Paul Shaw

Created by Mark Sadler
Pseudonym of Dennis Lynds

“Brass knuckles and bottles in the drawer are out. We’re Madison Avenue, not Tenth Avenue…”
— Thayer explains the firm’s image…

“We all do what we must, even though we don’t know why…”
— Paul philosophizes

Tall, handsome, well-dressed PAUL SHAW is every inch the polished NYC corporate gumshoe. He works out of a classy Madison Avenue office, and lives in an expensive penthouse apartment on Central Park South with his charming wife Maureen, a successful actress in stage, screen and television.

Paul’s a partner in Thayer, Shaw and Delaney, a growing concern that specializes in serving corporate clients, be it industrial espionage or domestic investigations. It only employs three operatives (Thayer and Shaw in New York, Delaney in the L.A. office). They “farm out much of the detail on routine jobs to small-timers: window peppers, buggers, credit checkers, door-knob rattlers, researcher, repo men, process servers, and a host of other loners.” In other words, they keep their hands clean, but aren’t afraid of bending a few corners.

Or at least try to. As Paul admits, “Perhaps that’s why I like being a detective. I work, day in and day out, with the worst in men. It makes it easier to face the world without surprise.”

Just in case, though, Paul carries a Light Colt Agent, with a two-inch barrell, in a shoulder holster.

Paul was born around 1940, and served in Vietnam, where he was captured by the Viet Cong, although he later escaped. Upon his return Stateside, he went to Stanford, and had dreams of becoming an actor or playwright. It was at Stanford that he met Maureen, whom he married in 1962. Somewhere along the line, he fell into private investigation work because, as he put it, “(Maureen) had the talent. We needed money.”

Around 1965, he joined with John Thayer and Dick Delaney to form the firm, and he’s been there ever since. Their New York office is classy and efficient, the “furnishing Danish modern, and the secretary/receptionist Finnish blonde.” The theory is that clients will “see an office the same as all the other offics where they have spent their lives.”


Author Mark Sadler is actually a pseudonym of Dennis Lynds, who also wrote as Michael Collins, William Arden, John Crowe and Carl Dekker, as well as Mark Sadler. His most famous creation is probably one-armed P.I. Dan Fortune, but he’s also found time to create PI’s Kane Jackson and “Slot Machine” Kelly. He also wrote many of the Mike Shayne short stories for Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine under the house monicker of Brett Halliday. Like all his work, the Paul Shaw series is worth hunting down. recommended.


  • “Mark Sadler …writes …with intelligently controlled ferocity and speed.”
    Ross Macdonald



Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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