General Articles and Checklists
Addenda to CRIME FICTION IV
Ed Gorman Rambles
Book Review Columns
question or a
mystery and detective fiction that you would like answered or
discussed, send it along.
Projects of Interest
Allen J. Hubin
Victor A. Berch,
Ed Lynskey &
© 2003-2006 by Steve
rights reserved to contributors.
Steve Lewis, Books
since October 17, 2005.
courtesy of www.digits.net.
The Crime Fiction
Please use the links to the left to help you find your way
around this site, which is constantly growing.
NEW TO THE
ON-LINE EDITION OF MYSTERY*FILE -
Jan 18. AN
OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT. I may as well state the obvious,
that in spite of my using the word “hiatus” to describe its status, you
may as well assume that M*F On-Line will
not be coming back. That’s the bad news. The good news, or
at least I hope that it’s good news, is that since late December, M*F has morphed
itself into a blog. Please check it out at www.mysteryfile.com/blog/.
Over the past two or three weeks I’ve been posting
entries on an almost daily basis. It’s been like playing
with a new toy. I’m sure that the thrill will start to wear off
eventually, and the frequency of posts is likely to decrease, but at
the moment, I’m happy to say that I’m still here, even if in a somewhat
more subdued form. There no longer will be the long articles I
enjoyed doing, for example, but doing them also began to take its toll,
as I’m sure my comments below have already implied.
Everything on the site will remain as is.
Nothing has changed, nothing is going away, nor am I either, not for a
while. It’s good to be back.
Sept 10. SITE
STATUS. I’ve been delaying this decision as long as
possible, but since it has to be made, there’s no reason to put it off
any longer. I’m not shutting down, but M*F On-Line, as
it’s existed over the past year or so, is going on hiatus for the time
It’s not that I’ve run out of material. Far
from it. I’ve simply run out of time to do the editing,
formatting and uploading the many, many articles that have been sent to
me or that I have access to. Far too many distractions have come
along during the last month or so, as you may have noticed: minor
health problems, family obligations, chores around the house, some
long-term projects I’ve been meaning to do – they’ve all been part of
the balancing act, and the lack of time to do M*F, and to do
it right, is what finally prevailed.
There are some smaller articles and some emails from
readers that will eventually get posted. I do intend to keep
doing both my reviews and the bibliographic commentaries I’ve been
including with them, and you will see them here. I enjoy working
on checklists of all forms, created either by me or someone else, and
as they come to completion, you will see them here also.
One of the projects I referred to above is one that
I’m extraordinarily pleased to be a part of. I will be putting
online the Addenda that Allen J. Hubin is continuing to accumulate for Crime Fiction IV:
Revised Edition. A publishing date for neither the book
(another five or six volumes) nor the CD version has been announced,
but the corrections and additions have never ceased coming in, even
without going beyond the closing date of the year 2000, and they
probably never will.
These addenda will appear online at www.crimefictioniv.com.
Al is doing the entries, and I am doing the posting. Links to
appropriate sites on the Internet will be included, as will cover
images and occasional photos of authors and/or detectives, or actors
portraying them. I’ve only begun, but you’re certainly free to
take a look at any time and (I hope) to stop by often.
A huge thanks go to all of the contributors and
supporters of M*F
On-Line, but especially the people whose names you see at the
box to the left, and I’ll rearrange them into alphabetical order:
Victor Berch, Ed Gorman, Al Hubin, Marv Lachman, Ed Lynskey, and Bill
Pronzini. And everyone else who wrote me an article or sent me
columns, allowed me the use of material, emailed me and/or thanked me
or complimented me, I thank you. I couldn’t have done it without
you, nor would I have wanted to.
Sept 9. MIGNON G. EBERHART.
Richard Aylesworth has compiled what looks to be a very complete
bibliography of this classic American mystery writer, including all of
her novels, novelettes and short stories. And since Richard has
included the links to two other sites where Ms. Eberhart’s fiction is
discussed, I shall do the same. The first is a chatty overview of
her career by D.
L. Browne; the second is the Golden Age
of Detection wiki page for her, which includes Mike Grost at his
best in analyzing her work and putting it into a proper perspective.
Sept 5. READERS FORUM. Two emails
received today may be of interest. In the first, Jamie Sturgeon
provides some details of an Native American detective who appeared in
two mysteries written by Alexander Knox under the name of John
Crozier. (I reviewed The
Disappearance of Archibald Forsyth, which he wrote as Ian Alexander
early last year.)
In the second, Toni Johnson-Woods
(see below) has some questions about Carter Brown that she would like
answers to. Even if you’re only a fan of his work, and not an
expert on the mechanics of the publishing business at the time, your
input is invited.
Sept 3. AUSTRALIAN PULP FICTION.
If you’re of a certain age and literary persuasion, you will recall
with pleasure the name of Carter Brown and the seemingly hundreds of
books published under his name in the US in the 1950s and 60s, mostly
from Signet, and many with covers by noted artist Robert McGinnis.
Carter Brown was not his real name, as most of us
know now, but how many of you are familiar with his contemporaries in
the Australian pulp fiction factories of the fifties? Crime and
mystery writers Alan G. Yates, Gordon Clive Bleeck, Marc Brody, Larry
Kent, K. T. McCall, and the conditions under which they wrote – all are
the subject matter of this two-part article by Dr. Toni Johnson-Woods
of the University of Queensland, and one you should not miss.
Aug 31. RICHARD MATHESON. If you
can state with any degree of authority in which genre the books of
Matheson should be considered to belong, then you haven’t read Richard
Matheson. Mysteries, westerns, horror fiction, science fiction,
fantasy, timeless love stories and more, often in the same book.
In this article reprinted from Filmfax
magazine, Ed Gorman describes his lifelong love affair with the works
of Richard Matheson, then interviews the author himself.
Aug 30. FIRST YOU READ, THEN YOU WRITE.
Mike Nevins’ regular column of commentary on mystery fiction and
film. In this installment Mike waxes nostalgic over TV
detective dramas of his youth (and mine). Prominently mentioned are Perry Mason, Man Against Crime, Boston Blackie, Naked City and M Squad, with many diversions in
Aug 28. RAFFLES. The stories about
Raffles, “the gentleman burglar,” and Bunny, his devoted accomplice,
are before my time, and perhaps yours as well, but the tales of their
exploits will not be fogotten by anyone who’s read them. Take a
trip back in time with mystery novelist Mary Reed,
as she retells their history, and how redemption came at the end.
Aug 27. GORMANIA. Ed Gorman
wonders which are better, old books or new?
Aug 27. JAMES
M. CAIN and PETER CHEYNEY. Two
bibliographies by Vladimir Matuschenko, a Russian fan of hard-boiled
one (Cain) who has been covered on this website
earlier, the other of an author whose books I have never read,
Peter Cheyney. Both bibliographies are in English and Russian, as
are several others also on Vladimir’s website (James Hadley
Chase, Thomas B. Dewey, Dashiell Hammett, John D. MacDonald, Carter
Brown and a handful of others). Recommended!
Aug 18. LESLIE CHARTERIS.
One of the best websites devoted to a single mystery author, bar
none. If there’s anything you’d like to know about Simon Templar,
aka The Saint, you will find it here, whether it be be film, TV or
books and magazines, no to mention a peek into the life of the author
himself – whose real name was ... ?
Aug 17. THE RAP SHEET. For the
finest in up-to-date news and detailed commentary on mystery fiction
and its practitioners on a nearly daily basis, you cannot do better
than this website, which recently celebrated its 200th posting.
J. Kingston Pierce is the editor, ably assisted by collaborators
Stephen Miller, Anthony Rainone and Linda L. Richards. (I thought
I’d recommended this blog long ago, but not so. My error.)
Aug 17. MURDER CLINIC. The checklist of the
detective tales adapted for broadcast on Mutual’s early 1940s radio
series has been revised and added to once again. Also included
are links to mp3 versions of the six episodes known to exist, plus
links to e-texts of stories in the public domain and available on the
Aug 13. MacKINLAY KANTOR. You may
or may not have known it before now, but MacKinlay Kantor, winner of a
Prize for Andersonville in
1956, began his career writing for the pulp detective magazines.
In this article reprinted from The
Armchair Detective, Spring 1997, John Apostolou gives us an
inside look into Kantor’s overall career as a mystery fiction
writer. A newly revised bibliography follows, along with the
usual assortment of cover images.
Aug 13. GIL BREWER. Gil Brewer’s
estate has begun a website which, while it appears to be in its early
stages – a link to “Gallery” is currently non-operational, for example
– may contain information found there and nowhere else.
Here on M*F
you can find our own earlier tribute to
Brewer, consisting of a profile in
two parts. In part one, Bill Pronzini takes a long look at
this noir author’s life, which ended tragically far too soon. Be
for a large dose of reality when you read this, if you haven’t
already. Part two is a
of Brewer’s novels by Lynn Munroe, complete
with many cover images.
Also highly recommended is a Gil Brewer website
maintained by George Tuttle. The bonus provided here is that the
detailed bibliography put together by George also includes Brewer’s
short fiction – as does the estate website, in a slightly different
Aug 11. BILL
CRIDER’S COVER GALLERIES. While I was away, Bill Crider was busily
adding two more additions to his various displays of paperback cover
art, one devoted to John
D. MacDonald (101 photos), the other to Harry
Whittington (152 more). If you haven’t seen these slide shows
yet, you definitely have a treat in store.
Aug 11. CORNELL WOOLRICH. On July
14th, as part of a series on Underappreciated Literature on New York
Public Radio, Francis M. Nevins was interviewed about Cornell Woolrich,
the man whom most people consider to be the founding father of noir
fiction. The link will take you to an audio recording of the
event, about 18 minutes long.
Aug 8. SITE
STATUS. Being away for five days was great, but that
always means catch-up when I return. There are quite a few other
matters that are going to require my attention over the next few days,
so the chances that any major articles will be posted this week are
rather slim. Do peek back every once in a while, as some pieces
are very close to completion, but I’ll probably take the rest of the
week off as part of a continued vacation from online activity.
Aug 7. Attendance at this year’s Pulpcon, I have been told, was
down slightly, and some of the dealers said their sales were off again
this year, but there seemed to be considerably more activity and buzz
in the room this year than either of the last two. In any case, I
met a lot of friends I see only once or twice a year and made some new
ones, spent all of the my money in the first hour that the dealers’
room was open – or in other words had an all-out wonderful time.
Dayton – or the little I had the chance to see of it – seems to
have been sprucing itself up a bit as well.
Aug 2. I will be leaving in a couple of hours for beautiful
downtown Dayton OH and this year’s Pulpcon festival. I expect to
see many of you there. In the meantime, however, it also
means that there will be nothing new to be seen here until Sunday at
the earliest, upon my return.
Aug 2. MURDER CLINIC. Thanks to Karl Schadow,
whose name has been added to the byline, a huge amount of new
information has been added to the log of this Old-Time Radio
series. It’s still a work in progress, but at the moment it
appears that we may be down to only one missing title in the year plus
a few months that the program was on the air.
Aug 1. MARILYN WALLACE. Another
author has left us. Marilyn Wallace was the author of a number of
mystery and suspense novels, beginning with A Case of Loyalties in 1986, the
first of three books in her Sergeants Carlos Cruz and Jay Goldstein
series, set in San Francisco. In the 1990s, however, she was best
known the editor of the groundbreaking “Sisters in Crime”
anthologies. Lately Marilyn had begun a series of cozy mysteries
involving gourd art under a new name, Maggie Bruce, the first being The Gourdmother (Berkley, 2005). One of the first bloggers
to remember her online is Sandra
Scoppettone, a remindful tribute to friends and friendship.
Aug 1. GORMANIA. Ed Gorman talks
about the latest offering from Stark House Press, a two-fer by Harry
Aug 1. THE
STATS. In July, two more records were set for M*F On-Line.
There were well over 5000 visitors making a total of almost 8000
visits, both up about 10% over June’s record totals. No single
webpage dominated the popularity charts. Ignoring as usual my own
Fatal Kiss reviews, there was little significant difference between
each of the pages in the Top Ten, which were: Josef Hoffmann’s article
on Dan J.
Marlowe; Ed Lynskey’s interview with Dorothy Uhnak;
the Murder Clinic
checklist; Gary Warren Niebuhr on Honey
West; the Gothics
paperback checklist; Ed Gorman’s tribute to
Mickey Spillane; followed closely by Steve Holland's Challenge to
the Jury, also on Spillane;
J. Kingston Pierce’s birthday tribute to James M. Cain;
Bill Pronzini on Gil
Brewer; and Marv Lachman on TV
Mysteries. My thanks to all of the contributors to M*F, whether in the top 10 or not;
and an even bigger thank you, if possible, to all of the visitors who
keep coming back.
July 31. READERS FORUM. Recently
received from CuChullaine O’Reilly has been a
pair of email letters about Steve Dodge, aka Stephen Becker, prompted
by Gary Lovisi’s short article
on the only novel the author did for Gold
Medal, Shanghai Incident.
July 28. FATAL KISS. Most of my
time this week has been on adding a wealth of information to the Murder Clinic
page, thanks to Karl Schadow, and we’re not done yet. To take a
break from the major action, I’ve added several reviews of books I read
not too long ago:
Kurland, The Empress of India.
[This includes an annotated bibliography of all of the author’s
Augustyn, Gotham by Gaslight.
[A graphic novel in which Batman meets Jack the Ripper.]
Clevely, The Case of the
Criminal’s Daughter. [A Sexton Blake novel from
July 26. MEN’S ACTION PAPERBACKS. This is
a photo page spin-off from Bill
Crider’s blog, and I think I may as
well let him describe it: “You can blame this on Vince Keenan if you want to.
He’s the one who brought up The Liquidator.
So the other day I started scanning some covers from the old men's
action series books. I don’t have my copies in any particular
don’t even have the series together, so what I scanned is just a random
sampling. The results are here,
and you can watch a slideshow if you’re so inclined. You’ve got
Stryker, your Striker, your Ryker, and even a vengeful merman.
these days, if I get inspired again, I’ll scan some more. And
me, there are many more. Whatever happened to the guys who bought
things by the truckload?”
And I thought I was the only one who collected these
books. They’re all in Crime
Fiction IV, by the way, even (marginally) Attar the Merman #1,
by Robert Graham.
Response was so good that Bill posted even more covers here
(July 28). These are so much fun to look at that M*F is inclined not to mention that
Bill is 65 today, but not that inclined. (Bill has beaten me to
the big millstone, but only by five months.)
July 25. MARGERY ALLINGHAM. I
haven’t read enough of the Albert Campion stories to be familiar with
him. From the few I’ve read, he’s always been something of an
enigma to me, not that his adventures weren’t interesting. Doing
some research on the Murder Clinic
radio program (see below) I needed some facts about
his creator, Margery Allingham, and I came across this website
sponsored by The Margery Allingham Society. I didn’t find what I
was looking for, but there’s enough there that I was kept reading for a
while. Lots of
useful information on the author, her husband, Youngman Carter, and Mr.
July 25. GORMANIA. Letters to Ed
inspired by last night’s column.
July 24. GORMANIA. Jack Warden died
last Thursday, July 19th at the age of 85, one of the great character
actors of all time, says Ed. He also dissects the latest issue of
Clues and ends
with a quick comment or two on the old Warner Brothers TV shows from
July 24. MURDER CLINIC was a short-lived
radio series that lasted but a year and a few months, running only from
July 1942 to October 1943. The program is not even mentioned in
most of the standard OTR reference books, but what was offered to the
listener each and every week the series was on the air was a
mind-boggling array of stories by such Golden Age mystery writers as
Ngaio Marsh, Carter Dickson
(John Dickson Carr), Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, G. K.
Chesterton, Jacques Futrelle, Stuart Palmer, and (as you will see)
many, many more.
Victor Berch and I have compiled a nearly
complete checklist of the series, including the titles of many
stories never known to have been adapted before. Also part of
this broadcast log are the authors, the
detectives, and in most cases the original appearances of the
July 22. SITE
STATUS. A number of articles are in the works and are
inching their way along to completion, more or less
simultaneously. When these are finished and have been posted,
probably within the next week or so, several other projects of a rather
massive nature are on the schedule and will, unfortunately, divert my
day-to-day attention away from M*F On-Line as
it has developed over the past few months. These projects are,
however, totally compatible with the content now contained on the Mystery*File website. When
the time comes, you will learn more, and you will read it here first.
July 20. GORMANIA. While watching
the dark post-war Fred Zinnemann film ACT
OF VIOLENCE on TCM yesterday, Ed found much to admire, not the
least of which was the performance of Mary Astor.
July 19. MICKEY SPILLANE: You, the Jury.
Panned by the critics and loved by his readers, Mickey Spillane was
perhaps the most controversial mystery writer of all time, even in his
lifetime. Steve Holland presents the evidence on either side of
the divide. When the prosecution rests and the defense has no
further rebuttal, it is left to you, as a member of the jury, to
carefully consider your verdict. (Disclaimer: Some small points
of various plots may be disclosed.)
July 17. GORMANIA. The Mick Is Dead.
July 17. MICKEY SPILLANE (1918-2006).
One of the giants of mystery and detective fiction has left us.
If you were reading private eye stories in the 1950s, as I was, you
probably remember exactly when and where it was when you had your first
dose of Mike Hammer and mystery fiction changed forever. (The
eighth grade cloakroom of McKinley
School. I was twelve, and the memory is as clear to me as though
yesterday.) I’m not sure how long the first link I found will
stay online, but here on M*F,
the early works of Mickey Spillane were covered briefly in the checklist
of Dutton’s line of Guilt Edged mysteries. The rest of the covers
be found here.
July 16. FATAL KISS. After taking a
short vacation this weekend, I took the opportunity this evening to
upload my reviews and other commentary, often bibliographic in nature,
on books that I read earlier this year. I am far from catching
up, but I am trying!
Rawlings [G. T. Fleming-Roberts], The
Fletcher & Donald Bain, Murder
She Wrote: A Palette For Murder.
Mackintosh, Balloon Girl.
Simon, California Roll.
July 12. DOROTHY UHNAK. The
Edgar-winning author of many works of crime and mystery fiction and a
former New York City transit policewoman, died on Saturday, July 1st,
in Greenport, NY. According to her obituary in the New
York Times, she was born Dorothy Goldstein next door to the 46th
precinct on Ryer Avenue in the Bronx on April 24, 1930, three years
earlier than her previously assumed birthdate, making her 76 at the
time of her death. One of the earliest
articles posted on M*F
was Ed Lynskey’s overview of her career and an interview he did with
her in 2004.
July 11. PETER RAWLINSON (1918-2006).
the online edition of the Telegraph,
the Lord Rawlinson of Ewell died on June 28th at the age of
87. During his lifetime he had held every important legal
office in the British government except that of Lord Chancellor,
including serving as Solicitor-General under Harold Macmillan and then
in Edward Heath’s cabinet. Of interest to mystery fans is
that fact that he also wrote a number of crime novels, most of them in
the rather obvious category of Legal Thriller. The first link
will take you to an annotated bibliography of his work here on Mystery*File, the second to a more
July 10. DAN J. MARLOWE. In this
article, Josef Hoffmann describes the relationship between Dan J.
Marlowe, Al Nussbaum and Earl Drake. What’s the connection?
You will have to read to find out. A bibliography follows, then
an installment of Bill Crider’s
Medal Corner, featuring none other than Dan J. Marlowe.
July 10. PHOENIX PRESS. An overview
by Bill Pronzini of the mystery output of Phoenix Press, the
acknowledged leader of the lending library publishers between 1936 and
1952. This article, entitled “The Saga of the Risen Phoenix,” is
excerpted with permission from Gun in Cheek: A Study
Crime Fiction and is the beginning of a new project to be
announced in more detail shortly.
July 9. GERALD TOMLINSON (1933-2006).
The author of one historical mystery novel, On a Field of Black (Nellin, 1980)
as well as several true crime books, died on Saturday, June 24th.
A long-time freelance editor and baseball researcher, Gerald Tomlinson
also wrote many short stories for magazines such as Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock, and Mike Shayne,
beginning in the mid-1970s.
July 7. IN THE FRAME. In this, the latest
installment of Vince Keenan’s column on books and film, he discusses KISS KISS BANG BANG, based on a
novel by Brett Halliday and recently released on DVD, and two noir
movies shown by Eddie Muller in June at the Seattle
July 5. JAMES M. CAIN. Recently
posted on The Rap
Sheet blog (July 1st) was a short but very effective tribute by J.
Kingston Pierce to the author of Double
Indemnity and The Postman
Always Rings Twice on the occasion of his birthday, 114 years
earlier. That salute is now also available here, along with a
bibliography, a comprehensive gallery of Postman covers as they have
over the years, plus reviews of four of Cain’s novels by Max Allan
Collins and Bill Pronzini, reprinted with permission from 1001 Midnights.
July 1. CAROL BRAHMS & S. J. SIMON.
Reprinted from CADS #44,
October 2003, is an article on Inspector Quill, the series detective
created by this collaborative pair of mystery authors. Nearly
forgotten today, the four books in the series were prime examples of
the comic mystery novel during the 1930s and 1940s, aka the
Golden Age of Detection.
July 1. THE
STATS. M*F On-Line set
a couple of records in June, due in large part, I am sure, to Ed
Gorman’s very kind comments about the site in the August issue of EQMM, which I have just seen
today. There were nearly 5000 unique visitors
making a total of just over 7000 visits, both all-time highs. The
most popular article by far was the one on Norbert Davis by
Josef Hoffmann, with nearly 1200 readers. Runners-up, excluding
my own pages of Fatal
Kiss reviews and commentaries, were the pieces on Honey
West, the Gothics
paperback checklist, Wade Miller,
mysteries in Funeral
Keene, the checklist of Native American
detectives, and the John D. MacDonald
interview. There was little significant difference between the
last five or six and the next five or six not included, but at least
for June, here’s what you were looking at.
June 28. ELLIOT CHAZE. Thanks go to
Bill Denton, moderator of the Rara-Avis group on Yahoo, for
discovering this website dedicated to the author of the Gold Medal
Wings Has My Angel, considered by some to be a classic of
hard-boiled fiction. While this is the book that everyone thinks
of whenever Chaze’s name comes up, Crime
lists four additional crime novels he wrote, all relatively unknown and
them taking place in the southern US. For more information,
including a short biography and a
complete bibliography of his work, this site is well worth looking into.
June 27. FIRST YOU READ, THEN YOU WRITE.
Mike Nevins’ regular column of commentary on mystery fiction and
film. Names prominently mentioned in this latest installment
include Edward G. Ulmer, Herschel Bernardi, John Creasey, Joan Kahn,
Cornell Woolrich, and Thomas C. Renzi’s book on the latter.
June 26. JAMES McCLURE. More bad
news. The author of the police procedural series featuring the
marvelous pairing of South African detectives Lieutenant Tromp
Kramer, of the Trekkersburg Murder and Robbery Squad, and his
assistant, Bantu Detective Sergeant Mickey Zondi, died on June
17th. Follow the link to a brief tribute, consisting of reviews
of two of the books in the series, a bibliography, a short excerpt from
one of the novels, and as a bonus, as many cover images as I've been
able to come up with.
June 24. MAGNUM, P. I. Thank
goodness for DVDs. There is not a single current television
series that I am paying any attention to. For me, it’s
Classic Movies or nothing at all. But over the past few days I
watching episodes of the first season of Magnum and enjoying them
immensely. The lack of logos on the screen, no commercial breaks
that go on forever, and definitely no animated pop-up plugs for what’s
coming up next also have a lot to do with it, but so do Tom Selleck’s
goofy boyish charm and the scowling looks of Magnum’s constant nemesis,
Higgins, played by the utterly masterful John Hillerman, as the
steadfast guardian of Robin Masters’ lush
Hawaiian estate. Covering twenty year old TV detective shows is
of M*F’s coverage isn’t
it? No slippery slope here. The link will lead you to a
jam-packed with loads of info, cast listings, photos, covers of TV Guide, and not to mention loads
of other links, even one which will allow you to listen to the theme
song, if you haven’t heard it in a while.
June 23. NERO WOLFE. It seems more
difficult than it should be to move around this site dedicated to Rex
Stout’s larger-than-life most famous character, sponsered by The Wolfe
Pack, but certainly there’s plenty to see and take note of, so please
June 22. PATRICIA GUIVER. Sadly,
I have just learned of the recent death
of the author of the Delilah Doolittle “Pet Detective” books.
Here is a bibliography of her
work, along with some comments about her by Meredith Phillips, editor
at Perseverance Press, where her final novel was published and the
June 21. MICHAEL SHAYNE. There were
loads of top-notch fictional private eyes in the 1950s and 60s, and
another candidate for “favorite” is this tough, red-headed character
created by author Brett Halliday (not his real name). I was
directed to this website dedicated to all things Shaynian by James Reasoner, who has
written or co-written more of private eye Mike Shayne’s adventures than
anyone still living, if my count is correct.
June 20. IT’S
A MYSTERY. Among her other mystery-related activities,
Elizabeth Foxwell hosts a radio program heard on Mondays from 11A to
Noon ET on WEBR in
Fairfax, VA. Among recent guests have been Robert Barnard, Linda
Barnes, Robert B. Parker, Dana Stabenow, Sarah Graves and many many
others. Even better, if you follow the link to her website, her
interviews with all of the above are available on MP3 and can be
listened to at your convenience. Highly recommended, especially
if you have all evening to spare!
June 20. RICHARD S. PRATHER. The
link will lead you to a website dedicated to the creator of Shell
Scott, one of America’s favorite private eyes in the 1950s and
only will you find what appears to be a definitive bibliography and an
interview with Mr. Prather himself, but you can also download a
Scott story which has never been collected in book form.
June 17. G. T. FLEMING-ROBERTS.
Added to the previous coverage of this prolific writer for the pulp
magazines is an interview
with his wife, who later remarried after his death, conducted by Albert
Tonik in 1988. Then reprinted from the pages of Writer’s Digest from May 1943 is an
article on plotting called “The Turn
from the Trite,” by Mr. Fleming-Roberts himself.
June 17. NORBERT DAVIS. An
ongoing investigation and a close scrutiny on the part of John
Apostolou have caused a serious revision in our thinking
about the five
with the recently posted article by Josef Hoffman on pulp writer
Norbert Davis. Four of the five photos are from 1936, we now
believe, suggesting that the woman with Davis in the car is his first
wife, Frances. The fifth photo was taken later, probably in the
late 1940, making it the only one in which Norbert’s second wife Nancy
appears. (All five photos came during various visits by the
Davises with fellow writer Dwight V. Babcock and his wife, both of whom
can also be seen.)
June 15. FATAL KISS. Among other
material backed up are my own reviews. Here’s what I had to say
books I read earlier this year: Hal
Glatzer, The Last Full Measure,
Gunn, Crazy Eights.
June 15. FUNERAL HOMES
& UNDERTAKERS. Two new entries from the detective
pulp magazines have been discovered by Monte Herridge and are now
included in this comprehensive compendium of mystery tales taking place
and around funeral parlors.
June 14. 52books. The writer of this blog
has given herself a challenge: to read the books of 52 mystery authors
previously unknown to her, beginning with Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone) and continuing
through at present to Robert Barnard, #19. (The blogger appears
to be anonymous – I can’t find her name anywhere on the website, nor a
means to contact her other than replying to an entry – but she lives in
Iceland, is working on a master’s thesis and reads as wide a range of
mystery and detective fiction as almost anyone I know.)
June 13. DAY KEENE. Recently added
to the previously posted Day Keene bibliography is a short list of
scripts that Keene wrote for the radio program The First Nighter between 1935 and
1937. Thank to Victor Berch for the discovery.
June 5. MPACA Conference. A call has been
made by Dr. Alexander Howe, chair, for proposals for the
Detective Fiction area of the Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture
Association at their Annual Conference, Oct 27-29, 2006 in Baltimore MD.
June 3. FATAL KISS. I’m continuing
to dig into the archives for more reviews to post. I wrote the
following in November and December of 2003, but I’ve added updates and
boosted the bibliographies on several of them. There will be at
least one of these that I am 99 and nine 9’s percent sure you have not
Farrer, Crossfire; I. J.
Parker, The Hell Screen; Richard
Ellington, It’s a Crime;
Frazer, The Bastard's Tale.
June 2. MYSTERY FICTION 2005.
Surfing the web a few minutes ago, I came across something rather
spectacular: a complete list of all of the mystery and crime fiction
published in the US in 2005. It does not go on forever, but it is
no exaggeration to say ‘almost.’ This near-Herculean effort was
David Robeson; the page itself is part of the www.cluelass.com website, owned
operated by Kate Derie. Stop by and look around.
May 31. Hard-boiled
Wit: LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN and NORBERT DAVIS. Reprinted
from CADS #44, October 2003,
is this long article by Josef Hoffmann about two authors whom he
suggests had a lot in common. In the process Josef also delves
into the essence of what makes hardboiled fiction hardboiled, which is
of course, a topic of never-ending discussion among hardboiled mystery
fans everywhere. Steve Lewis, Bill Pronzini & Victor A. Berch
add a bibliography of most, if not all, of Norbert
May 29. SEXTON BLAKE. Having
recently finished only the second Sexton Blake novel I have ever read,
decided to see what I could discover about him on the Internet.
The link will take you to the best site I’ve found, chock full of
articles and a complete detailed bibliography of over 3000 stories
written by some 200 authors over a period of well over a century.
Sexton Blake’s first appearance was in 1893, and after a short lull
beginning in the early1970s, Mark Hodder, who maintains the site, has
begun to write more of his adventures, and they are online now in 2006.
May 28. Readers Forum. In the past
30 days, interesting email messages have been received from Bob Wade, who
commented on the recent material posted here on Wade Miller;
Dorothy Uhnak and a conjecture on where her most well-known
character Christie Opara got her name; and from Ed Gorman, who
points out that as a sub-genre, not all gothic romances
May 28. FATAL KISS. Digging back
into the archives and posting them online for the first time, I found
my reviews of Roberta
Isleib’s first two books, Six
Strokes Under and A Buried Lie,
along with a long commentary I wrote about Night Lady, by William
Campbell Gault, all three from December 2003.
May 27. Pro-File: ROBERTA ISLEIB.
The author of the Cassie Burdette golf mysteries is shifting gears and
has a new series that will be appearing soon.
May 25. IT IS PURELY MY OPINION.
Reviews of all 18 mystery novels that L. J. Roberts read in February
2006. As you see, I am falling behind again. LJ is
up her end. All that’s needed is a little more speed and effort
May 24. WEB DETECTIVE STORIES.
Complete runs of some of the 1950s and 60s crime detective magazines
are more difficult than others to obtain, and WDS is one of the toughest.
Are the 14 issues worth collecting? Peter Enfantino says yes, and
here he tells you why.
May 21. ROBERT EDMOND ALTER.
Recently added to Peter Enfantino’s article on Alter’s stories for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine
is a bibliography that comes close but still isn’t quite
complete. If you can help fill in any of the missing gaps, please
May 21. The Violent World of PARKER.
I’ve just discovered this website devoted to Richard Stark (aka Donald
E. Westlake) and his two main series characters, Parker and Alan
Grofield. Featured are the novels they appeared in, the movies
that have been made from them, and the latest news about all of the
May 20. MYSTERY MAGAZINE CHECKLISTS.
As part of his ongoing Crime
Fiction Index, Phil Stephensen-Payne has been making issue-by-issue
checklists available online, complete with cover images, whenever he
has them. Follow the active links to the magazine of your
choice. The results are truly spectacular. (If you’d like
to go directly to one fine example in particular, here’s the link to Black Mask.)
May 20. HAROLD Q. MASUR. This interview
by Gary Lovisi with Hal Masur, the author of the Scott Jordan mysteries
who died late last year, first appeared in Paperback Parade #30, August 1992.
Accompanying the interview are commentaries on Mr. Masur’s work by both
Gary and Art Scott, plus an updated bibliography of his novel-length
fiction by Gary and Steve Lewis.
May 20. GOTHIC ROMANTIC SUSPENSE PAPERBACKS.
Accompanying a brief history of the genre, very popular in the 1960s
and 70s, is a partial listing of all of the paperbacks ever published
gothics, from my own collection.
May 20. STRAND MAGAZINE. The home
page of this quarterly mystery magazine also contains links to stories,
interviews and the home pages of many authors. Well worth your
while, and so is the magazine.
May 18. FRANK GRUBER. Reprinted
from the January 1941 issue of Writer’s Digest is
this article by Frank Gruber offering advice to writers of detective
fiction on how to improve their product.
May 16. FRANK THOMAS,
1926-2006. Best known outside the mystery field as the
youthful star of Tom Corbett, Space
Cadet, actor Frank Thomas later became a well-known expert on
bridge, then the author of a number of novel-length Sherlock Holmes
pastiches. A bibliography is in the works and will be posted here
on M*F as soon as ready.
May 16. JOHN GODEY. Not only have
British editions been added to the primary bibliography
of John Godey’s crime fiction, but Victor Berch has also compiled an
extensive list of his novels that have been translated into other
May 16. ARTHUR PORGES, 1915-2006.
Although he has only one entry in Al Hubin’s Crime Fiction IV, a collection of
Sherlockian tales entitled Three Porges Parodies and a Pastiche
(Magico Magazine, 1998), Arthur Porges, whose death has recently been
reported, was a prolific teller of short stories in both the science
fiction and mystery field. In 2004 he had one story in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and
one in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery
Magazine in 2005. Among the series characters he created
were “The Scientist” (Cyriack Skinner Grey) and the redoubtable Stately
Homes. Collections of either or both would be very much
The link above will take you to the Arthur Porges
website, maintained by Richard Simms, where you can find both a
biography and a complete bibliography. Click here
for a visit to the Arthur Porges Family Page.
May 15. FATAL KISS. Reviews by
Steve Lewis. Recently posted are my comments on two more I read
in March, one by George
Harmon Coxe, Focus on Murder,
and the other by William
Murray, I’m Getting Killed Right
May 14. The 17 Detective Magazines.
Reprinted from the April 1930 issue of Writer’s Digest are the editor’s
candid appraisals of the detective magazines of the day, along with
helpful comments and advice for would-be crime fiction writers hoping
to make sales to them.
May 11. The CECIL WAYE novels by JOHN RHODE.
It is well-known that C. J. C. Street wrote many detective novels as by
John Rhode and Miles Burton. It is not so well-known that he also
wrote four extremely hard-to-find mysteries as by Cecil Waye.
Reprinted from CADS #44
(October 2003) is Tony Medawar’s detailed look at the four novels.
May 9. The Remarkable HAROLD ERNEST (“DARCY
GLINTO”) KELLY, 1899-1969. Who? you may well ask, and
rightly so. While the website above is
still a work in progress, let John Fraser be your guide in exploring
the life and works of this all-but-unknown British author, with side
excursions and commentary on others you may
have heard of: James Hadley Chase, Stephen Frances (Hank
Janson), Edgar Wallace, Peter Cheyney, Gerald Butler and more. A
monumental project, and one I cannot recommend more highly.
May 9. ROBERT EDMOND ALTER. Peter
Enfantino, M*F’s resident
expert on mystery digests, examines and reports in on each of the
stories this author wrote for Alfred
Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine in the late 50s and early
60s. (If you can tell us more about how it happened that many of
Alter’s books and stories continued to appear elsewhere until at least
1970, while his year of death is generally assumed to be 1966, please
May 3. FATAL KISS. Reviews by
Steve Lewis. I’m still trying to get caught up from books I read
in March. Here are my comments, rather long, on David Dodge
Shear the Black Sheep
G. Presnell, No Mourners Present.
May 2. Pro-File: MARY REED & ERIC MAYER.
With Ed Gorman’s gracious consent, I will be taking over his series of
Pro-File interviews with (we hope) a long list of contemporary crime
detective fiction authors. The first to appear in this new
sequence are the husband-and-wife co-authors of the “John the Eunuch”
historical mystery series.
May 1. THE AUTHORS WHO WERE WADE MILLER.
Collaborating on this extensive, in-depth look at the careers of Robert
Wade and Bill Miller are Ed Lynskey, Steve Lewis, Marv Lachman, Gary
Warren Niebuhr, Richard Moore, Bill Crider, Ted Fitzgerald and Bill
Pronzini. Besides reviews, cover images and an informal checklist
of the two co-authors’ novel-length crime fiction, an interview with
Mr. Robert Wade is must reading for all fans of their work.
Reprinted from Mystery*File 42,
April 28. ELVIS COLE, PRIVATE EYE.
This overview by Tom Jenkins of the Elvis Cole books by Robert Crais is
entitled “... If the Day Got Any Better, My Cat Would Die.”
April 25. THE GOLD MEDAL CORNER. In
the first installment of Bill Crider’s column in which he reviews Gold
Medal paperbacks of the 1950s, neither of two books he reviews are Gold
Medal paperbacks of the 1950s. Can you guess who the authors
might be? Hint: Their last names are Pronzini and Gorman.
Reprinted from Mystery*File 40.
April 24. MORTIMER DEATH. Monte
Herridge continues to dig up vintage pulp tales dealing with murders in
funeral homes and/or in which undertakers also solve mysteries as a
profitable sideline. Two one-shot efforts have been added to the page where a
list of such stories is maintained, but a newly discovered series of
such tales (by Bennett Barlay) has been given its own page.
April 23. THE FILMS OF JOHN GODEY.
Three films have been made of John Godey’s books, and two of them are
on Vince Keenan’s list of all-time favorites. You can probably
guess which ones they are, but why not let him tell you himself?
April 22. JOHN GODEY. The author of Taking Pelman One Two Three, his
most famous crime novel, recently died at the age of 93. In his
Lewis does a quick summary of his career and adds both a
bibliography and a list of films based on his work.
April 20. DAY KEENE. In a followup
to Victor Berch’s conjectures as to how Day Keene happened to choose
his pen name, confirmation comes in the form of an interview Al Tonik
had with mystery writer Talmage Powell nearly 20 years ago.
April 19. FATAL KISS. I’ve taken a
short break from other projects to start getting caught up on my own
reviews and commentaries. Posted recently are ones for the
following: Dean Owen
Juice Town; Octavus
Roy Cohen Romance in the First
Degree; and Bruce
Alexander Rules of Engagement.
April 18. ALEXANDER KNOX. It may
take a while, but many an unanswered question when posed the first time
finally gets resolved. It also may seem to be a minor matter, but
who is to say what is minor and what is not? Case in point.
In my review of Alexander Knox’s book The
Disappearance of Archibald Forsyth, written as by Ian Alexander,
I wondered what the title of his purported fifth novel of the Canadian
wilderness was. Pat Hawk has found it.
April 18. G. T. FLEMING-ROBERTS. An
annotated checklist of all the stories known to have been written by
this long-time pulp writer, put together by Monte Herridge. Monte
takes a look at the one hardcover
that Fleming-Roberts wrote, and compares it with the pulp story it
is based on. And as if that were not enough, Monte adds a short
article about one of the lesser known magician-sleuths Fleming-Roberts
wrote stories about, Jeffery
April 15. GARY PHILLIPS. A new
interview by Ed Gorman with the author of the PI Ivan Monk novels plus
many other works of tough, hard-boiled crime and mystery fiction.
April 15. SERIES CHARACTERS ON TV.
Part Five of Marvin Lachman’s continuing series on mystery series
characters who have been portrayed on television. Authors P
through Z are included in this, the final installment.
Now that each section is complete, the list will
soon be published in final form, with all parts together, along with
any corrections and additions which have been discovered. You are
encouraged, says Marv, to send along any that you have found as soon as
April 11. DEAN OWEN. A colloborative
checklist of this author’s many novels and short stories, compiled and
annotated by Steve Lewis, James Reasoner, Victor A. Berch and Bill
Pronzini. Since Dean Owen, aka Dudley Dean, wrote many more
westerns than mystery novels and other fiction, under a host of other
pen names, this will qualify him to be the first entry in the Western
Annex of M*F
On-Line, opening soon.
April 11. DAN J. MARLOWE’S ADULT FICTION.
One of Dan Marlowe’s pseudonyms for short fiction was Jaime Sandaval,
but research specialist Bart Choveric has discovered that Sandaval had
several pen names of his own. Read about it here.
April 8. ROBERT MARTIN. As a
companion piece to the article on
Robert Martin previously posted by fellow Tiffin OH resident Jim
Pronzini writes about the correspondence he had with the author of the
PI Jim Bennett novels toward the end of his (Martin’s) career.
Jacket covers for all twenty of Martin’s hardcover novels are included,
including several published only in paperback in the US.
April 8. ED GORMAN RAMBLES. Ed
Gorman announced yesterday that he was closing down his blog to concentrate on
his health and the current book he is writing. In order that the
various postings over the past several months not be lost, as they were
when he ceased his previous blog, they are in the process of being
archived here at M*F.
The postings for the month of April are now
online both here and on his present blogsite. All of the earlier
ones will eventually migrate over here as well.
April 4. GIL BREWER BIBLIOGRAPHY. One of
the unanswered questions about Gil Brewer’s career as a writer is which
of the books published as by Harry Arvay did he write? While the
investigation into the matter still continues, Lynn Munroe has added a
footnote to his earlier bibliography, setting forth the state of the
evidence at the present time.
April 3. SERIES CHARACTERS ON TV.
Part Four of Marvin Lachman’s continuing series on mystery series
characters who have been portrayed on television. Authors L
through O are included in this, the fourth installment.
April 2. JOE RAYTER & HY SILVER.
As another installment in his series of Forgotten Writers, Bill
Pronzini talks about two who are perhaps as forgotten as any, both of
whom hail from Petaluma, California, which (by no coincidence at all)
is also Bill’s home town.
March 31. PETER RABE. Shortly before
the death of this author of many paperback originals from Gold Medal,
George Tuttle had a short conversation with him, and here it
is. Also included is a bibliography of Rabe’s work,
compiled by Steve Lewis.
March 22. SERIES CHARACTERS ON TV.
Part Three of Marvin Lachman’s continuing series on mystery series
characters who have been portrayed on television. Authors F
through K are included in this, the third installment.
March 16. FATAL KISS. More reviews
and extended commentary on books I’ve read this year. These four
Lee Hall, Murder on Drury Lane;
Caine, Manor of Death; David
Burnham, Last Act in Bermuda;
Burleigh, Murder at Maison Manche.
March 13. IN THE FRAME. In Vince
Keenan’s latest column of commentary on books and film, he discusses
two books from Europa Editions (by Massimo Carlotto and Patrick
Hamilton) and then compares
the two versions of the classic noir film KISS OF DEATH, both available now
March 11. DOLORES HITCHENS. At the time her
two books appeared as part of the Ziff-Davis Fingerprint Mystery
series, Dolores Hitchens was known as D. B. Olsen. Later on, in
the 1950s, she collaborated on a series of novels with her second
husband, Bert. Besides correcting one missstatement we made about
her husband, Jim Doherty goes on to talk about the books they wrote
together, police procedurals about a squad of railroad cops in L. A.
March 10. SERIES CHARACTERS ON TV.
Part Two of Marvin Lachman’s continuing series on mystery series
characters who have been portrayed on television. Authors D
through E are included in this, the second installment. (You must
know what author takes up most of the allotted space.) Additions
and/or corrections are especially welcome.
March 9. ROBERT MARTIN. A profile
in three parts. (1) An overview of Robert Martin’s writing career
by Jim Felton, who grew up in
the same Ohio town as the author. (2) A complete checklist
of all of Martin’s books and short stories, including those he wrote as
Lee Roberts. (3) Coverage by Gary Warren Niebuhr of Martin’s most
well-known character, private eye Jim
Bennett, with an in-depth look at each of the novels
Bennett appeared in.
March 9. MILTON K. OZAKI. Prompted
by spotting Ozaki’s entry in the Ziff-Davis
bibliography, Bill Crider dusted off this in-depth investigation of his
overall writing career, complete with checklist and cover images, and
sent it along for your reading pleasure.
March 8. THE ZIFF-DAVIS FINGERPRINT MYSTERIES.
From 1943 to 1938 Ziff-Davis used the Fingerprint Mystery imprint to
publish a very collectible series of detective novels. Bill
Pronzini, Victor Berch and Steve Lewis have compiled a complete list of
all of the books in the series, added detailed biographical notes about
each of the authors, and provided color images of the front covers of
all of the dust jackets. In the introduction to these notes, a
short history of Ziff-Davis is related, including their merger in 1942
with the Alliance Book Corporation, which had actually published the
first four mysteries in the series (1941-42). These additional
books and their authors are also included as part of this “Complete Set
Feb 25. SERIES CHARACTERS ON TV.
Part One of a series by Marvin Lachman in which he will be listing and
annotating all of the mystery series characters in book form who have
found counterparts on the small screen. Authors A through C are
included in this, the first installment. Additions and/or
corrections are specifically requested.
Feb 23. ROBERT COLBY. This author
of many paperback originals for Gold Medal and other companies of the
1950s and 60s recently passed away. Peter Enfantino, who has been
a fan of his for many years, wrote this short tribute to him.
Added to it is a complete bibliography of his work, including both
novels and short stories.
Feb 15. EARLE BASKINSKY. As a
special edition of his regular column on the digest mystery magazines
of the 1950’s, Peter Enfantino takes a comprehensive look at the short
fiction work of the author of The
Big Steal (Dutton, 1955) and Death
Is a Cold, Clean Edge (Signet, 1956).
Feb 11. THE GOLD MEDAL CORNER. In
this early installment of his regular column on Gold Medal paperbacks,
Bill Crider finds much to say about the crime fiction of Day Keene,
whose work he has admired for many years.
Steve Lewis follows with a bibliography
of all of Keene’s novels, followed by a chronological list of
most of the stories that he wrote for the
pulp magazines. Bill’s
column first appeared in Mystery*File
41, mid-January 2004.
Feb 7. MIDNITE MYSTERIES. An
updated and improved list of the books in this hardcover reprint series
published by Books, Inc., between 1944 and 1946.
Feb 6. THE HOCKEY REFS MYSTERY.
Jim Felton has been collecting references to the game of hockey in the
mystery story for a long time, and he begins this lengthy
bibliography by wondering why there are so few of them. (Please
that this page has been relocated. Also added has been a lengthy review by Jim
of the quintessential mystery in which hockey plays a role, both as a
game and as a business, and that is Emma Lathen’s Murder Without Icing.)
Feb 4. GLENN LOW. One of the
paperbacks this 1940s pulp author wrote in the 1960s qualifies as a
entry presently missing in Allen J. Hubin’s Crime Fiction IV, a discovery made
James Reasoner, although you certainly could not ascertain this fact
from the cover, which he supplies. Steve Lewis adds a partial
bibliography, and Bill Pronzini has some closing comments on two of
this author’s books. (This page has been greatly revised from its
Feb 3. HARDBOILED FICTION. Megan
Abbott, author of the Edgar-nominated Die a Little,
is teaching an introductory course in hardboiled fiction at The New
School in Manhattan this current Spring 2006 semester. The first
link will take you to the syllabus for the course. This second
one (a pdf file) is a handout
she distributed the first evening to promote discussion about the
overall “geneaology” which connects and puts into perspective many of
the books and authors that will be covered in the course.
Feb 2. THE NOVELS OF MARTIN M. GOLDSMITH.
As a follow-up to my review
of the book on which the classic B-movie DETOUR was based, Bill Pronzini
gives a brief description of the author’s other two books and provides
cover scans of all three in jacket.
Feb 2. CLERICAL DETECTIVES. At my
suggestion, Philip Grosset wrote this introduction to his website,
where you will find in-depth coverage of mysteries solved by members of
various religious orders. Nearly a
dozen such detectives are featured on his site, from Christine Bennett
to Sister Mary Teresa, with Father Brown and Rabbi Small among those
falling alphabetically in between.
Jan 30. STEWART STERLING.
One of the highlights of the newly revived print version of Mystery*File (#40, December 2003)
was this article by Richard Moore on Fire Marshal Ben Pedley and
hotel detective Gil Vine, two of the specialty detectives created by
this now almost
Jan 29. The Case of the JDM Plagiarist (Revisited).
Elizabeth Foxwell, managing editor of Clues:
A Journal of Detection, submits what has to be the
absolute final word:
“In response to the matter of JDM’s charge that
was copying his pulp stories and selling them to Manhunt: I took the
liberty of posing the question to Maynard MacDonald, the son of
Says he: ‘Unfortunately, I have no recollection of the short story
Jan 28. GUILT EDGED MYSTERIES.
A chronological list of the books appearing in Dutton’s specialized
line of detective fiction, 1947-1956, compiled by Victor Berch.
This is a companion piece to the overview
of the series done earlier by Victor, Bill Pronzini and Steve
Jan 27. P. M. HUBBARD. The work of
this writer of suspenseful thrillers, thoroughly imbued with a sense of
the mysterious and the unknown, is analyzed and reviewed by two of his
most ardent fans, Tom Jenkins and the late Wyatt James, in whose memory
of articles and bibliography is dedicated.
(Previous appearance: Mystery*File 47,
Jan 26. FATAL KISS. As the first
book I chose to read in 2006, I picked a good one. It was Martin
M. Goldsmith’s Detour, the book on which the classic B-movie was
based. (Goldsmith also did the screenplay.)
Jan 24. EDWARD S. AARONS’ ASSIGNMENT SERIES.
An introduction to the Sam Durell espionage thrillers published by Gold
Medal between 1955 and 1976. Doug Bassett does the honors.
Included as a lengthy footnote is a retelling of the detective work
done by Jeff Falco and Al Hubin in 2004 as they unraveled the hidden
identity of “Will B. Aarons,” the man who continued the adventures for
another six novels.
Jan 23. CRICKET & THE MYSTERY STORY.
Many of us on this side of the Atlantic do not even pretend to
the rules of cricket, but even if he is a Yank, Marvin Lachman has
learned to love the game. He has even accumulated a large list of
stories in which cricket plays a part, and he discusses them with
style in this article, which was revised and previously appeared in CADS #46,
Jan 22. FUNERAL HOMES
& UNDERTAKERS. Prompted by my review of Stanton
Forbes’ A Business of Bodies, I began a
checklist of other mysteries taking place in and
around funeral homes. Many new entries have been added in the
last two or three days, including two of Robert Martin’s Jim Bennett PI
novels, thanks to the suggestion of Jim Felton.
Jan 18. GUILT EDGED MYSTERIES.
Between 1947 and 1956, E. P. Dutton published most of their detective
fiction under a single imprint, that of “Guilt Edged”
Steve Lewis, Victor Berch and Bill Pronzini have combined resources
to come up with a complete checklist of the books in this series,
including many cover images.
Jan 16. MORE LOCKED ROOMS.
Prompted by my recent columns on
locked room mysteries, John Pugmire submits his own annotated list of
impossible and improbable crimes. Once again, none of these are
Adey’s classic reference book on the subject.
Jan 15. Interview with JOANNE FLUKE.
Pamela James talks to the author of the Hannah Swensen mystery series,
the most recent one being Peach
Cobbler Murder, out in paperback in February. Coming in
March in hardcover: Cherry
Jan 15. FATAL KISS. Reviews by
Steve Lewis. Recently uploaded have been my comments on the
Higgins, The Khufra Run; Megan Abbott,
Die a Little (my choice for the best noir novel I read all year); Bernard Mara, A
Bullet for My Lady (a vintage Gold Medal paperback); Mark Miano,
Dead of Summer; and Caroline Roe,
Consolation for an Exile.
Jan 13. TOMMY & TUPPENCE. Each
of the stories in Agatha Christie’s Partners
in Crime were spoofs of other detective story writers, including
herself. In this article Mike Grost reveals whose work was being
parodied, story by story, while at the same time providing a unique
historical perspective to Christie’s early career. Its first
appearance in Mystery*File
was issue #45, August 2004.
Jan 10. PAUL HALTER. Very few of
the short stories and novels written by this modern master of the
Locked Room mystery have been published in the English-speaking
world. Once you read John Pugmire’s
discussion of his work, you will be as frustrated as I am. First
appeared in Mystery*File 47,
Feb 2005. Newly added are four reviews of Halter’s
work by John. (This has been on the website for several months,
but I have reformatted it and more recent visitors may have missed it.)
Jan 5. The Case of the JDM Plagiarist.
In the 1984 interview
Ed Gorman did with John D. MacDonald, nothing has caused more interest
than the fact that JDM accused some other writer of redoing some of his
early stories and submitting them to Manhunt. Ed does not know
who he was referring to, nor does anyone else. In the Readers
Forum is a short recap, along with a note from Jeff Falco, who has a
couple of last thoughts on the matter.
Jan 3. LOCKED ROOMS AND OTHER IMPROBABLE CRIMES.
Back in 1993-94, I wrote a several of columns for the British mystery
fanzine CADS in which I
annotated a number of possible new entries to Bob Adey’s masterful book
locked room mysteries. Thanks to Geoff Bradley for allowing me to
reprint all eight installments online.
Dec 30. OCTAVUS ROY COHEN.
Jon L. Breen attempts to clear his shelves of an author whose books he
decides he no longer wishes to keep. Steve Lewis adds a
Dec 28. FATAL KISS. Reviews by
Steve Lewis. Recently uploaded were reviews of David Hiltbrand,
Deader Than Disco; Don Bredes,
The Fifth Season; Maureen
Sarsfield, Murder at Beechlands; and George Bagby, Another
Dec 25. TRAVIS McGEE & MATT HELM.
As a follow-up to John Fraser’s article on Donald
Hamilton, Doug Bassett does an
in-depth contrast and comparison of Matt Helm, Hamilton’s primary
with John D. MacDonald’s famed “salvage expert,” Travis McGee.
First appearance: Mystery*File #46,
Dec 25. CHARLIE CHAN. The
character created by Earl Derr Biggers is arguably one of the world’s
best known detectives, even though TV and cable networks are
regrettably reluctant to show the movies today. Marv Lachman
gives us a guided tour of the six books in which Charlie Chan appeared,
along with a good many of the quotes for which the Chinese detective is
famous. Slightly revised from its first appearance in CADS
#16, May 1991.
Dec 20. MARTIN M. GOLDSMITH. From
the introduction to the current paperback release of Detour, comes this short
profile of the author, written by Richard Doody.
Dec 17. MARVIN ALBERT. One of
Albert’s books, known in Spanish but not in English, was the subject of
an inquiry earlier this year. Jeff Falco did some stellar
detective work on the matter, wrote up his results, and due to some
negligience on my part, I did not see his in-depth analysis until
now. The conclusion is the same; it is his description of the
trail that he followed that is both edifying and enlightening. NEW: A short
reply by Bill Crider.
Dec 12. Interview with JOHN D. MacDONALD.
Talking with Ed Gorman in 1984, JDM discusses his early days as a
writer and how Travis McGee came to be, among other things.
Dec 11. MURDER MYSTERY MONTHLIES.
In this most recent column by Peter Enfantino, he continues his
story-by-story guide to Manhunt,
this time Vol. 1, No. 2 (February, 1953).
Dec 4. FATAL KISS. Cornelia
Penfield was a mystery writer you may never have heard of, but
back in 1933 she wrote two fairly good detective stories, then nothing
more. I reviewed the two mysteries last year, along with the
manuscript of a third novel, never published. Several
excerpts are included, along with extensive commentary on this
unexpected find. First appearance: Mystery*File #44, August 2004.
Dec 1. INTERVIEW WITH BRAD LANG.
After Gary Warren Niebuhr reviews the three books in the career of
private eye Fred Crockett, Steve Lewis talks with the author for a
while about how they came to be, among other things.
First appearance: Mystery*File 46,
Nov 30. DONALD HAMILTON.
This multi-part essay by John Fraser on the creator of agent Matt Helm
first appeared in Mystery*File 45,
August 2004. And no, Hamilton’s other thriller novels are far
Nov 27. NATIVE AMERICAN DETECTIVES.
A chronological checklist compiled by Steve Lewis. No, Tony
Hillerman is not the first author to be listed, but he was
certainly the first to make any great impact.
Nov 25. ED LACY. A long,
penetrating profile of the Edgar-winning author by Ed Lynskey,
following by a brief bibliography of his crime fiction. First
appearance: Mystery*File 45,
Nov 22. DENNIS LYNDS as MICHAEL COLLINS.
In Mystery*File #47 ,
2005, Ed Lynskey and I did an interview with
the late Dennis Lynds on his writing career as Michael Collins, the
used primarily for his Dan Fortune novels. Besides the interview,
overview of the Dan Fortune books, followed by a bibliography of all of
the novels and short fiction that appeared under the Michael Collins
by-line. [Reformatted, with several new cover images.]
Nov 16. HELEN REILLY. Among
questions that Mike Grost considers as he analyzes several of her books
is whether she should be considered a HIBK
writer, or a Black Mask
one. And if you do not know what HIBK stands for, Mike will tell
you that also. [Slightly revised with many images added.]
Nov 16. GREGORY MCDONALD. In the
early 1980s Lee Goldberg
did some interviews with the people involved with the first Fletch
movie and then with the author himself. And here they are.
Nov 13. CHARLES WILLIAMS. In this
installment of The Gold Medal Corner, Bill Crider tells you why
you should not miss reading anything Charles Williams has
written, whether it appeared as
a Gold Medal paperback or not. Followed by a bibliography
compiled by Steve Lewis and two letters not previously
published. You can’t beat the covers, either. Reprinted
from Mystery*File 47.
Nov 11. JONATHAN LATIMER. A
overview of Jonathan Latimer’s
mystery fiction, produced and directed by John Fraser. A
bibliography by Steve Lewis follows, followed
in turn by a letter from Mike Nevins. First appeared in Mystery*File 46-47. [Slightly
revised with many images added.]
Nov 11. NEVADA BARR & J. R. R. TOLKIEN.
In this article entitled “Hobbits in the National Parks,” Joe R.
Christopher points out allusions you may never have spotted before.
Nov 9. FORGOTTEN WRITERS. In the
first of a series, Bill Pronzini takes a personal look back at the
mystery author J. M. (Jay) Flynn. Reprinted from Mystery Scene #13.
Nov 7. HONEY WEST. Gary Warren
Niebuhr takes a second look at the Honey West private eye novels
written by G. G. Fickling in the 50s, 60s and early 70s. Do they
hold up today?
The Crime Fiction Index.
The link on the left will take you to a separate website where
Phil Stephensen-Payne has a detailed description of an extremely
important project he is working on, the Crime Fiction Index, or CFI for
short. In brief, what it will be when finished is an index
to over 12,000 issues of English-language crime, mystery, detective and
gangster fiction magazines published from 1915 to
2005. Go take a look, but as a reminder, use your back
arrow to return.
In particular, Phil has
asked for assistance in completing the information he needs on a fairly
recent but also elusive magazine called Red Herring
Mystery Magazine. Even if you’ve never heard of the magazine
before, if you follow the link, it will give you an excellent example
of how the data for an individual issue of a magazine will appear in
the CFI. And if you can supply some of the missing information,
that would be even better!
The page you are reading has been
redesigned. Guiding me through the process was my daughter Sarah
Johnson, who made it seem easy. (Sarah is also the author of Historical
Fiction: A Guide to the Genre, a book you should definitely bug
your local library into buying.)
Thanks also to Sarah’s husband, Mark Johnson,
whose computer expertise and webhosting skills still seem like magic
and wizardry to me. And for all I know, they really are.