T. T. FLYNN “The Deadly Orchid.” Trixie Meehan & Mike Harris #1. First published in Detective Fiction Weekly, April 15, 1933. Reprinted in The Pulps, edited by Tony Goldstone (Chelsea House, hardcover, 1970) and Hard-Boiled Dames, edited by Bernard Drew (St. Martin’s Press, hardcover, 1986).

   I have written about the bickering pair of PI’s by the name of Trixie Meehan and Mike Harris before. You can find my review of “Barred Doors,” the seventh in the series, here. To recap quickly, though, they both work for the Blaine Agency and are always casting barbs at each other – in a friendly way, you know —  or at least I think so.

   In this, their first appearance, they go undercover in a plush hotel disguised as husband and wife (but in a suite of adjoining rooms, with a lock on the door between them). With the benefit of an unlimited expense account, they also are pretending to be a fabulously wealthy pair of Texans (oil money), and living it up greatly.

   Their target: a incredulously beautiful wisp of a girl, nicknamed the Orchid, who is also a notorious blackmailer who has also been known to kill her victims when things don’t work out perfectly with one of her schemes.

   Mike is the one who tells the story and the one who works up the plan to discover where the love letters she is holding over her latest victim are located, but Trixie is no slouch either when she is needed to take part in the action.

   There’s not a lot of depth to the tale, but it’s smoothly told, in something of a screwball story sort of way. Somebody really ought to put together a complete collection of their adventures together.

      The Mike Harris & Trixie Meehan stories –

The Deadly Orchid (ss) Detective Fiction Weekly Apr 15 1933
Falling Death (nv) Detective Fiction Weekly Oct 28 1933
Murder’s Masquerade (nv) Detective Fiction Weekly Mar 31 1934
The Yin Shee Dragon (na) Detective Fiction Weekly Sep 29 1934
Murder Harbor (nv) Detective Fiction Weekly Dec 1 1934
The City Hall Murders (na) Detective Fiction Weekly Mar 23 1935
Barred Doors (na) Detective Fiction Weekly May 18 1935
Nitro! Nitro! (na) Detective Fiction Weekly Apr 4 1936
The Letters and the Law (na) Detective Fiction Weekly Jun 27 1936
Abbey of the Damned (na) Detective Fiction Weekly Oct 30 1937
Murder Circus (na) Detective Fiction Weekly May 21 1938
The Secret of the Swamp (na) Detective Fiction Weekly Feb 25 1939
Brother Murder (na) Detective Fiction Weekly Dec 2 1939
Mike Finds Trouble (sl) Detective Fiction Weekly Aug 17 1940, etc.
Build Up for Murder (nv) Detective Fiction Aug 20 1941
Killer in the Clouds (ss) Detective Tales Mar 1951