As introduced to the world by B. Clay Moore and Steven Griffin, Byrd is an investigator in Hawaii, having shipped there from the mainland in 1953. The reason why wasn’t revealed in Byrd of Paradise, but is slipped in during a discussion between two gangsters on The Last Resort’s opening page. They have a problem at their resort, as do the Irish gangsters who’ve opened a resort along the beach. What they don’t know is that it’s the same problem. What they do know is neither wants the other there.

That situation has Byrd caught between both parties, both of whom are paying him, but neither of whom trusts him, and from that Moore weaves another very likeable period crime outing. Byrd flits from one resort to the other and back again, learning a little more each time, and by the explosive ending all the pieces have fallen into place.

While Griffin’s spotted on the art for a chapter by Nick Derington, the stylish 1950s look is maintained, not least because Griffin’s unique painted colour schemes are applied. It’s thoughtful beyond the call of duty, Byrd always distinctive in a Hawaiian shirt – he gets through a few of them – and blotchy watercolours providing light, shade and depth. They range from pastel to the deep red interior of the gangster’s offices, and render every page striking.

For some time there seems no reason for including Byrd of Paradise’s supporting cast other than they’re appealing characters, and when one of them serves a purpose other than a sounding board it’s something that could have been arranged differently. Also, there’s a never really explained supernatural intrusion, and that transforms Hawaiian Dick from a well conceived crime saga to something slightly more, which in the process makes it something slightly less. The Last Resort is very readable, but doesn’t match Byrd’s first outing.

As before, the book is considerably thickened by a wealth of enthusiastically presented material showing how The Last Resort came together. The series continues with Screaming Black Thunder.