Sun 28 Jan 2007
Even though Allen J. Hubin’s work on Crime Fiction IV is nominally closed, he is still accumulating Addenda for his massive bibliography, as I’ve mentioned before, and actively so at that. The Internet is a massive tool to have at your disposal, especially Google, as everyone reading this must surely know — an enormously valuable implement for scooping up data and facts that simply wasn’t available when most of the work on the book was being done.
In Al’s case (and mine as well, if truth be told) he can now type in the name of an author whose vital statistics are scanty or non-existent (birth date, year of death, some biographical details) and/or the title of one of their books, and see what shows up.
Sometimes you get nothing at all, and sometimes – if the name is too common – you get too much. It’s impossible, for example, to sort through all of the Bill Joneses of the world.
Sometimes, however, you hit upon a nugget or two, or even more. Case in point. At the present time, or not until a couple of days ago, nothing was known about:
* * *Murder in Mayfair (Allen, 1954, hc) [London] Novelization of a short story by Vera Caspary, q.v.
* * *The Smugglers (Allen, 1955, hc)
On the web now, though, is a site belonging to Paul K. Lyons which includes, among other things, pages of information for over 500 diarists. Besides writing a small amount of fiction, Paul has been a diarist himself since 1974, and he is in the process of making the entries available online.
In January 1981 he happened to be reading a book called Murder in Mayfair (see above) and wrote about it in his diary. One line, and Google picked it up: “In the British Library I’ve been reading Murder in Mayfair written by my father, Frederic Goldsmith.”
Al spotted this, immediately emailed Paul and received this reply:
“He was born in 1925, in Vienna, moved to the UK during his teens (taking on British citizenship which he retained throughout his life), and died in the US in 1989. His wife, Gail Goldsmith, lives in New York.
“His father Isadore Goldsmith (IG) was a film producer, and IG’s second wife, Vera Caspary, was an American author (Laura).”
[UPDATE: In a later email to me, Paul added the following:
And there’s the connection with Vera Caspary. Here’s one of that lady’s entries in CFIV:
Emphasis mine. And here’s Isadore Goldsmith’s full entry in www.imdb.com:
1. The Tell-Tale Heart (1953/II) (producer)
2. The Scarf (1951) (producer) (as I.G. Goldsmith)
… aka The Dungeon
3. Three Husbands (1951) (producer) (as I.G. Goldsmith)
… aka Letter to Three Husbands
4. Out of the Blue (1947) (producer)
5. Bedelia (1946) (producer)
6. The Voice Within (1945) (producer)
7. Hatter’s Castle (1942) (producer)
8. The Stars Look Down (1940) (producer) (as I. Goldsmith)
9. I Killed the Count (1939) (producer)
… aka Who Is Guilty? (USA)
10. The Lilac Domino (1937) (producer)
11. Southern Roses (1936) (producer) (as Isidore Goldschmidt)
12. Whom the Gods Love: The Original Story of Mozart and His Wife (1936) (co-producer)
… aka Mozart (USA)
… aka Whom the Gods Love (UK: short title)
Writer – filmography
1. The Scarf (1951) (story) (as I.G. Goldsmith)
… aka The Dungeon
2. Bedelia (1946)
One of the movies that caught my eye was The Scarf, which Isadore Goldsmith both produced and wrote the story it was based on. Was there some connection also to the book of the same title written by Robert Bloch (of Psycho fame)? No, not so. The co-author of the story, according to IMDB, was Edwin Rolfe, who has a single entry in CFIV himself:
* * * The Glass Room (with Lester Fuller) (Rinehart, 1946, hc) [Los Angeles, CA] Low, 1948.
And The Scarf, by Robert Bloch (Dial, 1947) seems to have never been made into a movie at all.
She’ll certainly best be known as the author of Laura, however, and (more than likely) for the movie more than for the book.
But which of her stories did Frederick Goldsmith use to construct his novel Murder in Mayfair? At the moment I do not know, but if and when I do, you can be sure you will read about it here.