cover image Flying Blind: A Novel of Amelia Earhart

Flying Blind: A Novel of Amelia Earhart

Max Allan Collins. Dutton Books, $24.95 (343pp) ISBN 978-0-525-94311-2

Blending solid research with reasoned speculation and adding fictional enhancements has proven to be a highly successful formula for eight Nate Heller mysteries, which have explored fascinating events like the Lindbergh kidnapping (Stolen Away, 1991) and the assassination of Huey Long (Blood and Thunder, 1995). In 1970, Chicago-based PI Heller is enjoying semi-retirement in Florida when he's approached by a wealthy Texan interested in making yet another attempt to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. This narrative reveals the truth about the disappearance of the world's most famous aviatrix as only Heller knows it, having been hired in 1935 by Earhart's husband, G.P. Putnam, to provide security for one of Earhart's triumphant appearances (this one at Marshall Field's to launch a new line of clothing she had designed). Heller, who became friends with Earhart, agrees to help the curious Texan, and the result is an entertaining and provocative look at Earhart's career and personal life and the ""true"" story of her ill-fated round-the-world flight in 1937. As usual, Collins provides a final chapter that provides a useful bibliography of source materials and other credits. (Aug.)