IT’S ABOUT CRIME
by Marvin Lachman

HOWARD BROWNE Halo in Brass

HOWARD BROWNE – Halo in Brass. Dennis McMillan, trade paperback, 1988. Originally published as by John Evans: Bobbs-Merrill, hardcover, 1949; paperback reprint: Pocket #709, July 1950.

Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 10, No. 4, Fall 1988
         (slightly revised).

   Another Eastern writer besides Steve Fisher who hit it big in the movie and television industry of Hollywood was Howard Browne, whose movie credits included The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and who wrote television shows like Mission Impossible and The Rockford Files.

HOWARD BROWNE Halo in Brass

   Dennis McMillan Publications has recently reprinted one of Browne’s best books, Halo in Brass, which he originally published in 1949 as by John Evans.

   As Evans, Browne wrote a small series of books about Chicago private eye Paul Pine, and each is memorable. Brass concerns Pine’s efforts to find a young woman who disappeared after she left Nebraska to live in Chicago.

   It explores themes not generally written of in the mysteries of its era, but don’t read Browne-Evans just because he was ahead of his time. Read him because he was a remarkable story teller, one who was imaginative and who created one of the best first-person narrators in the long history of the private detective novel.