The miners are striking in Centerville, Kentucky, and the town is about to explode. Three men have been killed in the past week, and Charles Roche fears he will be next. Heir to the Roche mining fortune, he sees death in every shadow, and the only man who can save his life is in Miami. Roche writes to world-famous detective Mike Shayne, offering a $5,000 retainer to come to Centerville and save his life. Shayne cashes the check and hops on a plane, but by the time he gets to Kentucky, his client is already dead.
The mines stretch for miles underneath Centerville, and the whole town is rotten to the core. For the sake of his murdered client, Shayne takes on the entire corrupt city. If he’s lucky, he’ll save Centerville’s soul. If he’s not, he’ll end up buried much deeper than six feet underground.
For twenty years, Judge Nigel Lansdowne has been one of Washington’s greatest progressives. The red-baiters in Congress would do anything to destroy his reputation, and they may have found the perfect weapon. Her name is Julia, but when she dances she goes by Dorinda. The judge’s daughter came to Miami in search of a new life, and she found it dancing nude in the city’s infamous red-light district. Mike Shayne is hired to bring Julia home before the judge’s enemies learn of her new career, but his real job will be keeping her alive.
Someone in Miami wants this beautiful dancer dead, and only Mike Shayne can help her. In the nightclubs of Miami Beach, music is played to a deadly beat.
A year after marrying the toughest PI in Miami, Phyllis Shayne longs for a few weeks alone with her husband. She and Mike are about to board a train to New York when a client shows up at the door. Her face gray and her voice slurred, the mysterious woman passes out before she’s able to get through her story. Mike carries the stranger to his spare bedroom and, trying to save his wife from worry, tells Phyllis to go on to the train station without him; he’ll meet her in a few days. When he goes back to check on the woman, she is dead, with one of her stockings wrapped tightly around her throat. Something is fishy, but it’s about to get far more complicated when the body disappears.
The woman arrived just after Mike took a call from Sam Marsh, a close friend who’s in a mayoral race that’s about to turn bloody. To save his friend’s campaign and keep himself out of jail, Mike will have to find the killer—but he’ll have to find the body first.
Mike Shayne has just poured himself a drink when Phyllis Brighton tries to throw herself out the window of his downtown apartment. Luckily, he blocks her just before she can launch herself over the sill. She tried to warn him she was crazy, but he didn’t listen. Her doctor and her new stepfather, on the other hand, both believe Phyllis is suffering from a kind of Electra complex— a fixation with her mother that is so intense that Phyllis would rather kill her than share her with anyone else. Shayne agrees to do whatever he can to keep Phyllis from killing her mother, but that doesn’t ensure that the woman will live.
When Mrs. Brighton is found with a knife buried in her back, all signs point to the Phyllis’s guilt. But this hard-boiled private investigator didn’t stop someone from jumping out a window just to send her to the electric chair. And it doesn’t take a degree in psychology to find a killer—it takes brains, eyes, and two strong fists. Mike Shayne is just the man for the job.
Sara Morton is one of the toughest reporters in Miami. She made a name for herself in the twenties when she lied her way into Al Capone’s mob to get an exclusive, and she has been making headlines—and enemies—ever since. When Morton gets a note reading, “You have three days to get out of Miami alive,” she doesn’t panic. But as the days tick by and more notes arrive, she begins to fear for her life. She attempts to hire Mike Shayne, Miami’s sharpest PI, but Shayne doesn’t come fast enough. By the time he meets Sara Morton, her throat has been slashed with a pair of scissors. The killer has delivered as promised.
Shayne never quits on his clients, even if they aren’t alive to pay their bills. Finding the murderer will be the biggest news story to hit Miami in a decade—and it’s a shame Morton won’t be there to report it.
The picture in the paper shows one of the most beautiful women in Miami wearing nothing more than a negligee. She’s in her boudoir, posing for police photographers, pointing to where her emerald bracelet used to be. The bauble is worth $110,000, and whoever took it is either brave, crazy, or stupid, because Laura Peralta’s husband is the second most dangerous man in Miami. The most dangerous, of course, is Miami’s toughest private detective, Mike Shayne.
After 3 weeks, the police have gotten nowhere, and Julio Peralta turns to Shayne. But there’s more at stake than a missing bracelet. And for the sake of the lovely Laura, Shayne will have to brave blackmailers, burglars, and a killer with a sense of style.
The Careless Corpse is the 41st book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
It’s 11:00 am, and Mike Shayne has just poured himself a cognac, when Henrietta Rogell strolls into his office. Normally, Shayne would extend no special favors to a wealthy client, but his checking account is nearly empty, and he’s willing to straighten his tie for the sake of a millionaire—especially when she’s come about something as lucrative as murder. Miss Rogell’s brother, John, died 2 days before. The coroner ruled it a heart attack, but Henrietta is convinced he was poisoned, and she will pay handsomely for Shayne to prove it.
His first lead is a murdered dog. Daffy, the beloved Pekinese of John Rogell’s young wife, Anita, dropped dead after eating a bowl of soup laced with strychnine. Every member of the family had a reason to want Rogell out of the picture. To find the killer, Shayne will have to disturb the departed—and dig up the canine victim.
Die Like a Dog is the 35th book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
He smells her perfume before he walks through the door. It’s called Black Sin, and the woman wearing it certainly lives up to the name. Esther Piney, better known as Sloe Burn, is a hard-boiled stripper born and raised in the swamps of the Florida Keys. Where she’s from, murder is currency, and bodies disappear never to be found. Her favorite client has vanished, taking a fat bankroll with him, and she knows the only way she’ll get him back is to beg a favor from the legendary Mike Shayne.
Unfortunately for Sloe Burn, Shayne doesn’t make a habit of tracking down missing strip-club regulars. But when a woman comes asking him to find her husband—who just happens to fit the description of Sloe Burn’s sugar daddy—Shayne decides it’s time to go fishing in the darkest corner of the Keys.
Killers from the Keys is the 39th book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
When Linda Fitzgilpin is woken by the sound of the ringing telephone, she finds her husband is missing. For years now, Jerome has always slept in his bed across the room, but last night he didn’t come home. When the phone rings, Linda knows why. A body matching his description has been found at the scene of an accident—Jerome is dead. Uncertain of what to do, Linda asks her downstairs neighbor Lucy Hamilton for help. And Lucy calls her boss, the toughest private detective in Miami: Mike Shayne.
Responding quickly, Shayne takes the newly minted widow to identify the body, and is on hand when the routine procedure turns into an ordeal. Although Linda’s husband’s body was found dead beside a wrecked car, it wasn’t the crash that killed him. It was poison—and Shayne has only 36 hours to find the killer before the trail turns as cold as the body on the slab.
Too Friendly, Too Dead is the 45th book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Mike Shayne isn’t scared of anyone, but that doesn’t mean he feels comfortable in a tuxedo. He squeezes into the monkey suit for the sake of Lucy Hamilton, his beloved secretary, and grins and bears his way through a meal at the ultra-posh Martinique. The detective is just settling into the evening when he sees a woman who stops his blood cold: Lydia Kane, a friend of his late wife. She’s polite, but her eyes show mortal terror.
The reunion is soon broken up by Lydia’s husband, a squat thug who explodes at Shayne for talking to his wife. The men exchange harsh words, then swift punches, which causes Shayne and Lucy to be kicked out of Martinique. When Lydia is murdered soon after, Shayne suspects her husband is the killer. But how can the detective prove it when the police are hot on his own trail?
The call comes just as Mike Shayne is pouring a much-needed cognac. A gangster’s voice warns, “Stay away from Wanda Weatherby.” Simple enough—except that Shayne has never heard of any woman by that name. A few minutes later, he receives another call, from a woman desperately worried about Wanda Weatherby. A third call then comes in from the woman herself: Wanda Weatherby begs Mike Shayne to save her life. He drives to her apartment, hoping that she’ll be able to explain just what is going on, but he’s too late. Wanda Weatherby is dead.
Just who she was, and why every criminal in Miami seemed to know her name, will take some figuring out. By the time he’s done with this mystery, Mike Shayne will wish he had never picked up the phone.
Mike Shayne finds the dead man in the bedroom. The corpse sports a bowtie, polished black shoes, and a tidy little hole right between his eyes. His name is James Wallace, and no one could’ve killed him but his wife. Shayne’s lover, Lucy Hamilton, begs him to clear the widow’s name. He promises do his best, but even for a detective who’s famous for solving impossible cases, this one may be out of reach.
In Wallace’s pockets are a passport and two tickets for South America—neither of which were intended for his wife. Furthermore, $100,000 recently disappeared from the deceased’s office, making Wallace look like an adulterer, a conman, and a thief. The truth, Shayne will find, is far less pretty.
Ben Thurston is only twenty, and his years in college have taught him little of the real world, yet he believes he’s ready for anything. His whole life, he’s heard stories about the ranching empire of Jim Rollins, his father’s friend who made a fortune near the Mexican border. When Jim dies, Ben gets a letter from his daughter, a young beauty named Katie, pleading for help. With dreams of love and glory dancing in his head, Ben heads south from Powder Valley.
Pat Stevens, the Valley’s former sheriff, knows Ben is riding into a hornet’s nest—the Big Bend of the Rio Grande is the most lawless place in the country, and it will take a fast gun to bring order to it. Luckily for Ben and Katie, Pat and his friends Sam and Ezra are the fastest in the West.
The outlaws of West Texas know every twist and turn of the renegade trail. Carved into the rugged landscape of the Big Bend region by the hoofs of galloping horses bearing desperate men, it crosses the muddy waters of the Rio Grande into Mexico, where freedom—of a kind—can be found. Ten years ago, Jim Markle rode the trail south, fleeing for his life. Now he’s coming home with a new name: Stormy Knight.
For years, young Jim had chafed under his stepfather’s whip. Everything changed the night he gunned down the evil old man. Now a battle-tested gunslinger with a stern countenance, Stormy Knight is unrecognizable to all who knew him as a boy. He forfeited his inheritance the night he rode across the border. Now he’s ready claim it—even if it means killing once more.
William Wilcox could never stand his life in Philadelphia. He adored his wife and their daughter, Joan, but the city strangled him. So he fled west, establishing himself under a false name in the idyllic township of Powder Valley, Colorado. When her mother dies, Joan travels to the Valley in search of the only family she has left. She shows an old photo to the sheriff, Pat Stevens, who recognizes the man in the picture as Bill Freeman, one of the most respected ranchers in the valley. It’s a happy moment, but tragedy is not far behind.
The day after Joan’s arrival, Bill Freeman is found dead. Although she insists he was her father, she has no proof and ends up in a showdown with Bill’s adopted son over their inheritance. Unless Pat and his friends Sam and Ezra can settle the matter quietly, the Freeman farm will run with blood.
A car speeds toward the embankment with one of the most ruthless heroin dealers in the country behind the wheel. Beside him is the legendary detective Mike Shayne, who will take control of the car or die trying. They fight—and the car goes sailing off the cliff. The drug pusher dies, but Shayne escapes, battered but unharmed. His doctor releases him from the hospital on condition that he take a vacation, and so Miami’s toughest sleuth reluctantly books a 3-week island getaway. But before the jet takes off, trouble finds him once again.
A customs agent holds the plane to ask Shayne a favor. The island the detective is headed for is a notorious smuggler’s haven, and there have been rumors that a big shipment is on its way. He should know better, but Shayne can’t help but agree to smash the ring, even if it means coming home with more than a few broken ribs.
Murder Takes No Holiday is the 36th book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
The day he met Phyllis Brighton, Mike Shayne saved her from jumping out a window—and he has been rescuing her ever since. First he helped her beat a murder rap; now he’s trying to pry her away from the sleaziest lawyer in Dade County: Harry Grange. A mouthpiece for every crook in Miami, Grange is running a blackmail racket when Shayne sees him with Phyllis on his arm at a local gambling hall. Shayne warns his friend to ditch her crooked beau, but she is too proud to take his advice. Unfortunately for her, the relationship will end with murder.
Shayne gets the call just after he gets back to his office. Harry Grange has been found dead on the sands of Miami Beach. Even worse, Shayne’s gun is missing and his friend Larry Kincaid may have used it to gun down the blackmailing lawyer. To save his friends, Mike Shayne will have to outsmart the cleverest killer in town.
Adapted into the film Michael Shayne, Private Detective, this classic PI novel is part of the long-running mystery series that also inspired a 1940s radio show and translations around the world.
For years, Mike Shayne has tangled with the toughest crooks the country has to offer, outsmarting some and outpunching the rest. He was good at his job, but he had no one to come home to—until he met Phyllis. After rescuing his damsel in distress more than once, the hard-boiled PI found himself falling in love, and before he knew it, they were married and on their honeymoon in Cuba. Unfortunately for the lovebirds, their migration home to Miami marks the height of tourist season, when every gangster in America travels south to play. He may be a married man, but Mike Shayne won’t be spending this balmy winter cozied up at home.
When a real-estate developer tries to hire Shayne to break into his home as part of an insurance-fraud scam, the scheme quickly turns to murder. With more deaths on the horizon, Shayne will have to be careful if he doesn’t want to celebrate his first wedding anniversary behind bars.
Three years ago, the sheriff of Chapparell, Arizona, was shot dead. Eighteen-year-old Hugh Aiken was falsely accused of the murder and forced to ride south with a lynch mob hot on his trail. He spent the time since hiding out in Mexico, growing from a fresh-faced Texas youth into the hardened gunman known far and wide as the Rio Kid. Now his exile is over.
Chapparell has changed since the Kid last set foot on its dusty streets. Most of the ranchers are dead broke, save for one bloodthirsty scoundrel, Henry Pelham, who backs up his business savvy with hired guns. To clear his name and save his hometown, the Rio Kid must undertake his most dangerous adventure yet.
Two-Gun Rio Kid is the 4th book in the Rio Kid Adventures, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
April Haddon has spent years waiting to hate her stepmother. Ever since her father wrote to tell her that he had married a woman named Florence, April has stockpiled her loathing in preparation for the day when they would finally meet. And when they do, she is not disappointed.
April’s father is dead, and she has returned to Midhampton to claim her inheritance. Only Florence stands in her way. Appointed April’s guardian until the young girl comes of age, Florence seems to relish her newfound control over her stepdaughter. But as April writes in her diary, she would kill Florence if she thought she could get away with it—and perhaps she’ll get the chance.
Over the next eleven days, April and Florence engage in a battle of wills that leads inexorably to tragedy. But is Florence truly an evil stepmother—or is April not as innocent as she appears?
When Ellen Harris leaves New York for her 2-week trip to Miami, her husband playfully reminds her to be careful. In a city famous for playboys, loan sharks, and gigolos, a beautiful woman can find trouble—and Ellen wants all the trouble she can get. Although she adores her husband, she intends to have fun, and that means flirting with every man she sees, from bellhops to bartenders and everyone in between. From all outward appearances, it looks like she plans to have a different man in her room every night she’s there, but the very first morning, the maid finds her bed undisturbed.
Ellen’s husband arrives 5 days later, desperate to find out why his wife hasn’t been answering his calls. She hasn’t been seen at the hotel since just after checking in, and the only man who can track her down is Miami’s toughest detective: Mike Shayne.
Murder by Proxy is the 43rd book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
When an old friend calls begging to see him immediately, Mike Shayne is surprised to say the least. He hasn’t set eyes on Jim Lacy in ten years, and time has not been kind. Jim’s face is deeply wrinkled, and his eyes are glazed. His skin is gray—and there is blood seeping through his shirt. Jim mutters a few last words as he collapses on Shayne’s office floor. His stomach is filled with lead and he is dead before he hits the ground.
Shayne reaches into Lacy’s pocket and pulls out his wallet. Emptying it, he finds $200—enough for a retainer fee. Mike Shayne has never let a client’s murder go unpunished, and he will not rest until he catches the men who shot Jim Lacy and sent him to die. But first he will have to convince the police that he was not the man who pulled the trigger.
At first, Twister Malone and Chuckaluck Thompson think it must be a mirage. If real, the willow trees they see on the horizon mean that water is nearby, and in this dusty stretch of the Southwest, water is rarer than gold. They rub the grit from their eyes, yet the sight remains. There really is water up ahead—and death just around the corner.
As the two friends ride toward the trees, they hear the sound of rushing water. Someone has opened a sluicegate, allowing all the precious liquid to drain into the dirt. When Twister and Chuckaluck close the gate and the roaring stops, a woman screams, “Don’t let him get away! He was going to kill me!” Chuckaluck fires wildly, but the scoundrel has escaped, setting the wandering cowpokes on the trail of a mystery so dark and twisted it might be beyond their powers to solve.
Murder on the Mesa is the 4th book in the Twister and Chuckaluck Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Mike Shayne is never surprised to wake up with a woman in his bedroom—unless she’s a stranger. The private investigator is dozing when he hears someone creep through the door, undress, and slip into bed. When he turns on the light, the lady is just as shocked as he is. Her name is Nora, and she was told she’d find her husband here. Fortunately, she’s much better off having found Shayne.
Nora’s spouse came to Miami to establish residency, which is the first step toward getting a divorce. By slipping into Shayne’s bedroom, she would’ve spoiled his scheme, but someone gave her the wrong information. Her husband is staying on the floor above. When Nora finally reaches the right room, she finds that the man she’s been looking for has been murdered, and her only alibi is a detective who’s starting to wish the naked dame had never found her way into his room.
Timothy Rourke made his name as a Miami crime reporter, but he never knew true evil until he came to the Caribbean. In a corrupt tropical country, where beatings and murders pass for ordinary politics, a student group begs him to report the truth about the dictatorship. Rourke has never been one to refuse a story—or a beautiful blonde—but he soon discovers that the men who run this country are experts in more than hiding the truth; they also know how to make a reporter disappear.
When Rourke’s investigations get the best of him, it falls to Mike Shayne to save his life. As revolution simmers under the tropical sun, Shayne takes on the worst the dictatorship has to offer. The officials may be ruthless killers, but they have never met the likes of Shayne.
It’s been four years since his wife was murdered, and Mike Shayne isn’t keen to remember the old days. He’s back in Miami when he sees Christine, once his wife’s closest friend, and something in his gut tells him to stay away. Newly married, Christine has racked up $10,000 in gambling debts, and she’s ready to pawn the only valuable thing she owns: a string of priceless pearls. She asks Shayne to make the handoff. The setup smells fishy, but he agrees to help—not for Christine’s sake, but for the memory of the woman he loved.
Through a bit of quick thinking, Shayne erases the debt without losing the pearls. His client should be overjoyed, but Christine is furious that he changed the plan. Before long, Shayne is trapped in a web of blackmail and murder, where the number one suspect is Mike Shayne.
It’s the 4th and final day of the convention, and Marvin Blake is ready to go home. Dreading the evening’s festivities, he checks out of his hotel early and heads back to Sunray Beach, longing to see his wife, Ellie, and daughter, Sissy. When he reaches home late that night, his bedroom light is on—and his best friend’s car is parked in the driveway. His wife has been unfaithful, and Blake knows what he must do. He checks into a motel, pulls out the stationery, and prepares to take his life.
The next morning, Ellie is found in her bedroom, stark naked and strangled to death. Miami reporter Tim Rourke picks up the story and brings in the only man who can untangle this web of lies: Mike Shayne. A seasoned professional, Shayne may think he’s seen it all, but he’ll soon find that, in suburbia, murder is never what it seems.
Michael Shayne’s 50th Case is the 50th book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Before she met Mike Shayne, Lucy Hamilton was just another young woman living in New Orleans. She shared an apartment with her best friend, Arlene, a vivacious young thing with a thousand gentleman callers, but none were as debonair as Arlene’s brother, Jack Bristow. Since she started working for Shayne, Lucy hasn’t had any time for beaus, and she hasn’t thought of Bristow in years—not until the day he shows up on her Miami doorstep begging for help. He collapses, blood seeping from a wound in his chest, and Lucy helps him to the bedroom, knowing that he’s minutes from death.
The police are chasing Bristow for a murder Lucy’s sure he didn’t commit, and by the time Shayne gets the cops off their backs, Bristow has escaped through a window. Shayne must track down the bleeding man in order to learn what really happened—for both the sake of an old friend and the sake of justice.
It’s not often that Mike Shayne runs with an honorable crowd, but there is a lieutenant in his office mourning the fiancée who killed herself the day before. Honest and heartbroken, he begs this hardened private investigator for help answering one simple, impossible question: Why? It’s a question Shayne has been asking ever since his wife was murdered in Miami and he moved to New Orleans to escape her memory. For the sake of a soldier, he will put his own mourning aside and try to explain a suicide that looks an awful lot like murder.
Katrin Moe was working as a maid in the home of a wealthy New Orleans family when she was found locked in her room, the gas pumping full blast. Coincidentally, a priceless emerald necklace went missing from the house a few days before and the insurance company hired Shayne to find it. On the hunt for a killer, Shayne will find that the necklace and the crook are more closely related than meets the eye.
On a tawdry street in the heart of Denver, men crowd into the saloon for two reasons: cheap whiskey and Connie Dawson. The loveliest singer in Colorado, Connie has a golden voice and a brassy personality, but along with a crooked preacher, a hotshot gambler, and the fastest gunman in town, she’s about to find herself in a whole lot of trouble. All four owe the sinister Judge Prink a favor—and he’s ready to collect.
Prink has recently discovered the idyllic township of Powder Valley, home to Sheriff Pat Stevens and his faithful friends Sam and Ezra, and declared it ripe for the picking. With the help of his indentured gang of miscreants, he plans to strip the innocent little community bare. But when he meets Powder Valley’s courageous trio, Prink comes face to face with the law of the gun.
For more than a decade, Brett Halliday has made a living chronicling the adventures of the hard-nosed private detective Mike Shayne. At the banquet for the 1953 Edgar Awards, Halliday is dismayed to find the pulp field overrun by hacks who think X-rated smut and blood-soaked gore are enough to make a mystery. He’s about to head home when he meets Elsie Murray, a beautiful author who appreciates a good whodunit—and who has enough of her own troubles to fill a thousand paperbacks.
When Elsie is found murdered in her hotel room, the police suspect the last man she was seen with. Halliday is in a jam, and he knows better than anyone else that the only man who can save him is Mike Shayne.
Mike Shayne is savoring a nightcap when his secretary calls in a panic. Lucy Hamilton doesn’t scare easily and as soon as Shayne hears her voice, he knows this must be a matter of life and death. Hamilton’s neighbor has vanished, and only Shayne knows Miami well enough to find him. One of only 2 survivors in a recent plane crash, Jasper Groat had been acting strange ever since his life was spared, and tonight, he walked away and didn’t come back. The “lucky” survivor was carrying a deadly secret.
During the 9 days he spent adrift at sea, Groat filled a diary with damning details about the accident and its aftermath. There are people who might kill to get their hands on the incriminating journal—that is, if Shayne doesn’t find it first.
Mike Shayne has been trying to leave Miami for weeks, but something keeps stopping him from returning to New Orleans. He’s about to board the midnight flight to Louisiana when his secretary calls and tells him not to bother. His stalling has cost them another client, and she’s fed up. She quits, and Shayne realizes that she was the only thing tying him to New Orleans. A man approaches Shayne to beg for his ticket, paying for it with two hundred dollar bills that seem too good to be true. Mike Shayne is staying in Miami—but how long will he stay alive?
The man’s wife appears at the airport, a jaw-dropping blonde too lovely to be married to such a weasel. Shayne follows her, embarking on a night out on the town that quickly turns deadly. The money may be fake, but the bullets are all too real.
In a lonely canyon high above El Paso, a ruthless millionaire and a hardline socialist live side by side. Raymond Dwight makes money mercilessly and Leslie Young hates the rich with a passion, but the men have coexisted peacefully—so far. But when Western novelist Asa Baker escapes to Young’s cabin for a weekend of writing, he can sense tension in the air. His friend has always muttered about tossing a few bombs at Dwight’s estate, but his jokes have stopped being funny. Baker has seen enough bloodshed to know that there is murder on the horizon.
When he finds Young dead on the floor, a strange mark on his cheek, Baker calls the only man who can help: Jerry Burke, the toughest cop in El Paso. In the shadowy corners of this Texas canyon lie secrets that someone will kill to protect—and Burke is the only man daring enough to uncover the truth.
It starts with a post in the classifieds. A woman calls for a red-blooded American, a soldier-of-fortune type willing to do anything if the price is right—even commit murder. This catches the eye of Tim Rourke, hotshot reporter, who passes it on to Mike Shayne, the legendary Miami detective. Rourke believes the ad was placed by a lonely housewife hoping to pay someone to knock off her husband, and he thinks the story could be front-page news. He just needs someone willing to answer the call—and Shayne has the reddest blood in Miami.
Shayne responds to the ad, and finds the situation far stranger than anything he and Rourke could have dreamed up. His new employer is sweet, young, and scared for her life. Plus, there’s $50,000 at stake—and a life on the line.
The Homicidal Virgin is the 38th book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Marriage hasn’t stopped Mike Shayne’s phone from ringing. Every night it seems there’s some troubled dame calling up with a problem that only Miami’s toughest PI can solve. Thankfully, Phyllis Shane isn’t the jealous type. She simply passes along the messages and lets her husband get himself into trouble. Tonight the call comes from the notorious Red Rose Apartments, home to the city’s least discreet women.
Someone has been cashing counterfeit tickets at the local greyhound track, taking the owners for thousands of dollars every night, and Mayme Martin, resident of the Red Rose Apartments, has an idea about who’s responsible. But drunk and haggard, she won’t be able to tell Shayne everything he needs to know in time. Mr. and Mrs. Shayne are on their way to the racetrack, but they may have to kill if they are to escape alive.
In a barren stretch of southern Colorado, a small shack links Powder Valley to the rest of the world. Every other day, Sam Sloan comes thundering over the range with a mail sack over his shoulder—just one link in the long line of riders known as the Pony Express. In all the time he’s been riding the route, he’s never been one minute late, and his perfect record has won the attention of company brass.
The Express is planning a new route linking Colorado and Wyoming, and they want Sam to break it in. The trail between Denver and Laramie is raw, with danger lurking on all sides. To deliver, Sam will need speed, ammunition, and the help of his two best friends, the one-eyed giant, Ezra, and Powder Valley’s sheriff, Pat Stevens.
Twister Malone and Chuckaluck Thompson have no love for the sun-blasted plains of West Texas. They made their names in the cool mountain air of Colorado, and are headed to a friend’s hacienda in Mexico because, both at the ripe old age of thirty, they’re ready to retire. No more high-noon showdowns for Twister and Chuckaluck. They have years of roping, riding, and dozing to look forward to—but first they must survive the crucible of Sleepy Valley.
The two friends are passing through the idyllic patch of ranchland when they come across a quartet of bandits, wearing masks that reveal only one eye, hanging an innocent rancher from the tree. The gang of killers has terrorized Sleepy Valley for months, stringing up anyone brave enough to refuse their greedy demands. But Twister and Chuckaluck have never backed down from a fight, and they aren’t about to start. The sinister plot they uncover, however, will bring them face-to-face with the most dangerous desperadoes north of the Rio Grande.
The Hangmen of Sleepy Valley is the 1st book in the Twister and Chuckaluck Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
It’s 10:30 pm, and Mike Shayne is sipping cognac, ruminating on the perfection of Lucy Hamilton’s fried chicken, when a shotgun fires upstairs. Following the acrid stench of gunpowder to a locked door halfway down the hall, Shayne has no choice but to batter it down, tumbling face first into the scene of a particularly ugly double suicide. The woman lies on the floor in the middle of the sitting room, her face twisted by the deadly kiss of cyanide. A few feet beyond her body is what remains of a man, his head obliterated by the shotgun’s blast.
The woman’s father is one of Miami’s power brokers, and he refuses to believe that his daughter would end her life over a silly affair. Isn’t it possible, he asks, that she was murdered? Convinced or not, Shayne is the only man ruthless enough to find out.
The Corpse That Never Was is the 46th book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Twister Malone and Chuckaluck Thompson are making their way through a West Texas canyon when they smell death. It pollutes every inch of the winding, narrow trail, so thick and foul they fear they might choke. Finally, the two wandering cowpokes emerge onto the mesa, where they encounter the site of a massacre. A whole family of deer lies dead around a small pond, their skeletons bleached by the Texas sun. Someone has poisoned the water hole.
Then a rider comes around the corner, rifle in hand, and gets the drop on Twister and Chuckaluck. The Widow Kelso is a hardened old woman, and she’s ready to kill. Someone has been trying to drive her off her land, and if Twister and Chuckaluck don’t solve the mystery of the poisoned well fast, the deer won’t be the only ones lying dead in the sun.
Lynch-Rope Law is the 3rd book in the Twister and Chuckaluck Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Mike Shayne is just passing through the jeweler’s when Mark Dustin comes for the rubies. A big shot gambler with expensive taste, Dustin is looking for an anniversary gift for his wife, and he demands the best. For $200,000, he buys the shop’s greatest treasure: a bracelet of flawless rubies, finer than any in the country. The first time his wife puts it on her wrist, however, a gang of thieves rams into their car and snatches the bracelet.
The only person who knew about the purchase, the only man who could have organized the robbery, was Mike Shayne. The Miami police have been looking for an excuse to jail Shayne for years, and now they’ll have their chance—all for the sake of six little stones, as red as a woman’s blood.
Asa Baker stares at his typewriter, cursing the empty page. His publishers are clamoring for another Western novel, but Baker is fed up with cowboys. He needs a new kind of hero—and one is about to fall in his lap. His friend Jerry Burke is one of the top cops in El Paso, and he’s about to drag Baker into a plot more outrageous—and more dangerous—than anything the Old West has to offer.
A troubling personal ad has appeared in the local paper. Addressed to Burke, it warns that someone will die tonight at 11:41 p.m. And as promised, the body appears at 11:41 sharp—setting Burke and Baker on the hunt for an ingenious serial killer who advertises murder, but never leaves a trail.
They call him the Actor. An armed robber with a sense of style, Bram Clayton planned every heist with care, slipping so convincingly into the actions and motives of his characters that even experts couldn’t tell him apart from the real thing. He played electricians, salesmen, even a bank examiner, but for the last 13 years he’s been stuck in a single role: jailbird. When Clayton finally earns freedom, he has no trouble convincing the warden he’s going to stay straight, but the Actor is about to pull the greatest heist of his career.
There’s a beautiful woman waiting for Clayton when he gets out. An old friend with an ulterior motive, she comes equipped with a bottle of whiskey, a carton of cigarettes, clean clothes, a gun, and a plan for a $200,000 heist so simple that it’s almost a sure thing—so long as it isn’t upset by Clayton’s hunger for revenge against the man who put him away: legendary detective Mike Shayne.
Target: Mike Shayne is the 34th book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
3 years ago, Miami Chief of Detectives Peter Painter made the greatest arrest of his career—one that led to Sam Harris being put on death row for killing Rose Heminway’s husband. So when Harris’s wife discovers evidence that she believes could save her husband’s life, Painter does what any corrupt cop would: He sits on the evidence, waiting for the electric chair to do its work. Finally, Mrs. Harris has no choice. She contacts Heminway, who was never fully convinced of Sam’s guilt, though she testified against him, and they take the final course of action of desperate women across Miami: They hire Mike Shayne.
The most daring detective in the United States, Shayne has just 24 hours to clear Harris’s name, or an innocent man will fry. Saving Harris will mean the wrath of the entire Miami police department, but Shayne isn’t worried. He’s tougher than any electric chair.
Murder in Haste is the 40th book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Pat Stevens never wanted to be sheriff. But when old Ed Grimes was killed, Pat was the only man in Powder Valley with a quick enough gun hand to avenge his predecessor’s death and take on the badge. Now, after years of wearing the silver star, Pat is too old to continue to risk his neck. He only has a few hours before a new sheriff takes over—but a lot of blood can flow in a short amount of time.
A well-dressed con artist steps off the stagecoach into the sheriff’s office. Mistaking Pat for the replacement officer, he hints at an evil bargain between sheriff and thief—a scheme of murderous corruption that could destroy Pat’s closest friend. Pat has just a few hours to stop the killers, and he’ll do it with or without his badge.
It’s the end of summer and Miami is as quiet as the grave. To Mike Shayne, the city’s most notorious private detective, it seems as though he’ll never have another case like the ones that made his reputation: matters of life and death that can only be solved by quick thinking, fast fists, and an itchy trigger finger. And then comes the letter from Los Angeles. It holds a plane ticket, half a $1,000 bill, and a desperate appeal. Come to L.A., begs the woman who penned the letter, or it will be my death sentence.
Before he even lands in L.A., Shayne is enmeshed in a plot straight out of Hollywood. And when his mysterious client proves impossible to find, the detective worries he’s been lured into a deadly trap.
Never Kill a Client is the 44th book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Pat, Sam, and Ezra came to Powder Valley together, to tame the West and find a place to settle down. Soon, Pat is the sheriff, and Sam is married, but big, powerful Ezra, with his craggy face and missing eye, remains a loner. This state of affairs usually doesn’t get Ezra down, but tonight the big man is too gloomy to eat peach pie. When Ezra can’t eat peach pie, something is wrong—and Pat is certain it has to do with Eustis Harlow.
After six months in Powder Valley, Harlow has established himself as the most powerful rancher in the area. Before he came, the locals were content with what they had. Now, half of them are in his debt, and the others have been consumed by greed. With the sheriff and his friends gearing up to quash Harlow’s dominance, the rancher sends for an army’s worth of gunmen. Powder Valley is about to explode.
A woman sits in the Encanto Hotel on Biscayne Bay, rationing a bottle of scotch and waiting for a call that could change her life. She clutches a marriage announcement that has chilled her to the core. At last, there is a knock at the door, but it isn’t the person she was expecting. Instead she is greeted by a man she thought dead, a man who tortured her for far too long. She offers him a drink and then presses a pistol to his chest and pulls the trigger until the clip is empty and her tormenter is dead.
In a state of panic, she calls the only man who can help—Miami’s toughest private detective, Mike Shayne—and lies. She says her name is Carla, that the dead man is her husband, and that it was her daughter, Vicky, who pulled the trigger. She may think she knows how to play the game, but she’ll soon find that Shayne is a dangerous man to toy with—and he doesn’t stay fooled for long.
The Body Came Back is the 47th book in the Mike Shayne Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Woken by the telephone, Mike Shayne is disoriented. Though he has been alone since his wife was murdered, he has not gotten used to sleeping by himself. The voice on the other end of the telephone snaps him back into reality. It’s his friend Clem Wilson, calling from a filling station outside of Miami, and there is terror in his voice. He has time for just a few words before Shayne hears the crack of broken glass and the thud of a falling body.
By the time he reaches the filling station, the police are already there and Wilson has two bullets in his chest—and either of them would have been enough to kill him. Clem Wilson was mixed up in something he couldn’t handle, and if Mike Shayne can’t set aside his grief and unravel the mystery, his friend will not be the last to die.
As Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry Dresden never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.
Mab has traded Harry’s skills to pay off a debt. And now he must help a group of villains led by Harry’s most despised enemy, Nicodemus Archleone, to break into a high-security vault so that they can then access a vault in the Nevernever.
Problem is, the vault belongs to Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld. And Dresden is dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess...
Harry Dresden is no longer Chicago’s only professional wizard. Now, he’s Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. Her word is his command. And her first command is the seemingly impossible: kill an immortal. Worse still, there is a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could mean the deaths of millions.
Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent an apocalypse, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound infinite powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own...
San Francisco Detective Lindsay Boxer is loving her life as a new mother. With an attentive husband, a job she loves, plus best friends who can talk about anything from sex to murder, things couldn't be better.
Then the FBI sends Lindsay a photo of a killer from her past, and her happy world is shattered. The picture captures a beautiful woman at a stoplight. But all Lindsay sees is the psychopath behind those seductive eyes: Mackie Morales, the most deranged and dangerous mind the Women's Murder Club has ever encountered.
In this pulse-racing, emotionally charged novel by James Patterson, the Women's Murder Club must find a killer--before she finds them first.
Paranormal investigations are Harry Dresden’s business and Chicago is his beat, as he tries to bring law and order to a world of wizards and monsters that exists alongside everyday life. And though most inhabitants of the Windy City don’t believe in magic, the Special Investigations Department of the Chicago PD knows better.
Karrin Murphy is the head of S. I. and Harry’s good friend. So when a killer vampire threatens to destroy Murphy’s reputation unless Harry does her bidding, he has no choice. The vampire wants the Word of Kemmler (whatever that is) and all the power that comes with it. Now, Harry is in a race against time—and six merciless necromancers—to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead...
Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But he also knows that whenever things are going good, the only way left for them to go is bad. Way bad. Such as:
• A duel with the lethal champion of the Red Court, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards...
• Professional hit men using Harry for target practice...
• The missing Shroud of Turin—and the possible involvement of Chicago's most feared mob boss...
• A handless and headless corpse the Chicago police need identified...
Not to mention the return of Harry’s ex-girlfriend Susan, who’s still struggling with her semi-vampiric nature. And who seems to have a new man in her life. Some days, it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed. No matter how much you’re charging.
For Harry Dresden—Chicago's only professional wizard—business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's black magic, there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name...
“A great series—fast-paced, vividly realized and with a hero/narrator who’s excellent company.”—Cinescape
Harry Dresden has had worse assignments than going undercover on the set of an adult film. Like fleeing a burning building full of enraged demon-monkeys, for instance. Or going toe-to-leaf with a walking plant monster. Still, there’s something more troubling than usual about his newest case. The film’s producer believes he’s the target of a sinister curse—but it’s the women around him who are dying, in increasingly spectacular ways.
Harry’s doubly frustrated because he only got involved with this bizarre mystery as a favor to Thomas—his flirtatious, self-absorbed vampire acquaintance of dubious integrity. Thomas has a personal stake in the case Harry can’t quite figure out, until his investigation leads him straight to the vampire’s oversexed, bite-happy family. Now, Harry’s about to discover that Thomas’ family tree has been hiding a shocking secret: a revelation that will change Harry’s life forever.
Ever since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry Dresden has been down and out in Chicago. He can’t pay his rent. He’s alienating his friends. He can’t even recall the last time he took a shower. The only professional wizard in the phone book has become a desperate man.
And just when it seems things can’t get any worse, in saunters the Winter Queen of Faerie. She has an offer Harry can’t refuse if he wants to free himself of the supernatural hold his faerie godmother has over him—and hopefully end his run of bad luck. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen’s right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen’s name.
It seems simple enough, but Harry knows better than to get caught in the middle of faerie politics. Until he finds out that the fate of the entire world rests on his solving this case. No pressure or anything...
In his life, Harry’s been shot, stabbed, sliced, beaten, burned, crushed, and tortured. And after someone puts a bullet through his chest and leaves him to die in the waters of Lake Michigan, things really start going downhill.
Trapped between life and death, he learns that his friends are in serious trouble. Only by finding his murderer can he save his friends and move on—a feat which would be a lot easier if he had a body and access to his powers. Worse still are the malevolent shadows that roam Chicago, controlled by a dark entity that wants Harry to suffer even in death.
Now, the late Harry Dresden will have to pull off the ultimate trick without using any magic—or face an eternity as just another lost soul...
Volume I includes the early novel A Study in Scarlet, which introduced the eccentric genius of Sherlock Holmes to the world. This baffling murder mystery, with the cryptic word Rache written in blood, first brought Holmes together with Dr. John Watson. Next, The Sign of Four presents Holmes’s famous “seven percent solution” and the strange puzzle of Mary Morstan in the quintessential locked-room mystery. Also included are Holmes’s feats of extraordinary deception in such famous cases as the chilling “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” the baffling riddle of “The Musgrave Ritual,” and the ingeniously plotted “The Five Orange Pips.”
Volume II begins with The Hound of Baskervilles, a haunting novel of murder on eerie Grimpen Moor, which has rightly earned its reputation as the finest murder mystery ever written. The Valley of Fear matches Holmes against his archenemy, the master of imaginative crime, Professor Moriarty. In addition, the loyal Dr. Watson has faithfully recorded Holmes’s feats of extraordinary detection in such famous cases as the thrilling “The Adventure of the Red Circle,” Holmes’s tragic and fortunately premature farewell in “The Final Problem,” and the twelve baffling adventures from The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes.
Conan Doyle’s incomparable tales bring to life a Victorian England of horse-drawn cabs, fogs, and the famous lodgings at 221 B Baker Street, where for more than forty years Sherlock Holmes earned his undisputed reputation as the greatest fictional detective of all time.
Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult-sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …
Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.
But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.
As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?
Fans of Rachel Abbott, Val McDermid and Mark Billingham will be gripped by this exceptional new voice in British crime fiction.
Watch out for more from D.I. Kim Stone
A Detective hiding dark secrets, Kim Stone will stop at nothing to protect the innocent. Silent Scream is the first book in the series – watch out for EVIL GAMES – also out now.
What people are saying about Silent Scream
'I absolutely loved it! ... This one is one of the best crime thrillers I've read in a long time, and that includes mainstream authors such as James Patterson! I would seriously put this book in the same league.' Fiona’s Book Reviews
‘I have not been so impressed by a debut novel in a long time, and I'm actually now itching for more from D.I. Kim Stone and the rest of her squad… D.I. Kim Stone is like the British Jane Rizzoli. She's so ballsy and doesn't understand the meaning of the word no. I LOVE heroines who just do what they want and sod the consequences and Kim did that, right from the beginning as people keep turning up dead, people who are all connected to a children's home that burned down… If you were ever wondering how to write a gripping, wholly engaging crime novel, just have a read of Silent Scream and marvel at how Angela Marsons has done it. I can't wait for the second book, because this one was a top-notch crime thriller.’ Leah Loves
'I don't think I've been so hooked by a new author since the discovery of Mark Edwards or Mark Billingham… Silent Scream gets 5 stars from me - if you finish a crime thriller feeling like you just need to have a lie-down and a cup of tea to get your breath back, then the writer has done their job. Angela Marsons, I still don't have my breath back.’ Reading Room with a View
‘Normally when I see everybody rating a book five stars I think 'Is it really that good?' Silent Scream is that good, and then some… The only problem Angela now faces is keeping up this standard as the series progresses, but if she does than she's going to be an author to watch and a huge star within the genre.’ Book Addict Shaun
‘I started reading ‘Silent Scream’ thinking I would just read a few chapters. I ended up reading it all… I love it when an author chooses a dark topic and does it incredibly well… An excellent read and one I would happily recommend.’ Northern Crime
‘This is a fantastic debut novel by Marsons. The blurb said that if you were a fan of Val McDermid and Mark Billingham you would love this book and being a huge fan of both I thought I would give it a go and I was pleasantly surprised… With lots of twists and turns this is a real page turner and I would highly recommend it.’ The Laughing Librarian
‘It's highly unusual for me to find a book that leads me to put my life on hold. But Angela Marson's Silent Scream has led me to virtually abandon work for the last day, even with deadlines looming, leaving my house a mess and the ironing pile untouched… ticks all the boxes for a 5* rating from me: a well written flowing story; strong but vulnerable protagonist; fast pace; intrigue; twists and turns until several final OMG moments; plenty of action; and the revealing of a brutal murderer.’ Off the Shelf