Hollywood, May 1962:
Marilyn Monroe, the ultimate goddess of the silver screen, is at the peak of her popularity, internationally famous, universally admired by women and desired by men. But she’s also famously insecure and temperamental and is being pilloried in the press for delaying the production of Something’s Got to Give. When the head of Twentieth Century Fox threatens to cancel her contract, Monroe hires “PI to the stars” Nathan Heller to tap her phones and record calls that might prove to be important if there's a lawsuit.
Less than three months later, Monroe is dead from an overdose and, officially, a suicide. But Heller isn’t buying it. He knows that in the weeks before, the star was anything but suicidal. He knows, too, about her affair with JFK, about the secret connections between the Kennedys and the Mob…and about Bobby Kennedy’s blood feud with Jimmy Hoffa. In short, Heller knows too much to accept this bum rap on a beautiful, gifted woman loved by the whole world…including Nathan Heller.
So he investigates, though his efforts might enrage some very famous, very powerful, very dangerous people. But they can’t keep Heller from finding out the astounding truth behind Marilyn Monroe’s untimely demise…
2012 Shamus Award Nominee: Best Hardcover PI Novel
Pierce's Pick of the Week, August 15, 2011
RT Book Reviews Top Pick, August 2011
Publishers Weekly: Starred. "excellent" "Readers with a taste for hard-boiled roman à clef will hope that more Heller is in the offing."
Library Journal: "A whirlwind tour of the story surrounding Monroe's untimely demise...Chock-full of early 1960s lore, fashion, and gossip (Collins appends 14 pages of notes about his sources), the telling details seem integral to the plot...[Bye Bye, Baby works] on the strength of its narrative drive and its insightful character studies, such as the acid portrait of actor Peter Lawford as an indelible stain on the coattails of whoever brought him."
Kirkus Reviews: "This well-researched, crisply presented narrative shows that neither time nor age has cost Heller his appeal."
Romantic Times: "Sharp dialogue, perfect pacing, fascinating characters and the unraveling of a mystery that has always caught the public’s imagination makes for riveting fiction....Collins’ twist on this American mystery simply can’t be put down until the last page has been read."
AudioFile Magazine (Audiobook review): "A perfect match of author and performer results in a top-notch audio production." "Not only does Miller skillfully manage pacing, emphasis, and other central aspects of narrative performance, he simultaneously delivers natural-sounding impressions of iconic figures such as Frank Sinatra, John and Robert Kennedy, Hugh Hefner, Peter Lawford, the dazzling Monroe, and many others, often presenting several of these figures in the same scene with no apparent effort."
Leonard Maltin: "highly readable...I enjoyed every bit of it."
Bookgasm: "Bye Bye, Baby will have fans of [Collins] and Heller rejoicing, and is as fine an introduction for the uninitiated as any in the series."
Ed Gorman's Blog: "A great read and a fascinating look at a world that was quickly coming to an end."
Tom Piccirilli, The Cold Spot: "A gripping and fascinating read that takes us from the bright lights of Hollywood and deposits us in the alleyway shadows of shattered dreams." "[Bye Bye, Baby] is vivid, rich, evocative, and atmospheric."
Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: "[Bye Bye, Baby is] bound to be on a lot of award lists at year's end, and deservedly so." "[Collins] comes up with a believable and satisfying solution that may be be as close to truth as we'll ever get."
Pulp Fiction Reviews: "Collins’ genius is taking the dozens of convoluted records and few remaining pieces of evidence to describe one possible scenario on how Marilyn was murdered. In the end the story is a gut wrenching tragedy and perhaps [Collins's] finest book ever."
Bunny Hand, Mysterious Galaxy bookstore, for the San Diego Union-Tribune: Sept. 18 Recommended Read, "a real page turner that you will not forget any time soon."
Harriet Klausner: "an exciting look at the demise of Marilyn Monroe....the story line is fast-paced...with a real persona cast seemingly out of a Cecil B. DeMille movie"
ComicMix: "Nate Heller is back, and I’m a happy man."
Ed's Blog, Greenwich Library: "Make time for Bye Bye Baby. You won't be sorry."
The Cougar Print: "Full of controversy and interesting information, Bye Bye, Baby serves as the year’s best mystery release, [and] is the perfect pick for anyone who enjoys a read that will keep you hooked all the way through."
David Williams: “Perhaps the most interesting thing of all is the real humanity of the characters. That is one of the trademarks of the Heller novels. The celebrities are not just here to catch our interest, they have a realness about them.”
Mel Odom: "I was blown away by the amount of research that had gone into the book. Collins had evidently created a well-developed time-line of the days leading up to and following after the discovery of Marilyn dead in her bungalow home, and he wedges his scenes and conjectures seamlessly into the mix. You really can’t tell where the fiction begins and the truth ends.
Of course, that’s part of the mystique of Marilyn Monroe and this highly publicized suicide. Or murder. You will walk away from this novel knowing Marilyn Monroe better, and more than willing to believe she was murdered if you weren’t thinking that already."
Interview by J. Kingston Pierce for The Rap Sheet (part 2) — August 16, 2011
Talking Marilyn Monroe: Max Allan Collins Takes Readers Inside Of Bye Bye, Baby — RT Book Reviews, August 16, 2011
Nathan Heller Series:
True Detective | True Crime | The Million-Dollar Wound | Neon Mirage | Stolen Away | Carnal Hours | Blood and Thunder | Damned in Paradise | Flying Blind | Majic Man | Angel in Black | Chicago Confidential | Bye Bye, Baby | Target Lancer | Ask Not
Short Story Collections: Chicago Lightning | Triple Play