This is the first in the long running Mike Shayne series. Shayne is a tough guy with a big taste for cognac and trouble. This debut features a stolen painting and a creepy doctor along with an asortment of hoods. It’s fast paced and a great way to start a series. Great characters in the series include the slimy Miami Beach Police Chief Peter Painter, Miami Police Chief Will Gentry,Shayne’s reporter pal, Tim Rourke and faithful secretary Lucy Hamilton, . Later in the series,Shayne leaves Miami for New Orleans where he meets Lucy. He eventually returns to Miami with Lucy as his secretary.
Along the way, Shayne was married to Phyliss. That storyline ended in “Blood On The Black Market”(“Heads You Lose”) (1943). An excellent book in the series is “Death Has Three Lives”. (1955)
Shayne’s creator,Davis Dresser, gave up writing the series after “Murder And The Wanton Bride” in 1958. After that, “Brett Halliday” became a house name and various authors continued the series until,”Win Some,Lose Some” in 1976.