Sunday, March 17, 2024

Review: Portrait of a Dead Heiress

Portrait of a Dead Heiress Portrait of a Dead Heiress by Thomas B. Dewey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The eleventh book in Dewey’s excellent Mac series finds the PI back in Chicago investigating an dubious suicide. The cast of characters include a heart-broken and shady doctor, a gay alcoholic artist, a corrupt cop, and young woman who works for a shifty retailer in a poor urban district. Dialog is colorful and concise showcasing Mac’s detection and interviewer skills. Interesting perspective on abortion in the pre-Roe v. Wade era , a plot point that is handled discreetly, being a somewhat taboo subject in it’s time. The dialog and complex plotting are the strengths of this short novel, although the murder motive felt a bit contrived. Of all of the bevy of paperback original private eye series of the ‘50s and ‘60s I would rank Dewey’s Mac as my favorite. Another solid entry.

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