Kisses of death by Max Allan Collins
A Nathan Heller casebook

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The private eye is as American as mom, apple pie — and gangsters and bootlegging. A child of the Roaring Twenties and the Depression Thirties, he is a genuine American hero with his poetic slang and his attempt to make things right as he goes down Mean Streets.

Max Allan Collins has recreated the great era of the P.I. in Nathan Heller. "I wanted to do the traditional P.I.," Collins writes in his introduction to Kisses of Death, "the tender tough guy in the trenchcoat and fedora with a bottle of wry in his bottom desk drawer. I didn't want to update him, and I didn't want to plop him down in contemporary times like a drunk who fell off a time machine." In novels and short stories, Collins has traced Heller's changes, and America's changes from the early thirties to the sixties, and in doing so has received a record nine Private Eye Writers of America "Shamus" nominations for his the series, winning twice. Each story investigates a genuine unsolved crime of the past.

Kisses of Death contains the previous unpublished title novella, in which Heller becomes associated with Marilyn Monroe and solves the famous Bodenheim murders. In other stories, he finds a solution to the death of actress Thelma Todd, becomes associated with Eliot Ness, and discovers who killed the midget that Bill Veeck had come to bat in a major league baseball game.

The book includes a new introduction and afterward by the author, and a Max Allan Collins checklist.


About Max Allan Collins

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Max Allen Collins was born in 1948 in Muscatine, Iowa. He is a two-time winner of the Private Eye Writer's of America's Shamus Award for his Nathaniel Heller historical thrillers "True Detective" and "Stolen Away". Collins also wrote the Dick Tracy comic strip begining in 1977 and ending in the early 1990s. He has contributed to a number of other comics, including Batman. Collins created his first independent feature film, Mommy, following a nightmarish experience as screenwriter on the cable movie The Expert. Collins has been contracted by DC Comics to write three tie-ins to his critically acclaimed graphic novel "The Road to Perdition", which was adapted into the feature film. Author of other such move tie-in bestsellers as "In the Line of Fire" and "Air Force One", he is also the screenwriter/director of the cult favorite suspense films "Mommie" and "Mommie's Day".
Published January 1, 2001 by Crippen & Landru. 206 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Kisses of death

Publishers Weekly

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Two-time Shamus winner Max Allan Collins (The Hindenberg Murders) blends fact and fantasy in the new title novella and six previously published short stories assembled in Kisses of Death: A Nathan Heller Casebook.

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One strong plus in any Heller tale is the amount of research that Collins and his researchers, whom he always credits provide in telling a tale.Ý Stories in this collection feature actress Thelma Todd (whose mysterious death was never exactly solved, although the suspect was pretty obvious), who...

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