James Reasoner wrote four stories for Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine about West Hollywood private detective MARKHAM, and "Death and the Dancing Shadows" is probably his favorite of the four. Very much in the Chandler vein, good twist, snappy ending line. It turned up in the Black Lizard anthology and, according to Reasoner himself, it "caught the eye of a guy in Hollywood who wanted to make a movie out of it. He adapted the story into a screenplay, but nothing else ever came of it. Would have been nice."
Reasoner is probably best known in this genre for his classic novel, Texas Wind, featuring Texan private eye Cody is long of out print and rare as hell. He also wrote a series of short stories about another P.I., Delaney, who appeared in Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine mostly prior to the Markham stories. He dismisses the Delaney stories now as "very minor," but coinfesses that Markham was in fact a "sort of dry run" for Cody.
Reasoner is married to fellow crime writer L.J. Washburn, creator of private eye Lucas Hallam. Between the two of them, they wrote or co-wrote a ton of Mike Shayne stories under the pseudonym of Brett Halliday for Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, and they've also collaborated on Tie a Black Ribbon, a novel featuring bouncer/P.I. Skeeter Barlow. James Reasoner is still writing, but mostly work for hire in the Western historical vein with his wife under assorted pseudonyms.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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