Wed 30 May 2007
A few posts back, mystery writer George Marton was discussed, this in conjunction with my comments on the movie based on a thriller mystery he co-authored with Tibor Méray, Catch Me a Spy.
I listed there the books he had to his credit in Crime Fiction IV, a list that’s repeated below. I also pointed out he was born in 1900, but that no year of death had been noted, and that that was all I knew of the man.
Thanks the investigative endeavors of Victor Berch and Ted Murphy, working separately, I can now tell you more. First, a repeat of George Marton’s entry in CFIV, adding his year of death and correcting his year of birth.
MARTON, GEORGE (1899-1979)
* The Raven Never More [with Tibor Méray] (n.) Spearman 1966.
* Catch Me a Spy [with Tibor Méray] (n.) Allen 1971; Harper, 1969.
* Three-Cornered Cover [with Christopher Felix] (n.) Allen 1973; Holt, 1972.
* The Obelisk Conspiracy [with Michael Burren] (n.) Allen 1975; Stuart, 1976.
* Alarum (n.) Allen 1977
* The Janus Pope (n.) Allen 1980; Dell, 1979.
While the books above all fall generally into the category of spy fiction, I’ve yet to come up with much in terms of story descriptions — and this is rather surprising — nor have I found scans of any of the covers, not one. Both of these omissions will be taken care of in a later post.
His full name was George Nicholas Marton. Born June 3, 1899, in Budapest, Hungary; died April 13, 1979, in West Hollywood, California. Of the Jewish faith, Mr. Marton earned a PhD from the Sorbonne in 1924 and was a internationally known literary agent in Vienna between 1925 and 1937, and in Paris from 1937 to 1939.
Fleeing the Nazis and coming to the US aboard the SS Normandie on March 30, 1939, he became president of the Playmarket Agency in Los Angeles from 1939 to 1944, later working for MGM. During World War II, Mr. Marton served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the National Guard. Returning to Paris, he became the literary agent for 20th Century Fox in Paris until his retirement in 1963 or 1969. (There are conflicting dates given for the latter.)
It was not until his retirement that he turned seriously to writing. Besides the film based on one of his novels, one other, Play Dirty (1968), came from an original story he wrote. The movie, a “Dirty Dozen” type of war drama, was directed by André De Toth and starred Michael Caine in the leading role.
His final novel, The Janus Pope, did not appear until after his death from cancer at the age of 79.