Mike is hired to investigate a suspicious death that the police have already ruled as accidental. When his activities threaten the election campaign of a would-be state attorney, the career of a prominent doctor and the insurance investigator who approved the claim for payment, he is slugged, drugged and framed for murder.
Lucy asks Mike to investigate the murder of her friend's husband. An apparently loving spouse, he been discovered with his bags packed, two airplane tickets for Paris in his pocket and a love letter lying by his body. Mike learns that $100,000 in negotiable bonds are missing from the office safe and the dead man's partners have a motive for murder.
Shayne regrets taking a day off to go fishing when he learns that a would-be client, a hard-charging investigative reporter, who urgently begging for his assistance, was murdered before he could contact her. Taking the case personally, he ignores proper procedure and begins his own investigation into her murder and learns that a gambling racketeer, her estranged husband and a man accusing her of blackmail all had reason to kill her.
Shayne is hired to sell a value pearl necklace quickly and use the proceeds to pay off a gambling debt. When Shayne opts to pressure the gambling club owner into turning the IOU over to him for free, he is surprised when his client reacts angrily. Mike learns that the gambling debt was only a ruse. His pretty client is up to her eyeballs in blackmail and murder with suspects that include her brother-in-law, the casino lawyer, a former boyfriend and a sleazy divorce attorney.
Mike is hired to investigate the murder of Voltane, a magician appearing at a charity event. He soon discovers that the magician and his lovely assistant, Kara, where married and simultaneously engaged in extra-marital affairs. His list of suspects expands to the men and women trysting with the show people, the jealous boyfriend and girlfriend of those who were running around with Voltane and his wife and a former magician who Voltane had once carried on a torrid affair.
A man is found murdered in an alley. The only clue to his identity is a note scrawled inside a matchbook cover regarding an appointment with Mike at 9:00 a.m. on the following day. Since Mike had no such appointment, and never makes them so early in the morning, he's intensely interested in the discovering who killed his would-be client and why the dead man thought he had arranged for a meeting. When the misaddressed letter - complete with substantial retainer - arrives requesting the aforementioned appointment appointment, Mike decides to take the dead man on as a ...
A publicist tries to hire Mike to serve as the bodyguard for one of the two favorites in a high stakes beauty contest, but he refuses the offer. When the other favorite is found murdered in her dressing room, Mike agrees to represent her benefactor, an ex-mobster who swears he's gone straight. Mike must sort out the clues that point to several possible suspects - including other contestants, a businessman on the verge of bankruptcy and a sleazy bodyguard who might have double-crossed his employer.
An accountant working for a notorious racketeer is murdered while talking to Mike Shayne on the phone. Police believe that the man was carrying a list of all of the racketeers business contacts, but the only thing the man had in his locked briefcase was a copy of "Alice in Wonderland". Although Captain Gentry finds no evidence that the list was hidden between the books pages, a thug kidnaps Shayne's secretary and orders Mike to steal the novel from the police or else the pretty blonde will be killed.
When a movie producer is found murdered on his set, Shayne is hired by the man financing the film to assist the police in the investigation. Shayne discovers that the actresses working on the film hated the dead man because of his lecherous ways and a has-been director resented the way his role in the production was reduced to that of a voice coach.
While recovering from an embarrassing injury - being shot in his rear end with a spear gun - Shayne becomes involved in a wrongful death investigation when his internist is accused an incorrect diagnosis when he treated a wealthy investment broker for insulin shock when the man wasn't a diabetic. The detective discovers that many people would have reason to want the man's death to look like a misdiagnosis - his estranged wife, his embezzling business partner, his pretty young lover who wanted to end their relationship and the lover's brother who would lose the source ...
A police sergeant who believed he was about to crack a major case was gunned down in a rundown section of Miami. Before he died, he pinned his badge on the symbol of the Ravens, one of juvenile gangs operating in the area. Will Gentry is sure that one of their members killed the police officer, but the gang members ask Mike Shayne to find the real killer before the city shuts down the rehabilitation center operating in their neighborhood
A pretty young woman hires Shayne look into the background of a man romancing the girl's wealthy mother. Shayne discovers that the paramour though separated, has never been legally divorced from his previous spouse. Before he can reveal this information, the golddigger is found murdered on the wealthy woman's estate and the police accuse the maid, a survivor of a German concentration camp, of the crime.
When Trina DeWitt, a best-selling novelist, informs her ne'er-do-well husband she has filed for a divorce, her spouse reacts violently. In the ensuing struggle the man falls on the ice pick that he twisted from his wife's hand. When the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they find no evidence of a body, or even a struggle, and are also not inclined her story that someone has broken into her wall safe and stolen all her negotiable bonds and jewelry.
Marty Maxwell, a wealthy, but unhappily single tycoon decides to marry one of his four ex-wives and invites the women to a party to get reacquainted. He also invites Mike Shayne to the party, telling him that he has evidence that one of the women wishes to kill him. When Maxwell, as a practical joke, pretends to be poisoned, Shayne storms out of his apartment, but wishes he had stayed when he learns that his former client had, in fact, been murdered later in the evening.
When a sleazy detective is killed at a private investigator's convention in Miami, there is little regret shown among the two hundred attendees. Nevertheless the private eyes quickly embark on their own murder investigations, much to the disgust of Lt. Will Gentry and the local police force.
Bohemian painter Adam Quick refuses Mike and Tim's offer to pay his fine for slugging a sleazy art dealer, preferring to get his day in court. Tim uses his connections to introduce Adam's work to an influential art collector, but his efforts are again scuttled by the art dealer. When the art dealer is found murdered with Adam lying over the body unconscious, the police arrest the painter for the crime. Mike agrees to take the case and discovers a number of other people who wanted to see the art dealer dead.
Shane is hired by a doctor who is beaten by two thugs. The victim believes he was roughed up because of his friendship with a bodybuilder, nicknamed "Hercules" who plans to bow out as the front man of a franchise of weightlifting gymnasiums. Hercules has fallen in love with the doctor's wild sister and when both the physician and bride are found murdered, the muscle man becomes the prime suspect.
Vinnie Pico tries to hire Mike to break up his kid sister's wedding with a unscrupulous playboy, even offering him a blank check for his fee. When Shayne refuses, Vinnie knocks the private detective out. When the playboy is found murdered, Mike is hired to assist in the investigation and discovers that the glass to family's gun case was broken with a high-heeled shoe.
Arnold Wills is actually happy when his hated business partner is killed by an explosion outside a marina, so it comes as no surprise to any of his friends when the police arrest his for murder. The stubborn defendant refuses Mike's assistance, but the detective investigates anyway and discovers plenty of circumstance evidence that points to his friend's guilty and plenty of other people who had reasons for wanting the murdered man dead.
A wino comes to Mike Shayne with a wild story about two thugs beating an abducting a man who was standing next to him on the waterfront. Mike believe the old man's story, but the police are skeptical until attempts are made on the alcoholic's life and evidence is found that the missing man was connected to a gunrunning deal that went bad.
When the wrong performer is murdered in the locker room of a swimming arena, the police attempt to learn who would want to kill the intended victim, a popular war hero turned entertainer. The hero is reluctant to go accept police protection, but agrees to hire Mike Shayne to help the police run down possible leads. Shayne discovers that the killer was a gunman hired by a unexpected source.
Mike returns from a three-day fishing trip and discovers that he was reported to have died in plane crash. Mike decides to remain dead so he can investigate the man who impersonated him and becomes involved with another impostor, flamenco dancers, mob hit men and an informer who wants to turn state's evidence.
The Palmers, a recently married couple, buy a mansion for back taxes and soon find themselves beset by strange neighbors, intruders and mysterious bumps in the night. When a large trunk left in the basement by the previous owner - an accused murderer - is found vandalized, Fred Palmer hires Mike Shayne to investigate. Mike tries to learn if the mysterious goings-on have anything to do with the disappearance of the beautiful women whose portrait hangs over the fireplace.