearance. You can find out more here:
I assume this was a one-time only use, and I'm not sure whether or not this would cloud your ability to get the American comic book rights (assuming my inference is correct, and that's what you're seeking), but I mention it in case it's a factor.
Hope that helps.
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