Reviewed By: Jon Jordan - Crime Spree Magazine - RAM
Kisses of Death: A Nathan Heller Casebook
Amazon US PB Amazon Canada PB
Max Allan Collins
Class/Genre: Mystery [Short Stories]
Series: Nathan Heller
2001, Crippen and Landru 206 pages/$17.00 (trade paperback)
Kisses of Death is a collection of short stories by Max Allan Collins, a master of the form. All the stories in it feature Nate Heller the star of Collinsí series which place the fictional detective into real cases through history. The title story takes place in Chicago and New York and deals with the death of the poet Bodenheim. Marilyn Monroe also makes an appearance in this tale. Nate is hired to do bodyguard work and in this case, the body is Marilynís. He eventually makes his way to New York to deliver a contract, and along the way finds the poet dead. This short story was only available previously on an audio cassette.
There are seven stories in all, and also a forward by Mr. Collins, and a checklist in the back of all his work to date, including screenplays and comics. This alone is worth the cover price in my opinion!
The rest of the stories have been published before, but all are worth reading, or rereading and this saves the trouble of tracking them down. The other stories are Kaddish for the Kid, The Perfect Crime, Natural Death Inc., Screwball, Shootout on Sunset, and Strike Zone. If you havenít read any Nathan Heller before, this is a great place to start. A wonderful cross section of eras and place in his career, with appearances of the usual characters that color the novels, including Elliot Ness and his partner Fred Rubinski.
A wonderful collection from a great publisher.
Jon Jordan - Crime Spree Magazine - RAM
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Jon Jordan - Crime Spree Magazine - RAM