Brett Halliday – Never Kill a Client (1962)


Vintage Silver Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: A Glove
Date Finished: June 29, 2017
TBR #50
Follow the Clues step #43: from Once to Never

Mike Shayne is coerced to fly to Los Angeles with the promise of the other half of a $1000 bill. There he meets a beautiful woman who tries to convince him that she is Castro’s mistress and has hidden secret Cuban government documents in Mexico. Meanwhile, back in Miami a dead man is found in Mike’s office and his secretary Lucy has disappeared. The police suspect both of them in the murder, as witnesses place both of them in his office all day.

Written by a unnamed ghost writer, this falls far short of Brett Halliday’s own work. It takes 50 pages just to meet up with the mysterious woman in Los Angeles, then Mike rushes back to Miami, talks to the police and one person, and figures it all out, racing off to rescue Lucy. The Mike and Lucy doubles don’t even appear as characters, and yet turn out to be the murderers. Weak. It feels like a padded short story, as the characters waste time talking over mundane matters, including the Brett Halliday novels and Mike’s recently cancelled TV show. Or, as they call it here, his TeeVee show.

Vintage Silver Scavenger 2017-06-29


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