NATHAN HELLER, PRIVATE EYE!!!
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Kisses of Death contains the previous unpublished title novella, in which Heller becomes associated with Marilyn Monroe and solves the famous Bodenheim murders.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.