Brett Halliday – The Corpse That Never Was (1963)


Vintage Silver Age Mystery
Just the Facts Category: How — Death by poison
Cloak and Dagger Challenge #92
Date Finished: June 27, 2018

Having just finished a meal at Lucy Hamilton’s apartment, Mike Shayne and Lucy hear a gunshot from the floor above. Rushing up there, Mike breaks down the locked door and finds two dead bodies in an apparent double suicide, with the woman taking poison and the man, according to the note, chickening out at first and then killing himself with a shotgun. The police believe the suicide angle, but the woman’s father doesn’t buy the story, hates his son-in-law, and can’t believe his daughter would use this love nest with her unknown boyfriend. Mike investigates and finds more murders and disappearances.

A short, ghostwritten Shayne novel, that moves along fairly well, until the ending in which everything is wrapped up with incredible haste. Not much characterization and interactions with the one prime suspect is limited, nor do we get a very clear picture of the dead woman. Still, did I mention that it is short?

Just the Facts Silver Card 2018-06-29

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