Bibliographies, Lists & Checklists

A Giant in the Field Has Left Us:
ED GORMAN (1941-2016).

   I was away from the computer most of the day yesterday, and I’m only now catching up with the bad news. (Dan Stumpf’s movie review was scheduled for yesterday late on Saturday.) Ed Gorman’s death this past weekend was not unexpected, as his long battle with cancer was well known, and the last post on his blog was on way back on July 1st.

   Bill Crider talks about the man and his career on his blog more eloquently than I can, as does James Reasoner on his blog. Besides a long career in writing and editing, Ed Gorman was one of the friendliest and most helpful men I’ve ever corresponded with, and although I never met him, this hits me hard on a personal level.

   In the title of this post I said that Ed was a Giant in his field. He was actually a towering figure in four: Mystery, Western, Science Fiction, and Horror. From the Fantastic Fiction website, here’s a list of the books and stories he left behind:


   Jack Dwyer
1. Rough Cut (1986)
2. New, Improved Murder (1985)
3. Murder Straight Up (1986)
4. Murder in the Wings (1986)
5. The Autumn Dead (1987)
6. A Cry of Shadows (1990)
7. What the Dead Men Say (1990)
8. The Reason Why (1992)
The Dwyer Trilogy (omnibus) (1996)
The Jack Dwyer Mysteries (omnibus) (2016)

1. Murder on the Aisle (1987)
2. Several Deaths Later (1988)

   Leo Guild
1. Guild (1987)
2. Death Ground (1988)
3. Blood Game (1989)
4. Dark Trail (1991)

   Jack Walsh
1. The Night Remembers (1991)

   Robert Payne
1. Blood Moon (1994) aka Dead Cold
2. Hawk Moon (1995)
3. Harlot’s Moon (1997)
4. Voodoo Moon (2000)

   Sam McCain
1. The Day the Music Died (1998)
2. Wake Up Little Susie (1999)
3. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (2000)
4. Save the Last Dance for Me (2001)
5. Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool (2002)
6. Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (2004)
7. Fools Rush in (2007)
8. Ticket to Ride (2009)
9. Bad Moon Rising (2011)
10. Riders on the Storm (2014)

   Cavalry Man
1. The Killing Machine (2005)
2. Powder Keg (2006)
3. Doom Weapon (2007)

   Dev Mallory
1. Bad Money (2005)
2. Fast Track (2006)

   Collected Ed Gorman
1. Out There in the Darkness (2007)
2. Moving Coffin (2007)
Out There in the Darkness / Moving Coffin (2007)

   Dev Conrad
1. Sleeping Dogs (2008)
2. Stranglehold (2010)
3. Blindside (2011)
4. Flashpoint (2013)
5. Elimination (2015)


Grave’s Retreat (1989)
The Black Moon (1989) (with Loren D Estleman, W R Philbrick, Robert J Randisi and L J Washburn)
Night of Shadows (1990)
Robin in I, Werewolf (1992) (with Angelo Torres)
Shadow Games (1993)
I, Werewolf (1993)
Wolf Moon (1993)
The Sharpshooter (1993)
Cold Blue Midnight (1995)
The Marilyn Tapes (1995)
Black River Falls (1996)
Cage of Night (1996)
Runner in the Dark (1996)
Gundown (1997)
The Poker Club (1997)
The Silver Scream (1998)
Trouble Man (1998)
Daughter of Darkness (1998)
I Know What the Night Knows (1999)
Senatorial Privelege (1999)
Ride into Yesterday (1999)
Storm Riders (1999)
Pirate’s Plea (2000)
What Dead Man Say (2000)
Lawless (2000)
Ghost Town (2001)
Vendetta (2002)
Rituals (2002)
Relentless (2003)
Lynched (2003)
Gun Truth (2003)
Branded (2004)
Two Guns to Yuma (2005)
Shoot First (2006)
A Knock at the Door (2007)
The Midnight Room (2009)
The Girl in the Attic (2012) (with Patricia Lee Macomber)
The Man From Nightshade Valley (2012) (with James Reasoner)
The Prodigal Gun (2012) (with James Reasoner)
Now You See Her (2014)
Run to Midnight (2016)


Dark Whispers (1988)
Prisoners (1988)
Cages (1989)
Best Western Stories of Ed Gorman (1992)
Criminal Intent: 1 (1993) (with Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini)
Moonchasers (1995)
Legend (1999) (with Judy Alter, Jane Candia Coleman, Loren D Estleman, Elmer Kelton, Robert J Randisi and James Reasoner)
Famous Blue Raincoat (1999)
The Dark Fantastic (2001)
Crooks, Crimes, and Christmas (2003) (with Michael Jahn, Irene Marcuse and Susan Slater)
The Long Ride Back (2004)
Different Kinds Of Dead and Other Tales (2005)
The End of It All (2009)
The Phantom Chronicles Volume 2 (2010) (with Robin Wayne Bailey and Harlan Ellison)
Noir 13 (2010)
Scream Queen And Other Tales of Menace (2014)
The Autumn Dead / The Night Remembers (2014)
Dead Man’s Gun (2015)
A Disgrace to the Badge (2015)
Enemies (2015)
The Long Ride Back and Other Western Stories (2015)
Graves’ Retreat / Night of Shadows (2015)
Shadow Games and Other Sinister Stories of Show Business (2016)
Cemetery Dance Select (2016)


Out There in the Darkness (Novella) (1995)
Cast in Dark Waters (2002) (with Tom Piccirilli)

      Graphic Novels

Trapped (1993) (with Dean Koontz)


Survival (2012)
Dirty Coppers (2012) (with Richard T Chizmar)
Yesterday and the Day Before (2012)
Brothers (2015) (with Richard T Chizmar)

       Short Stories

The Broker (2006)
Deathman (2006)
Stalker (2006)

KENN DAVIS – Acts of Homicide. Fawcett Gold Medal, paperback original; 1st printing, October 1989.

   Here’s an example of another series of private eye novels that I managed to accumulate most — if not all of — back when they were being published, but until now this is the first I’ve read. Or maybe the second, as the first in the series came out in 1976, and sometimes it’s difficult to think back that far and be sure.

   In any case, the PI in question is Carver Bascombe, who is black and who works in the Berkeley, California, area. Unfortunately, in this, the seventh of his eight appearances, there’s not much else that’s said about him. He tends to be taciturn, shrugs a bit when confronted, and that’s about I can tell you at the moment.

   The case he’s on in Acts of Homicide finds him working undercover as an accountant for a acting company that’s preparing to put on an updated version of Medea. Unfortunately someone seems intent on stopping the production, and his or her attempts to do so are finally sufficient to bring on the police. The book begins with the murder of a young girl who would have liked to have been a member of the cast, but who was only allowed to work behind the scenes instead.

   More murders occur, and besides helping the police, Carver Bascombe finds himself becoming more and more attracted to the officer in charge, a capable enough woman but one whose career depends on her hiding the hide the fact that she is severely disturbed by the sight of dead bodies.

   With lots of suspects to be combed through, this is a detective puzzle through and through, undermined (in my mind) by the fact that the first victim was found nude with all of the blood drained from her — a sensationalistic killing there was no real need for in terms of the plot. Kenn Davis is a very smooth writer, though, especially when it comes to dialogue. On the other hand, an occasional propensity for using exclamation marks in his own narrative was (I thought) a negative.

   All in all, however, this was a decent enough venture that I’d read another, when I come across another in my collection, entertained as well by an author who seems to have known something about putting on plays and the history of the stage.

   In support of that last statement, let me point out that some of the characters’ names in Acts of Homicide are also those of actors in the past, sometimes the far distant past:

         Edmund Kean
         Charlotte Cushman
         Colley Cibber
         Frank Craven
         Barton Booth
         Charles Macklin
         August Iffland

   … and more than likely, a few others I missed.

       The Carver Bascombe series —

The Dark Side. Avon, 1976 [with John Stanley]
The Forza Trap. Avon, 1979.
Words Can Kill. Gold Medal, 1984.
Melting Point.Gold Medal, 1986.
As October Dies. Gold Medal, 1987.
Nijinsky Is Dead. Gold Medal, 1987.
Acts of Homicide. Gold Medal, 1989.
Blood of Poets. Gold Medal, 1990.


KAREN KIJEWSKI – Copy Kat. Kat Colorado #4. Doubleday, hardcover, 1992. Bantam, paperback, 1993.

   I think that Karen Kijewski (pronounced, I am told, Kee-you-skee) is rapidly moving into the class of Muller, Grafton, and Paretsky in terms of quality, if not of sales.

   In this case, Kat Colorado is hired to investigate the murder of a Grass Valley, California, bartender-owner by the victim’s crusty godfather. Though reluctant to get involved in an open case, Kat agrees to go undercover and work at her old profession, bartending, to try and find what really happened. Though there is no evidence, the police and many town members suspect the dead lady’s husband, who has been left with their small child. He hires Kat as a bartender, and the hunt is joined.

   The book is as much about Kat’s own problems with guilt from a killing in a previous case as anything; she is being crippled by recurring nightmares. The opportunity to change identities weighs strongly in her decision to accept the case. Missing from this book are her egregiously imposing “best friend,” and her adopted grandmother, for which I am grateful; earlier books have suffered greatly, to me, from Kat’s allowing herself to be sorely put upon by these two.

   Kijewski’s writing is powerful, and Colorado has emerged as an appealing and well realized character. Some of the other cast members were not as believable, or perhaps there were just too many neuroses/psychoses in one plot. All in all, though, this was an excellent and moving story.

— Reprinted from Fireman, Fireman, Save My Books #5, January 1993.

       The Kat Colorado series —

Katwalk (1988)
Katapult (1990)

Kat’s Cradle (1992)
Copy Kat (1992)
Wild Kat (1994)

Alley Kat Blues (1995)
Honky Tonk Kat (1996)
Kat Scratch Fever (1997)
Stray Kat Waltz (1998)


TIMOTHY HALLINAN – Incinerator. Simeon Grist #4. William Morrow, hardcover, 1992. Avon, paperback, 1993.

   I think I like Hallinan’s books a little more with each one. A couple more and he’ll move into my personal top ten.

   Someone is dowsing LA’s derelicts with gasoline and incinerating them. Grist is hired by the wealthy daughter of the latest victim to find the killer, and then blindsided by a press release she issues. He very nearly quits the case the next day, after receiving a personal, hand-delivered note from the killer at his home. He is persuaded by the client and the police to continue; the police, who the client believes have done little until now to solve the case, think that Grist may furnish the only link to the killer that offers hope.

   Reluctantly, he acquiesces, and enters into a shaky “partnership” with the LAPD and their psychiatrist; enforced by the client’s threat to go public with the whole mess if the police fail to cooperate.

   The story sustains an unusual amount of tension as Grist and his unwilling and less than dependable allies try to identify the killer before he incinerates others, Grist included. If a spur were needed, it becomes apparent that the killer knows Grist personally. Grist wishes it were reciprocal.

   The overeducated Simeon Grist — four degrees from UCLA — is one of the better-delineated and least clone-like PI’s of recent years. The killer is believable, and scary. Hallinan is an excellent writer, with a smooth narrative flow and good ear for dialogue. I think this is one of the better private detective tales of 1992.

— Reprinted from Fireman, Fireman, Save My Books #5, January 1993.

       The Simeon Grist series —

1. The Four Last Things (1989)
2. Everything but the Squeal (1990)

3. Skin Deep (1991)
4. Incinerator (1992)
5. The Man with No Time (1993)
6. The Bone Polisher (1995)

   In more recent years, Hallinan has written seven adventures of Poke Rafferty, an American expatriate living in Bangkok, and six cases for Junior Bender, an ex-burglar turned PI for LA mobsters.

GLORIA DANK – Friends to the End. Bantam, paperback original; 1st printing, October 1989.

   This is the first of four murder mystery investigations tackled by the unlikely team of Snooky Randolph, a young 20-something member of the idle rich, and his curmudgeonly brother-in-law, Bernard Woodruff, world renown writer of children’s books. The latter and his wife (and Snooky’s older sister) live in the rich lower left corner of Connecticut, of course, while Snooky stops by and stays (and stays) every once in a while.

    Dead at a dinner party for a small group of friends is the wife of a man that no one in particular likes. Poison, insecticide, in something she drank. What the poison meant for her? Or for her husband, as he claims loudly to the police?

   Snooky’s connection is that he is in love, he thinks, with the stepdaughter of the dead woman, while Bernard finds that even though he dislikes mankind — and hates children — and greatly to his amazement, that armchair detective work is much to his liking.

   This is a humorous novel, with lots of witty commentary on life in suburban Connecticut and the people in it. From page 123, referring yo Mr. Hal, the gardener: “Finding his employer’s dead body was clearly the most exciting thing that had happened in Harold Shrimpton’s life since the Super Bowl.”

   It is also a decent detective novel, even given that once the number of bodies starts to pile up, the number of possible suspects goes down in equal number. I enjoyed this one.

       The Snooky Randolph & Bernard Woodruff mystery series

Friends Till the End. Bantam, 1989.
Going Out in Style. Bantam, 1990.
As the Sparks Fly Upward. Doubleday, 1992.
The Misfortunes of Others. Doubleday, 1993.


JAN BURKE – Goodnight, Irene. Irene Kelly #1. Simon & Schuster, hardcover, 1993. Avon, paperback, 1994. Pocket, paperback, 2002.

   I didn’t expect to like this. First, there was the blurb, “In the best-selling tradition of Grafton & Paretsky.” Sure. You bet. Second, it featured a new amateur sleuth by a new writer, both female, and my luck’s been poor with that combination. But I was wrong.

   Irene Kelly is a Southern Califomia ex-reporter. Her mentor and close friend is killed by a bomb, and the murder would seem to be linked to an old slaying with which he had been obsessed, his current investigation of a local money-laundering scheme, or both. Irene quickly becomes the next target of the killer, even before she begins to probe into things. The situation is complicated by a rekindling flame with a local policeman whom she had briefly be involved in the past.

   I loved the first line: “He loved to watch fat women dance.” Burke is an good writer, accomplished far beyond her first-book status. Kelly is both likable and believable as a person, as are most of the other players. The plot was pretty standard, and I was neither surprised by the outcome nor found it too convincing but these are faults not limited to inexperienced authors. There were plot elements that usually tum me off (the romance with the cop in particular), but Burke’s writing and my liking for the heroine mostly overcame them.

   This is one of the better debut novels in a while, and I look forward to more and better from Burke.

— Reprinted from Fireman, Fireman, Save My Books #5, January 1993.

      The Irene Kelly series —

1. Goodnight, Irene (1993)
2. Sweet Dreams, Irene (1994)
3. Dear Irene, (1995)
4. Remember Me, Irene (1996)
5. Hocus (1997)
6. Liar (1998)
7. Bones (1999)
8. Flight (2001)
9. Bloodlines (2005)
10. Kidnapped (2006)
11. Disturbance (2011)

NOTES:   Goodnight, Irene was nominated for an Anthony award for Best First Novel. Bones was awarded an Edgar by the MWA for Best Novel. Irene has only a secondary role in Flight, which is told from the point of view of her husband, homicide detective Frank Harriman.


M. R. D. MEEK – Touch and Go. Lennox Kemp #10. Charles Scribner’s Sons, US, hardcover, 1993. Worldwide Mystery, US, paperback, 1994. First published in the UK: Collins Crime Club, hardcover, 1992.

   I gave a previous Kemp adventure a very lukewarm review not too long ago, and now I wonder if maybe I wasn’t just in a bad mood. This one is quite good.

   Kemp is an English solicitor, once disbarred and working as a private agent, now reinstated and successful. His past comes back to complicate his present when his ex-wife, for whom he had committed the acts that led to his disgrace, dies in America and mentions him in her wills.

   Yes, wills, because there seems to be two of them, though the original of the second has vanished, along with the jewels Kemp had been willed in the first. The kicker is that the second leaves a quite considerable everything to Kemp, at the expense of some very unsavory types from Las Vegas.

   It all gets quite complicated, and dangerous as well when it appears that the second may hold up. On top of everything else the only secretary Kemp has ever had is pregnant, and he must replace her.

   I found this an engaging story from beginning to end. For reasons I can’t put the proverbial finger on, Kemp was a much more appealing character to me than he has been in the past, and I found the other characters well done also.

   Meek’s prose was low key and understated as usual, and fitted the story well. It is not, by the way, a murder mystery in any sense, but don’t let that put you off. All told, a very enjoyable book, marred only by an ending in which I couldn’t quite believe.

— Reprinted from Fireman, Fireman, Save My Books #5, January 1993.

      The Lennox Kemp series —

1. With Flowers That Fell (1983)
2. The Sitting Ducks (1984)
3. Hang the Consequences (1984)
4. The Split Second (1985)
5. In Remembrance of Rose (1986)
6. Worm of Doubt (1987)
7. A Mouthful of Sand (1988)
8. A Loose Connection (1989)
9. This Blessed Plot (1990)
10. Touch and Go (1992)
11. Postscript to Murder (1996)
12. A House to Die for (1999)
13. If You Go Down to the Woods (2001)
14. The Vanishing Point (2002)
15. Kemp’s Last Case (2004)

William F. Deeck

ANNE NASH – Cabbages and Crime. Doubleday Crime Club, hardcover, 1945. No paperback edition.

   After the Easter rush, Nell Winters and Doris (Dodo) Trent decide they deserve a vacation from their flower shop. Death Valley, bereft of gardenias and violets, strikes their fancy. Unfortunately, as they begin their trip, they stop off to see Dodo’s cousin, who operates a dog kennel.

   Because of a birth and measles, Nell and Dodo have to take charge of the kennel, with the help of Sif, a German shepherd. Not an easy task, particularly for Dodo, who is just a tad overweight. Even Nell says: “Did I ever complain about flowers? Those silent expressions of Nature. The worst they ever do is to up and die when your need is the sorest. But they do it without one yip.”

   While Nell and Dodo don’t get to Death Valley, death comes to them, in the form of a corpse in a cabbage sack. Don’t read this one for the mystery aspect, which is disappointing. Read it for the travails of Nell and Dodo as they try to cope with their furry charges.

— Reprinted from MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL, Vol. 6, No. 4, Winter 1990, “Beastly Murders.”

      The Nell Winter and Dodo Trent series —

Said with Flowers. Doubleday, 1943.
Death by Design. Doubleday, 1944.
Cabbages and Crime. Doubleday, 1945.

FYI:   J. F. Norris has a long and interesting review of Said with Flowers on his blog from earlier this year. (Follow the link.)

William F. Deeck

JACK DOLPH – Murder Makes the Mare Go. Doubleday Crime Club, hardcover, 1950. Unicorn Mystery Book Club, 4-in-1 volume, hardcover reprint. No paperback edition.

   On a two-year sabbatical, 35 year old Doc Connor twice a week has a clinic for the down-and-out. His primary interest, however, is horse racing. Thus, he is called upon by a horse trainer to check a horse, unfortunately already dead.

   Doc suspects poison, rather than heart attack, and that’s what it turns out to be. Neither the trainer nor the horse’s owner, a nightclub operator, wants Doc to investigate, not that that stops him. Indeed, he goes on to discover that an elderly dishwasher at the nightclub died of glanders, which means be was around a horse with the disease or —

   All of Dolph’s novels feature Doc Connor. From their titles, they also all deal with horse racing. If they are as good as this one, they are worth looking for.

— Reprinted from MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL, Vol. 6, No. 4, Winter 1990, “Beastly Murders.”

      The Doc Connor novels —

Murder Is Mutuel. Morrow, 1948.
Odds-On Murder. Morrow, 1948.
Murder Makes the Mare Go. Doubleday, 1950
Hot Tip. Doubleday, 1951.
Dead Angel. Doubleday, 1953.


   Vintage paperback bibliographer extraordinaire Kenneth R. Johnson has just announced the completion of his latest project “Gothics with Genuine Fantasy Elements.” You can find it online here.

   Back in the 1960s and 70 “gothic romances” were so popular that they formed their own publishing category. Hundreds if not a thousand or more titles were published, before interest in them by the reading public (mostly female) finally began to fade, and historical romances of the “bodice ripper” variety took over.

   Most of the gothics that were published could also have been categorized as “romantic suspense,” but elements of fantasy and the supernatural were often hinted at. On occasion the hints were more than that, and a number of books included out and out elements of witchcraft, psychic magic, vampirism and so on.

   This is where Ken’s annotated — and illustrated! — checklist comes in. It has to have been quite a job: finding the books, determining first of all of they were actually published as gothics, and then reading them sufficiently enough to determine whether the fantasy element were real or not.

   Not surprisingly there is a separate section of the checklist called “marginal titles.” A lot of boundaries are blurred whenever you’re trying to decide whether a book falls into a particular category or not, and for this particular project the problem is coming at you from all sides.

   It’s a job well done, and if you”re at all interested, I definitely recommend that you go take a look.

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