Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Halliday created Michael Shayne series

It is the birthday of mystery writer Brett Halliday (1904), who is best remembered for his Michael Shayne detective series. Halliday was the pseudonym of Davis Dresser, a prolific Chicago-born, West Texas-raised lad who lost an eye in an accident with barbed wire, at 14 rode with American troops in pursuit of Pancho Villa, worked in the oil fields of Texas and on board an oil tanker, and finally started writing fiction in 1927. Brett Halliday was his most used pen name but he also wrote under the names Asa Baker, Matthew Blood, Kathryn Culver, Don Davis, Hal Debrett, Peter Field, Anthony Scott, and Anderson Wayne. Michael Shayne was a tall red-headed Irishman based in Miami. He usually named the killer when he gathered all the suspects together at the end. The first Michael Shayne novel was Dividend on Death (1939). The franchise continued with radio, television and the movies on into the 1960s.

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