"Alan Logan has spun an outstanding body of work in Self-Styled. There are countless twists and turns that are fine-tuned and precisely placed throughout this read. He is a master at planting seeds to germinate before he moves on to the next turn of events. Only when those previous seeds have blossomed, does he cultivate them into the growing plot of the complexities of the multi-faceted dynamics of the quintessential conman of the century, Dr. Robert Vernon Spears. This was a fascinating read because Mr. Logan has done a superb job of spoon-feeding his audience with just the right amount of information that took little effort for the reader to turn the page and consider the next diabolical set of twists and turns con artist Spears was capable of delivering. In my opinion, this story would bode well as a mini-series in today’s culture because there are far too many plot twists for a two-hour movie to do the story justice. Fascinating read and admirable delivery Mr. Logan!"
Quill says: "Self-Styled is a page-turning, fire-breathing, fascinating account of undoubtedly one of the most infamous conmen in our history."
"Packed with stunning twists and larger-than-life characters, Self-Styled is the fascinating true crime story of a huckster and the plane crash that exposed his secret life."
"The people involved in the mystery are as diverse and bizarre as Spears himself. They include Spears’s loving, clueless wife; Al, Spears’s missing friend who had a mysterious past of his own; Al’s attention-hungry ex-wife; and a reporter who will do anything to secure the scoop of the decade: Spears’s confession. Each character is heard through quotes from their letters and interviews, as well as through educated guesses regarding their thoughts and emotions during key moments.The narrative is interspersed with fascinating glimpses into 1950s Americana that play a role in the story, from popular cars to the inner workings of the underground abortion business. The epilogue outlines Logan’s research methods and the rationales behind them, with links to the many references used to piece together Spears’s life, including several incidents that investigators missed at the time. Photographs of Spears, his associates, his victims, and his hideouts further bring his world to life... It includes a sense of hope that the mystery of that fateful flight—if not the mystery of the man who might have brought the plane down—may someday be solved."
"Alan C. Logan’s excellent book tells the true story of a mysterious plane crash and the prominent man implicated in the disaster. Relying on old news accounts, interviews, genealogy, prison and other public records, Logan has reconstructed Spears’ life (he died in 1969). It's as amazing as anything a screenwriter could have concocted.
The author has done an excellent job researching the facts and assembling a cogent, detailed narrative filled with colorful characters and all manner of twists. Sixty years on, the story of Flight 967 and Robert Spears has been largely forgotten. Logan's effort will appeal to mid-century history and aviation enthusiasts, but more so to anyone who enjoys a good mystery"
"Making extensive use of public records, Logan uncovers a veritable gold mine of grift and deftly traces Spears’ post–World War II transformation. Spears’ picaresque journey makes for compelling reading...this vivid account effectively captures the many reinventions of a daring grifter"