Brett Halliday – When Dorinda Dances (1951)

WhenDorindaDances

Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Just the Facts Category: What — Reference to a man or woman in title
TBR #9
Cloak and Dagger Challenge #9
Monthly Key Word: Dance
Date Finished: January 22, 2018

A young college student is dancing nude under the stage name “Dorinda” at a strip club in Miami. A woman, supposedly a friend of the family, hires Mike Shayne to check on her and try to get her to cease and desist. Immediately thereafter, another client tries to hire Shayne to tail his business partner, whom he claims is trying to kill him. Shayne has to pass this job off on another private detective. At first the dancer claims that she is not the student, but eventually comes clean and admits that she is. She disappears, as does the client. The businessman turns up dead and the two cases seem to be related through an elaborate plot.

Although it is good to return to the true Brett Halliday Shayne after reading a number of later ghostwritten ones, this is a lesser effort by the creator. The plot is an elaborate ruse to provide an alibi for the killers, but Shayne and the police see through the ruse rather easily, despite various alternatives being submitted by other characters. At least we don’t have to go through Shayne being suspected of the murder again. Sufficient entertainment return, though, on a 40 cent investment back around 1985.

Just the Facts Golden Card 2018-01-222018 Monthly Key Words 2018-01-22

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