Dividend on Death by Brett Halliday


Dividend on Death, Brett Halliday, 1939

My favorite quote: “After carefully spreading the damp gown on the toasting tray, he closed the oven door and left it to dry, reflecting on the convenience of being able to destroy evidence while you prepared breakfast.”

Notable characters: Mike Shayne, the PI; Phyllis Brighton, the damsel in distress … kinda; Dr. Pedique, Phyllis’ ill-fated physician (say that 5 times fast)

Most memorable scene: The gunfight

Greatest strengths: Its straightforward, no-nonsense prose is as straightforward and no-nonsense as its main character, private dick, Mike Shayne

Standout achievements: I was frequently impressed by Mike Shayne’s brains. Apparently, I’d make a lousy 1930s PI because I was like, HUH? a lot of the time

Fun Facts: The first book I read in this series was A Taste for Violence, which is either #15, 16, or 17, depending on your source. I had no idea it even was a series, but I’m glad it is because I love this sh*t

Other media: There are a few — most notably, The 1940 film Michael Shayne, Private Detective, which is the first in a series of twelve movies

What it taught me: That a little adverb goes a long way. Seriously. This book is absolutely riddled with them. You kind of have to train your eye to stop seeing them, otherwise it gets distracting 

How it inspired me: This book helped make me aware of the women I’m writing. Specifically, to keep them smart and strong. I know this was written in the 1930s, but I seriously doubt women were EVER the senseless bunch of wet dish rags portrayed in the fiction of this era 

Additional thoughts: Though far-fetched, politically incorrect, somewhat generic, and sodden with adverbs, I liked this book. While I don’t think the character of Mike Shayne holds a candle to Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, he’s entertaining enough when taken for what he is: a product of his time

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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