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The Crime Fiction Research Journal

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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 being.
    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 Richard 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 between.

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 fiction, 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 CLINICThe 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 web.

Aug 13.  MacKINLAY KANTOR.  You may or may not have known it before now, but MacKinlay Kantor, winner of a Pulitzer 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 prepared for a large dose of reality when you read this, if you haven’t already.  Part two is a comprehensive checklist 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 format.

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 Whittington.

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:
    Michael Kurland, The Empress of India.  [This includes an annotated bibliography of all of the author’s crime-related fiction.]
    Brian Augustyn, Gotham by Gaslight.  [A graphic novel in which Batman meets Jack the Ripper.]
    Hugh Clevely, The Case of the Criminal’s Daughter.   [A Sexton Blake novel from 1954.]

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 order.  I 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 your Stryker, your Striker, your Ryker, and even a vengeful merman.  One of these days, if I get inspired again, I’ll scan some more.  And believe me, there are many more.  Whatever happened to the guys who bought these 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.
    UPDATE: 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. Campion, too.

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 the 50s.

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 Edgar Wallace, 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 stories. 

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 it were 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 can 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!
    Frank Rawlings [G. T. Fleming-Roberts], The Lisping Man.
    Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain, Murder She Wrote: A Palette For Murder.
    May Mackintosh, Balloon Girl.
    Roger L. 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 On-Line was Ed Lynskey’s overview of her career and an interview he did with her in 2004. 

July 11.  PETER RAWLINSON (1918-2006).   According to 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 as Attorney-General 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 complete obituary.

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 Gold 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 of “Alternative” 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 International Film Festival.

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 appeared 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 Homes, Charles Williams, TV Mysteries, Day 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 paperback Black 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 Fiction IV lists four additional crime novels he wrote, all relatively unknown and most of 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 essentially Turner Classic Movies or nothing at all.  But over the past few days I have been 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 part of M*F’s coverage isn’t it?  No slippery slope here.  The link will lead you to a website 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 take note.

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 sixth in the series.

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.  ITS 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 60s.  Not only will you find what appears to be a definitive bibliography and an interview with Mr. Prather himself, but you can also download a Shell 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 photographs included 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 about two books I read earlier this year: Hal Glatzer, The Last Full Measure, and Elizabeth 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 in 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 read.  Matthew Farrer, Crossfire; I. J. Parker, The Hell Screen; Richard Ellington, It’s a Crime; and Margaret 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 done by David Robeson; the page itself is part of the www.cluelass.com website, owned and 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 always, 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 Davis’s fiction.

May 29.  SEXTON BLAKE.  Having recently finished only the second Sexton Blake novel I have ever read, review forthcoming, I 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; from Frank Wakely on 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 were trash.

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 certainly holding up her end.  All that’s needed is a little more speed and effort on my part.

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 do.

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 above.

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 as 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, 1926-2006Best 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 languages.

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 welcome. 
    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 Here.  

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 do.)

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 and Frank 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 and 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, February 2004.

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 memory, Steve 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 also takes a look at the one hardcover novel 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 Wren.

April 15.  GARY PHILLIPS.   A new Pro-File 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 possible.

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 Felton, Bill 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 are: Robert Lee Hall, Murder on Drury Lane; Leslie Caine, Manor of Death; David Burnham, Last Act in Bermuda; and Hilary 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 on DVD.

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 of Fingerprints.”

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 note 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 by 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 first posting.)

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 (former nun) 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 forgotten author. 

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 someone was copying his pulp stories and selling them to Manhunt: I took the liberty of posing the question to Maynard MacDonald, the son of JDM.  Says he: ‘Unfortunately, I have no recollection of the short story copying.’”

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 Lewis. 

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 this series of articles and bibliography is dedicated.   (Previous appearance: Mystery*File 47, February 2005.)

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 understand 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 mystery 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, September 2004.

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” mysteries.   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 in Bob 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 Cheesecake Murder.

Jan 15.  FATAL KISS.  Reviews by Steve Lewis.  Recently uploaded have been my comments on the following: Jack 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 on 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 bibliography.

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 Day – Another Death.

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 series character, with John D. MacDonald’s famed “salvage expert,” Travis McGee.  First appearance: Mystery*File #46, November 2004.

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 completely 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, November 2004.

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 from neglected.

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, August 2004.

Nov 22.  DENNIS LYNDS as MICHAEL COLLINS.  In Mystery*File #47 , February 2005, Ed Lynskey and I did an interview with the late Dennis Lynds on his writing career as Michael Collins, the pen-name he used primarily for his Dan Fortune novels.  Besides the interview, Ed does a comprehensive 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 other 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 career of 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 completely 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.