Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mink Is for a Minx: Review

Mink Is for a Minx (1964) edited by Leo Margulies is the 1st Annual Edition of stories from Mike Shayn's Mystery Magazine. It offers up a variety of story styles--from successful murders to successful arrests. Burglary, murder, and fraud all take center stage. Some criminals get away and some are dealt their very just reward for stepping over the line. And, as with most story collections, there is a range of entertainment on offer. The best of the stories are "Death of a Dead Man," "Murder Slick as a Whistle" (for an interesting twist at the end), and "Death, My Love." I didn't much care for "Corpus Delecti" and the rest of the stories are pretty middle-of-the-road...which gives us a ★★rating.

Story Synopses:

"Death of a Dead Man" by Brett Halliday [Dennis Lynds]: Mike Shayne, Miami-based detective, is called to Westhampton, Long Island to get an old acquaintance out of jam. A dead man has been parked in his beach-front property's garden. A man from Alistair Finch's past. A man who already died in World War II.

"Partners of the Dark" by Alson J. Smith: Lt. Phil Egan is detailed to put a stop to a string of jewel robberies that The Commissioner has decided must be syndicate jobs. At first, there isn't a hint of a clue--no word on the street among his favorite stool pigeons. Then the leads start to come in but they seem to point to a trio of two-bit players. Could these guys really be in with the syndicate?

"Truck Drivers Like Girls" by Dorothy Madle: When Rod O'Meara brings home extra guests for a dinner party, his wife heads out to a delicatessen to pick up extra food. While on the way in the car, she hears a news bulletin that says a psychotic killer may be loose in the area. She leaves the delicatessen only to find that an erratically drive truck with its bright lights on full is following her and won't be shaken off for anything. Is the killer after her? [This may be the source for a story that makes its way around the internet every now and again....]

"Murder Slick as a Whistle" by Arthur Porges: Martin Calder has been living it up at his rich, widowed sister's expense. Then sis gets herself another husband and Martin's style is a bit cramped. He comes up with a brilliant plan to kill his brother-in-law that involves a Doberman and a dog-whistle. What could go wrong?

"The Marrow of Justice" by Hal Ellson: Chief of Police Jose Santiago is given an ultimatum by the Mayor--find the killer of Rose Belmonte, the third young girl to be murdered, by midnight or he'll be looking for another job. Santiago knows exactly what do--and fingers a local crook Manuel Domingo, for the job. When Domingo tries to escape and dies trying, it looks like Santiago was right after all and the Mayor is happy. But Detective Fiala has his doubts...and winds up taking them to the Mayor.

"Man on the Run" by Dennis Lynds: Little Maxie Lima was the mob's best hit man. But Maxie wasn't satisfied with the dough the mob handed out and started moonlighting with private contracts on the side. Such entrepreneurship on the part of their men is frowned on by the mob--so the mob put out a contract on Maxie and now he's on the run. But Maxie's got a sure-fire plan to escape the country and the mob....

"Death, My Love" by John Douglas: A cautionary tale for all would-be crooks. Make sure you always pack all the necessary gear for the get-away in your own suitcase. You can't trust a dame when she's in love...

"Mink Is for a Minx" by Tighe Jarratt: Chip Stack is hired by an insurance company to track down a missing minx. The insurance folk don't like being taken for a ride and their quite sure they've just paid out on a fraudulent claim. Stack finds a way to make the insurance company happy, clear a poor innocent coat check girl, and let a beautiful little minx hold on to the mink she really wants.

"Murder of an Unknown Man" by James Holding: A cryptic message holds the clue that leads Lieutenant Randall to the identity of murder victim....as well as his murderer.

"Corpus Delecti" by Talmage Powell: A back-alley abortionist thinks he's found a scapegoat to take the rap for the dead woman on his surgery table. But then he finds out he's got the woman on his table...what's a man with one woman's blood on his hands to do?

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