CORNELL WOOLRICH:  A BIBLIOGRAPHY - Additions by Paul Herman & Steve Lewis.

    The first definitive bibliography of the novels and short stories of mystery author Cornell Woolrich was compiled by Francis M. Nevins, Jr., and it appeared at the end of Nevins’ mammoth work on Woolrich’s life, First You Dream, Then You Die  (Mysterious Press, 1988).

    Readers of Mystery*File 43 may recall our telling you about the auction at the 2004 Windy City Pulp and Paperback Show.  It was there that Paul was the winning bidder on several sets of file cards owned by Popular Publications, publishers of Dime Detective, Black Mask, and many other pulp magazines.  These file cards detail the various transactions Popular Publications had with all of their authors, including Cornell Woolrich.  Not only that, when Popular bought out the Munsey line of pulps, the Munsey records came with the sale, which means that the stories Woolrich sold to Detective Fiction Weekly and Argosy, among others, were also recorded on these small piecess of history.

    There are no major finds among these cards – no previously undiscovered story under an unknown pseudonym, for example – but many of the stories were submitted by Woolrich under different titles, which we’ve recorded here.  And on occasion, yes, he did indeed submit a story under a pen-name, although the publishers always decided to use Woolrich’s name instead, and rightly so.  After all, we are certain that neither “Chick Walsh” or “Tex Brooks” would have had the eye-catching appeal of the real name of the prolific Cornell Woolrich.

    Besides the title changes, we’ve also included a handful of reprint appearances of some of the stories.  None of this information was included by Mike Nevins in his original bibliography, although some of it may have been mentioned in the text.   As you read through what follows, you might ask yourself which title you prefer, the original, or the one the story eventually appeared as, and see if you would have outvoted the publisher, if you had had the chance.

    There is other information on these cards, by the way, in case a further researcher is interested, often including the number of words, and how much Woolrich was paid and when.  On occasion, one can discover how much was paid to the typist who retyped a story when it was sold to be reprinted.

    Photos of several of the cards are included.  In a way, it is surprising to know they even survived, but since many pulp collectors are fairly tenacious researchers as well, they fell fairly easily into good hands, and now into Paul’s.    


    Original Title                                       Title Used                                        Appeared  in
The Cameras Focus on Death               Preview of Death                            Dime Detective, 11-15-34
        Note: This was Woolrich’s first appearance in Dime Detective.
Angel Face                                               Murder in Wax                                Dime Detective, 3-1-35
        Note: This story was later expanded into the novel The Black Angel.
The Body in the Bathtub                      The Body Upstairs                           Dime Detective, 4-1-35
Three Cigarettes in the Dark                      —                                                 Dime Detective, 5-1-35
        Note: It is not so stated on the file card, but this story must be “Kiss of the Cobra” from that issue of DD.
Murder in the Statue of Liberty                 —                                                Dime Detective, 7-1-35
        Note: While not stated on the file card, this story is “Red Liberty” from that issue of DD.  It has been reprinted several times as “The Corpse in the Statue of Liberty.”                            
Floating Casket                                      The Showboat Murders                  Det. Fiction Weekly, 12-14-35
Murder on St.Catherine Street           Crime on St.Catherine Street         Argosy, 1-25-36
Here’s Blood in Your Eye!                    Blood in Your Eye                            Det. Fiction Weekly, 3-2-36
Death in Three-Quarter Time             The Mystery of the Blue Spot       Det. Fiction Weekly, 4–4-36
Johnny on the Spot                                <same>                                             Det. Fiction Weekly, 5-2-36
            Reprinted in New Detective, 10-51.
Passy 22- 40                                          Underworld Trail                             Argosy, 5-16-36
     See Footnote #1.
Wardrobe Trunk                                   Dilemma of the Dead Lady             Det. Fiction Weekly, 7-4-36
    Note: The story has been reprinted under its original title.
Damned Gringo                                     Gun for a Gringo                              Argosy, 9-5-36
Toothache                                              Public Toothache #1 (*)                  Argosy, 11-7-36
    (*) Published as “Public Toothache Number One,” according to Nevins.
Murder on My Mind                            <same>                                              Det. Fiction Weekly, 8-15-36
    Note: Submitted under the pen name “Tex Brooks.”
Right in the Middle of New York        Murder in the Middle of New York   Det. Fiction Weekly, 9-26-36
The “El” Train Murder                        Death in the Air                                Det. Fiction Weekly, 10-10-36
The Police Are Always with Us           Blue Is for Bravery                          Det. Fiction Weekly, 2-27-37
Next-Door                                              The Corpse Next Door                    Det. Fiction Weekly, 1-23-37
Binge                                                        Wake Up with Death                      Det. Fiction Weekly, 6-5-37
That’s Your Own Funeral                    Your Own Funeral                           Argosy, 6-19-37
    Note: The story has been reprinted several times under its original title.
If I Should Die Before                          If I Should Die Before I Wake         Det. Fiction Weekly, 7-3-37
        Reprinted in Detective Tales, Apr 1951.
Wrong Timing                                      Vision of Murder                               Det. Fiction Weekly, 7-17-37
Murder-Story                                       Murder Story                                    Det. Fiction Weekly, 9-11-37.
    Note: Submitted under the pen name “Chick Walsh.”
You Bet Your Life                                <same>                                              Det. Fiction Weekly, 9-25-37
    Note: Submitted under the pen name “Chick Walsh.”
By Gum                                                Stuck with Murder                            Dime Detective, 10-37
Sure I Killed Her!                                The Lie                                               Det. Fiction Weekly, 10-9-37
    Note: Submitted under the pen name “Chick Walsh.”
Waltz                                                    <same>                                               Double Detective, 11-37
    Note: Submitted under the pen name “Chick Walsh.”  This was the first issue of this magazine.
Twice-Trod Path                                  Guns, Gentlemen                             Argosy, 12-18-37
    Note: The story was reprinted once under its original title.
I Bake Your Pardon                             Wild Bill Hiccup                                Argosy, 2-5-38
The Man Who Married a Corpse        Jane Brown’s Body                          All American Fiction, 3-4/38
You Forgot the Hole                             Short-Order Kill                              Dime Detective, 5-38
Meridian 7–1212                                   I Hereby Bequeath                         Double Detective, 10-38
Gratitude                                               I.O.U. One Life                                 Double Detective, 11-38
The Eye of Doom                                 The Episode of the Vengeful God     Argosy, 1-14-39
    Note: Pencilled in after “The Eye of Doom” is the notation “#1.”  The overall novel was published in in four installments in serial form.
The Eye of Doom #2.                           The Episode of the Hungry Knife             Argosy, 1-21-39
The Eye of Doom #3.                           The Episode of the Voodoo Gun               Argosy, 1-28-39
The Eye of Doom #4.                           The Episode of the Golden Cats-Paw      Argosy, 2-4-39
    Note: Woolrich was paid in the following manner for this novel:
        #1. 13,005 words    $240 on Feb 3, 1938.
        #2. 11,800 words    $265 on June 9, 1938.
        #3. 13,201 words    $265 on Sept 1, 1938.
        #3. 14,413 words    $250 on Dec 1, 1938.
    All payments seem to have been made within two or three days after submission.
He Talked through His Hat                  The Counterfeit Hat                        Det. Fiction Weekly, 2-18-39
The Miller Mattle                                    —                                                      Dime Detective, no date stated.
    See Footnote #2.
The Case of the Talking Eyes                <same>                                            Dime Detective, 9-39
    Note: At the bottom of the file card is the pencilled notation: “Eyes That Watch You” with a question mark.  The story was reprinted once under that title. 
O’Rourke from New York                   Senõr Flatfoot                                    Argosy, 2-3-40
Wait for Me Downstairs                       Finger of Doom                                  Det. Fiction Weekly, 6-22-40
    Note: This story was reprinted once under its original title.
Death Makes a Personal Appearance      —                                                    Dime Detective, 9- 40 ?
    Note: While not so stated on the file card, this story must be “Flowers from the Dead” from that issue of DD.
Cocaine                                                  C-Jag                                                    Black Mask, 10-40.
    Note: This story was reprinted twice under its original title.
The Fellow I Lived With                     He Looked Like Murder                    Det. Fiction Weekly, 2-8-41
            Note: Reprinted in Black Mask, 1-51, under the new title.
Murder with a U                                   U, As in Murder                                 Dime Detective, 3-41
    Note: This story was reprinted once under its original title.
Nightmare                                            And So to Death                                  Argosy, 3-1-41
    Note: The story (24,500 words) was accepted as a serial and has the notation “To be cut,” but it was published complete in the one issue.  Most if not all of its reprint appearances have been under the original title.
The Clock on the Paramount               Of Time and Murder                         Det. Fiction Weekly, 3-15-41
    Notes: This story was later expanded into the novel Deadline at Dawn Reprinted: Black Mask, Nov 1950. 
Absent Minded Murder                       Cool, Calm, and Detected                   Black Mask, 4-41
    Note: This story was reprinted once under its original title.
Marijuana                                              <same>                                                 Det. Fiction Weekly, 5-3-41
    Notes: The story was submitted as 14,000 words; it is stated that 1000 words were cut.  Reprinted: Detective Tales, Jan 1951, as “Dark Flight.”  The file card for this second publication states the number of words as 14,300, with no mention of words being cut.  
Gilt-Edged Murder                               The Fatal Footlights                            Det. Fiction Weekly, 6-14-41
            Reprinted: Dime Detective, 10-50.
The Finger on Him                                The Customer Is Always Right          Detective Tales, 7-41
    Note: Nevins lists the title as being “The Customer’s Always Right.”
Murder Gets an A                                 Murder at Mother’s Knee                   Dime Detective, 10-41
Murder from a Fixed Viewpoint           It Had to Be Murder                          Dime Detective, 2-42.
    Note: This story is much better known by the title it was reprinted as many times, “Rear Window.”
Two Murders One Crime                      Three Kills for One                              Black Mask, 7-42
    Note: This story was reprinted at least once under its original title.
The Case of the Orphaned Diamonds    Orphan Ice                                         Dime Detective, 9-42.
    Note: The file card entry is incorrect in attributing the publication of this story to Black Mask.
Bequest                                                  Implacable Bequest                              Detective Tales, 9-42.
    Note: This story was reprinted once under its original title.
The Body in Grant’s Tomb                    <same>                                                Dime Detective, 1-43.
    Note: Stated as submitted under the pen name “Chick Walsh.”
Death Keeps a Diary                             The Death Diary (*)                             Flynn’s Det. Fiction, 4-43 (*)
    (*) Neither the new title nor the date of publication are included on the file card.
Murderess                                              Mind Over Murder (*)                         Dime Detective, 5- 43
    (*) The new title is not included on the file card, only the magazine and date, with a question mark on the latter.
Death, R.F.D.                                          Death on Delivery                                Dime Detective, 9-43
Body of a Well-Dressed Woman          What the Well-Dressed Corpse Will Wear       Dime Detective, 3-44
    Note: This story was reprinted once under its original title.

Footnote #1.  The original title was crossed out on the file card for it, which made it difficult to decipher, but Mike Nevins confirms that this is correct, as can be found on page 144 of First You Dream.  It is his belief that the title is an address for a street in Paris.

Footnote #2.  Mike suggests that this should be “The Miller Matter” but “The Miller Mattle” is the title as it is on the card.  There is no indication on the card as to the title it was changed to, but Mike says that almost certainly must be “The Case of the Talking Eyes,” Dime Detective, 9-39.  The protagonist of the story is named Janet Miller.


We would like to thank Mike Nevins for making various other corrections and suggesting some changes to the presentation.  And of course without him, we would have needed to start from scratch.

    Mike has more to say about Cornell Woolrich in his own column.


The file card for the the first pulp detective story written by Cornell Woolrich.

The card for the story reprinted several times as “The Corpse in the Statue of Liberty.”

The card for one of the stories Woolrich submitted as Chick Walsh.

The card for the serialized Phantom Alibi.

The card for the short story "Marihuana.”

The card for one the stories Woolrich submitted as by Tex Brooks.


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