The Uncomplaining Corpses by Brett Halliday


The Uncomplaining Corpses, Brett Halliday, 1940 My favorite quote: “‘By God, I’m beginning to think you did have a perfect crime planned. Too bad an accident had to upset it.’” Notable characters: Mike Shayne, the PI; Phyllis Brighton, his newlywed wife; Arnold Thrip, a man interested in a job; Leora Thrip, a woman who paysContinue reading “The Uncomplaining Corpses by Brett Halliday”

Die a Little by Megan Abbott


Die a Little, Megan Abbot,  2005 My favorite quote: “The hardest thing in this world is finding out what you’re capable of.” Notable characters: Lora King, a schoolteacher; Bill King, her brother, a junior investigator with the DA’s office; Alice Steele, a Hollywood wardrobe assistant with a sketchy past … and Bill’s new wife MostContinue reading “Die a Little by Megan Abbott”

The High Window by Raymond Chandler


The High Window, Raymond Chandler, 1942 My favorite quote: “The moonlight was cold and clear, like the justice we dream of but don’t find.” Notable characters: Philip Marlowe, the world’s favorite wise-cracking PI; Elizabeth Bright Murdock, the wealthy widow who hires him to locate a very valuable missing coin; Leslie Murdock, her irritating negative-Nelly sonContinue reading “The High Window by Raymond Chandler”

The Throwaway Girls of Olympia by Ian Totten


The Throwaway Girls of Olympia, Ian Totten, 2020 My favorite quote: “In the last month, two young women, both brunettes, have been tossed to the side of the road in Olympia, both dead from apparent strangulation.” Notable characters: Alan O’Tool, the haunted small-town sheriff; Darcy, his not-very-likable ex-wife; James, his son; Amy, his deceased daughterContinue reading “The Throwaway Girls of Olympia by Ian Totten”

The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler


The Lady in the Lake, Raymond Chandler, 1943 My favorite quote: “He was quite easy to hate,” she said emptily. “And poisonously easy to love. Women — even decent women — make such ghastly mistakes about men.” Notable characters: Philip Marlowe; the best PI ever; Derace Kingsley, the wealthy businessman who hires him; Crystal Kingsley,Continue reading “The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler”

The Babysitter by Andrew Coburn


The Babysitter, Andrew Coburn, 1979 My favorite quote: “What I’m saying, Mr. Wright, is we don’t know who the hell she was. We don’t even know for sure Paula Aherne was her name.” Most interesting characters: Paula Aherne, the babysitter; John and Merle Wright, the parents of the missing child; agents Cooger and Spence, theContinue reading “The Babysitter by Andrew Coburn”