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Bye Bye, Baby (Nathan Heller) Hardcover – August 16, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Nathan Heller (Book 13)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765321793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765321794
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,322,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“The Nate Heller historical crime novels consistently mesmerize with their carefully researched period detail —Noir Meets the History Channel.” —Booklist, starred review on Chicago Confidential

“With its fascinating period narrative and affecting inter-generational story, Road to Purgatory is a delight for fans of the original story and newcomers as well.” —Chicago Sun-Times

“The characters, historical and fictional, come delightfully to life... Collins paints a web of interconnections in a tightly woven plot and posits a radical solution to a crime that still resonates in literature and movies.” —Publishers Weekly on Angel in Black

About the Author

MAX ALLAN COLLINS is the bestselling author of crime fiction including Road to Perdition and the Perdition Saga, and the award-winning novel based on the film American Gangster. He has won two Shamus Awards for Nathan Heller novels. He also wrote the Dick Tracy comic strip for fifteen years, and is an independent filmmaker. He lives in Eastern Iowa.

More About the Author

Max Allan Collins is a New York Times bestselling author of original mysteries, a Shamus award winner and an experienced author of movie adaptions and tie-in novels. His graphic novel ROAD TO PERDITION was made into a major motion picture by Tom Hanks's production company, Playtone.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Excellent research as in all of Collin's works.
James M. Hegarty
Bye Bye, Baby is a great addition to Max Allan Collins' historical mystery series staring Nate Heller.
T. Miller
This book covers times I've lived through, and reading it was like reliving those days.
Neal C. Reynolds

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Scott Schiefelbein VINE VOICE on June 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have to fess up: this is my first Max Allan Collins novel, so I cannot claim to be familiar with this famous, well-lauded writer. Perhaps that gives me more freedom to review this book, perhaps it means that I'm missing key references, but let us press on.

Nate Heller is a hard-boiled detective working in perhaps the most hard-boiled town in America - early 1960s Hollywood. This is the Tinseltown where gangsters rubbed elbows with politicians and entertainers under the watchful and knowing eyes of the LAPD, FBI, and even CIA. The novel opens with Heller giving his teenage son what may be the coolest birthday present ever: an invitation to watch on set as Marilyn Monroe splashes around in the nude for the film, "Something's Got to Give." Given that most American men would have given their right arm to watch Ms. Monroe cavort, this scene says much about Heller's status in Hollywood - the guy is on the inside, where all the dark secrets are laid bare.

And are there ever secrets. Marilyn Monroe was the focal point of the most fascinating triangle in American history, where politics, Hollywood, and the mob came together as never before. The politics side was filled by the Kennedy boys, Jack and Bobby, both of whom were smitten both with the glamour of Hollywood in general and Marilyn's charms in particular. Hollywood was also in a silver age, as Sinatra's Rat Pack dominated the screen and the gossip. And the mob was there, with Sam Giancana and others lurking about, thanks to their various favors for the Kennedy campaign and the CIA. Heller, it seems, has done favors for them all, which makes him the perfect go-between.

Things are coming to a head. Monroe is feuding with her film studio, Fox, and the studio is mounting a fierce smear campaign.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eric Mays on June 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have always had a fondness Nathan Heller mysteries. I think it's Max Collins' rich history lessons. And the man always captures the "feel" of the decade he's writing in. That's what I find most impressive. In Bye Bye Baby Heller is immersed in Hollyweirdland - a swap off from his home city of Chicago, where he served as a cop prior to the private dick biz. Amongst the Hollywood elite, Heller focuses on his "friend", Marilyn Monroe, who's garnering quite a lot of interest...and not all of it good. So far, the Kennedys, Jimmy Hoffa, and Frank Sinatra all have a vesting interest in the diva. You can already see where this is going, no?

Obviously, this is focused on the dramatic death of Ms. Monroe, and a litany of conspiracy theories that fall shortly thereafter. Max Allan Collins has fun with the work, he tosses a few red herrings in here and there, and he keeps us guessing to the very end. What's amazing is that it's all so plausible. The research pages alone (the Author's Thanks) span about 12 pages. Oy!

In the end, Collins captures the vibe of the '60's and late '50's with Bye Bye Baby. What's more, if you're not a follower of the series, you can jump right into the fray and not feel like you've missed a beat. It's good, and probably one of the best of the series.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Until Bye Bye, Baby I had never read a Collins book. Detective novels are usually not on my list to read. But, in looking for something entertaining and different, I decided to give PI Heller a go. Consequently, I started this novel with some trepidation. Ultimately, I was very satisfied with the book.

Although the book is a work of fiction, it felt very plausible. It has an extensive basis in history. The story was so interesting that I found myself looking up Marilyn Monroe facts on the Internet. Since many of the real life players kept their true names and general roles in the novel, additional information only added to the fun.

A significant part of the beginning of the book is devoted to getting to know Heller and Monroe - their relationships, past affiliations and, of course, setting the scene for a questionable death. There are many big players: JFK, RFK, Sinatra, Lawson, DeMaggio and a host of others. Even though they all had such public lives, Collins does an excellent job of making their characters and the dialogue fit well into the story. Detective Heller is like a cross between a wise guy Joe Friday and Tom Selleck: smart, polished, smart mouthed, and gets all the women.

The second half of the book is about uncovering what "really" happened. It is fast paced, politically charged (of course) and not entirely predictable given the well known theories and conjectures that circulate about Marilyn's death already.

Not a fan of some bigger than life PI? No worries. Not a fan of historical fiction set in recent years? Not a problem. Not convinced? Neither was I. Until Bye Bye, Baby.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave Wilde on November 20, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bye Bye Baby by Max Allan Collins

Collins is a prolific writer who has penned dozens of novels, comic strips, and graphic novels. He is well known for penning the Dick Tracy comics during the eighties and the Ms. Tree comic series as well. He also wrote the graphic novel Road to Perdition, which was developed into a major motion picture in 2002. He is known to be huge fan of Mickey Spillane and collaborated with Spillane on a comic series called Mike Danger and, after Spillane died, completed several unfinished works by Spillane, including Dead Street and the Big Bang. However, Collins' most ambitious work by far is his Nathan Heller series. Nathan Heller is Collins' fictional creation, but Collins has placed Heller throughout the history of the twentieth century alongside Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Eliot Ness, and Huey Long.

This is the second Collins book that I have read, the first being part of the Mallory series (No Cure For Death), which I highly recommend. This book (Bye Bye Baby) is a brilliant piece of work. Although prior to picking up the book, had I been told the subject matter, I would have assumed it couldn't be pulled off. What does Collins pull off in this book? He traces the last days of the Blonde Bombshell herself, Marilyn Monroe, one of the greatest icons of the twentieth century. Although Marilyn Monroe made only a few movies, she was and still is one of the most important movie stars ever. She died young and, like others who have tragically died young (James Dean, Jim Morrison, etc.), her legend has grown and grown.

This is a book like no other I have ever read. It injects Collins fictional creation, Nathan Heller, into the life of Marilyn Monroe, as her friend and lover.
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