Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: A Town Scene
Date Finished: January 31, 2016
And wrapping up January, which has been a good reading month, with 18 finished, is Shakedown, originally published in hardcover as Just Killing Time, by Richard Ellington. There is some interesting information on Ellington at mysteryfile. He was involved with Old Time Radio, including credits as a writer on The Fat Man and its J. Scott Smart follow-up, The Top Guy. Only five mysteries are listed for Ellington, all featuring his former actor turned detective, Steve Drake. This one is his final appearance, unfortunately. According to the cover blurb, Broadway is his beat, but here he is involved with the very brief window of live TV drama productions coming out of New York City, as well as the communist infiltration into the entertainment business. Perhaps in hindsight, more attention should have been devoted to those subjects by Ellington, but the focus here is on Drake’s dealings with a blackmailer and murderer. The comments on various sections of New York City are also interesting. Perhaps not the greatest hardboiled detective novel, it is well written and moves along quickly.
I’ll credit this one as a Town Scene for the scavenger hunt. If you look closely at the cover you’ll see the stylized highrises featured in this very New York mystery.