Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Broken Body (aka The Golden Goose) -- Floyd Mahannah

Floyd Mahannah wrote five or six mystery novels and (as far as I know) disappeared. Too bad. I've read a couple of his books, and both were very good.

In this one, a gent named Riley Wadell is getting out of the p.i. game because it's a "stinking business." He's quitting with no more regret "than you'd feel about getting fired off a garbage truck." But wouldn't you know it? On the very day he's calling it quits, a dame comes into his office with a job offer. He turns her down, but later she's back, and this time she's offering him $15K to hide her for two weeks. It seems that someone's killed her husband, and she's the most likely suspect. Waddell thinks she guilty of murder, but the money convinces him to help her. During the two weeks, Wadell and the woman become lovers, but he still turns her in when the time's up. Then he goes away to start over.

But of course he can't forget her, so he returns to do what he can to help. Before long he begins to think she's innocent, and things get a lot more complicated.

Mahannah was a darned good writer, and after reading this book, I wonder again whatever happened to him.

12 comments:

  1. Scott Cupp10:29 AM

    I have read several of his books and loved them. Reminds me of McKimmey for some reason. Both really great but unknown to more modern readers.

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  2. Anonymous3:01 PM

    How I wish Hard Case or Stark Press would reprint some Mahannah. This title is my favourite of his, but the other ones I've been able to get hold of are all very good. Luckily for me, four of those six novels were published in Sweden in thelate fifties.

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  3. Anders E3:09 PM

    Uh, I didn't want to be anonymous, I just forgot to type my name in.

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  4. I remember reading a short story called "The Hero" by Floyd Mahannah. It was in Manhunt Magazine and probably one of the best stories they published. Because of that story, I start reading his novels and I'm glad I did. A very good crime writer.

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  5. The other one I've read is Stopover for Murder. That was a long time ago, but I remember it as being very good. I think Mahannah's books are pretty cheap from Internet dealers.

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  6. gomer5:10 PM

    i never heard o' the guy. if he's breathin' and he runs across this site he's gonna be probly tickled. i know ya gut me intrested in huntin down something o' his.

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  7. gomer5:14 PM

    floyd mahannah update: he's dead. 1976. hey; it happens.

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  8. That leaves about 20 years that he wasn't writing novels. Or if he was, I don't know about them.

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  9. You probably picked this up after reading my recommendation on Rara-Avis. It's a very good novel, should reread it myself. THE GOLDEN WIDOW is almost as good as the one you read. And of course Hard Case or Stark House should reprint the man!

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  10. I do remember seeing your comment, and this one's been calling to me for a while.

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  11. My son sent me your page today. I am Floyd Mahannah's daughter. My dad continued to write, but he never succeeded in publishing anything more. I think his writing was consumed by his alcoholism, and he died of liver failure and other complications in 1976 at the age of 64. I'm glad that his work is still being read and enjoyed. Thanks for the piece on my dad.

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  12. As you can see from the comments, a lot of people remember your dad's work with fondness. Thanks for stopping by to let us know about him.

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