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The airconditioning system throughout the building was normally kept in operation twenty-four hours a day to provide a steady temperature for the wines and spirits stored there, the manager had explained to Shayne when he settled him in at eight-thirty after all the other employees had gone home, so he would be cool enough during the night and would have immediate warning if the power inside the building were cut off during the storm. The hum of the airconditioner and the flow of cool air from an opening overhead were steady and reassuring—and increasingly soporific.

Shayne stirred in his chair and yawned widely, and lit another cigarette, grateful for the draft of forced air which would carry away the smoke and the telltale odor of tobacco if an entrance were attempted. That was long ago when youth was daring and impatient, and preferred action to inaction at any cost. Tonight, Shayne admitted to himself comfortably and with another yawn, he would be perfectly content to have the storm pass overhead with no interruption, proving the tip of attempted robbery as baseless and allowing him to go home and catch a few hours sleep in his own bed.

At that moment the steady hum of the airconditioner ceased. Shayne straightened alertly and snubbed out his cigarette in an ashtray. He had no way of knowing, of course, whether the power interruption was purely accidental or whether it had been carefully arranged. In any event, the burglar alarm system was now inoperative and the building could be broken into with impunity. Remaining quietly in his chair, the detective withdrew a short-barrelled. With his left hand he got a powerful flashlight from his side coat pocket and rested it on his knee with his thumb resting lightly on the switch.

His position just inside the open door of the office had been carefully selected strategically. Directly beyond the opening were the big back doors that would have to be unlocked from the inside and swung open before any major theft could take place. It seemed suddenly very quiet with the hum of the air-conditioning off.

The creakings and the groanings of the building and the noise of rain lashing the roof were intensified with the absence of other sound. Shayne glanced down at his wristwatch and the illuminated hands stood at a quarter of eleven. It was the right time. If anything was going to happen it would begin happening in the next few minutes.

One could never be sure how long it would take an emergency crew to locate the damage and repair the service on a night like this. If the gang was well organized they would have men ready to enter the building as soon as the alarm system was put out of commission. He heard the faint tinkle of glass not far away and knew that a window had been smashed. Speed was essential. It would be one of the ground-floor windows of the main offices down the hall, he thought, and he leaned forward in the chair to peer in that direction. He waited tensely and saw a dancing flicker of light play against the wall of the corridor.

It steadied as he watched it, and almost immediately a flashlight, held waist-high, emerged from one of the office doors and swung down the corridor in his direction. He drew back so the light of the flash would pass him by and shine harmlessly into the interior of his hideaway as the man came closer, his own flashlight held ready, the first finger of his right hand firmly on the trigger of his revolver. He would wait as long as possible before exposing himself to the intruder.

It was almost a certainty that the man had a duplicate key to the padlock on the back door, and if he felt he was alone in the building he would first unlock the doors to let a truck back inside. The light flashed through the door opening in front of him from a distance of twenty feet, casually showing the emptiness of the small office, flickered away to the right as the bearer of it hurried around the bend in the corridor with the beam directed toward the back doors. He passed within two feet of Michael Shayne, and was silhouetted momently against the reflected light of his flash, showing a medium-sized, slender, bareheaded man, bent forward slightly, and there was the glint of metal in his right hand as he approached the locked doors.

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He straightened in front of the doors and Shayne waited breathlessly for him to pocket the gun and produce a key to unlock the padlock. Instead, there occurred one of those inexplicable happenings which confound reason. Perhaps some sixth sense warned him of danger from behind. In search of adventure, Dresser traveled throughout the Southwest working at various odd jobs, including that of muleskinner, farm hand, deckhand on a freighter in the Gulf of Mexico, laborer in the California oilfields, etc.

Eventually, he went to Tri-State College of Engineer, where he received a certificate in civil engineering. Back in Texas, he worked as an engineer and surveyor for several years before turning to writing in After his first marriage to Kathleen Rollins, who had two daughters from a previous marriage , Dresser was married to mystery writer Helen McCloy from to ; they had a daughter named Chloe. As partners, they formed a literary agency called Halliday and McCloy.

Dresser also established a publishing company Torquil Publishing Company, which published his books as well as those of other authors, from to In , he married Mary Savage, also a writer; their son, Halliday, was born in The Shayne series went on to be highly successful, reprinted in many editions and translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, Japanese and Hebrew.

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A radio series based on the Shayne character was heard during the s. Twelve motion pictures were made, seven of them featuring Lloyd Nolan as Shayne. There was also a TV series in , starring Richard Denning. What Really Happened by Brett Halliday. From title page: Everyone had a tale to tell Mich… More. Shelve What Really Happened. When Dorinda Dances by Brett Halliday.

Suddenly there was an electrifying fanfare from t… More. Shelve When Dorinda Dances. Shelve One Night With Nora.

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She Woke to Darkness by Brett Halliday. Who is this girl? Loves good times and parties.

Brett Halliday

Af… More. Shelve She Woke to Darkness. Mike Shayne needed time to crack his latest case-… More. Shelve Death Has Three Lives. Stranger in Town by Brett Halliday. In a strange town, Mike Shayne meets a deadly dam… More. Shelve Stranger in Town. Mike Shayne has 2 hours to solve a murder—or else… More. Shelve The Blonde Cried Murder. Weep for a Blonde by Brett Halliday.

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Fit to Kill by Brett Halliday. Contraband blonde She was a foxy, fair-haired Amer… More. Shelve Fit to Kill. Date with a Dead Man by Brett Halliday. She was rich but not rich enough, married but hun… More. Shelve Date with a Dead Man. Target: Mike Shayne by Brett Halliday. Out of jail and hungry for revenge, a career crim… More. Shelve Target: Mike Shayne. Die Like a Dog by Brett Halliday. Mike Shayne goes grave robbing in a pet cemetery… More. Shelve Die Like a Dog.

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A Taste for Violence

Shelve Dolls Are Deadly. The Homicidal Virgin by Brett Halliday. A desperate want ad draws Mike Shayne into a tang…. Shelve The Homicidal Virgin. Paperback anthology of stories that originally ap… More.