This is the first of four posts about the early Deets Shanahan mysteries, just now reissued in trade paperback and e-book formats.
Dietrich Shanahan was born late in life — mine and his. I had this notion that if I created an older private eye and set him in a city like Indianapolis that I was being original. As it turned out, I wasn’t original at all. There were other, older PIs plying the gumshoe trade and lauded mystery writer Michael Z. Lewin, who pioneered the idea of regional private eyes, set his Albert Samson private series in Indianapolis years before. However, the dogged, curmudgeonly Deets Shanahan made it anyway. Stone Veil is his very first case. And in this premiere, the reader meets many of the characters who appear throughout the ten Shanahan novels.
What the story is about:
The sixty-nine-year-old semi-retired private detective reluctantly takes the case of Mrs. William B. Stone who seems to have lost track of her husband. Shanahan, who finds his once lonely life complicated by an attractive younger woman, nevertheless finds his client's husband almost immediately. But the job isn't over. The problem is the man is dead and buried in his own back yard. Who did it and why leads the detective to the city's meaner streets where the veil of secrecy is finally lifted.
What the reviewers said at the time:
“Intricate, lusty, funny, moving adventure about believably vulnerable characters.” — Publishers Weekly
"The interest in this fine novel lies.in its characters, especially the appealing Shanahan, keenly aware of death's proximity as he re-engages with life." — Houston Post
"The pragmatic investigator makes a good first impression." — The New York Times