An Annotated Checklist of the Fingerprint Mystery Series published by Ziff-Davis,
by Bill Pronzini, Victor Berch & Steve Lewis

    Ziff-Davis was a Chicago-based company that seems to have formally set up shop in 1935, according to John Tebbel, A History of Book Publishing in the United States, primarily as a magazine publisher.   Besides periodicals on new hobby activities such as radio and aviation, Ziff-Davis was also heavy into photography, publishing both magazines on the subject (Popular Photography) and by 1939, hardcover books such as Flash Photography and Composition for the Amateur

    In 1941, when Ziff-Davis moved to new quarters on the seventh floor of the Michigan Square Building, the company’s publications were reported to have been Flying and Popular Aviation, Popular Photography, Radio News and All Wave Radio, and the Ziff-Davis fiction group.

    The owners of Ziff-Davis were William Bernard Ziff (1898-1953), who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, and Bernard G. Davis (1906-1972), who died in Korea and was cremated there.  In 1942, when the company merged with the Alliance Book Corporation, based in New York, William Ziff is stated as being the chairman of the board, with B. G. Davis as the vice president and editorial director.  (Of significance to mystery and detective fans is the fact that when the latter left the company in 1958 to form his own company, Davis Publications, one of the magazines he purchased from Mercury Press and published for many years was Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.)

    Pulp collectors in particular have good reason to be familiar with the name Ziff-Davis.   The fiction magazines Z-D published in the 1940s included Mammoth Detective, Mammoth Mystery, Mammoth Western, South Sea Stories, Amazing Stories and Fantastic Adventures.  And not so incidentally, the word “mammoth” should be taken literally.  Before the wartime paper shortages kicked in, their pulps were huge chunks of magazine, verging on an inch thick.

    In 1942 the Ziff-Davis hardcover line of books had expanded to cover sports (table tennis, baseball, bowling and so on).  It was not until 1943 that the company began to branch out into other fare, which included for the first time mystery fiction, taking over Alliance’s already existing line of Fingerprint Mysteries.  For Ziff-Davis, Amelia Reynolds Long’s The Triple Cross Mystery and Phyllis A. Whitney’s Red Is for Murder were published on the same day in October of that year.  (The primary focus of this checklist are the books and authors Ziff-Davis series of Fingerprints.  For information on the earlier Alliance books, of which there were four, follow the link to a separate section at the end of this page.)

    Starting a new line of books right in the middle of World War II must have proven to have been quite a challenge.  Books in the Fingerprint line appeared only sporadically until late 1946, which was well after the hostilities had ceased.  Thirteen books appeared in 1947, but Ziff-Davis had published only five in 1948 before they closed up their mystery line for good in the middle of that year, deciding to concentrate on what the company did best: non-fiction and their stable of magazines.

    Poor distribution was the most likely culprit, with disappointing sales the result.  While somewhat uneven in quality, the mysteries themselves were generally as good as those of nearly every other publisher, and in some cases better.  They paid higher advances, thus persuading a number of well-known authors to shift to Ziff-Davis for financial reasons: Virginia Rath for her last two novels and D. B. Olsen for a pair.  Brett Halliday and Bruno Fischer joined the Fingerprint Mystery list with the same rationale, but in the end the moves proved not to be successful.  Except for Rath, most of them either returned to their original publisher or found new ones.    FOOTNOTE. 

    Ziff-Davis had one primary logo which appeared on the spine of all of their books and usually on the spines of the jackets as well.  This basic one consisted of a flying horse encircled by the company’s name.  If it appeared elsewhere, it was usually in a linear design.  The additional logo that appeared on the books in the Fingerprint series was a fingerprint inside a stylized magnifying glass.  Surprisingly enough, this eye-catching design appeared only on the back covers, never the front.  Examples of all these should be visable in the images seen to the left.  The words “A Fingerprint Mystery” appear on the front flap under the title on most, though not all of them.

    The books below are presented first alphabetically by author, and then for each author in order of publication.  The second listing is a chronological one, in overall order of publication.  Jacket covers included for all of the books. 

    We thank Al Hubin for his help on the biographical notes for the authors whenever needed.  Steve’s daughter, Sarah Johnson, was also of assistance in tracking down information on Milton K. Ozaki.  Of great service to us once again was Jeff Falco, who made several suggestions of considerable importance in regards to the Ziff-Davis story, and we are in his debt for doing so.  Any remaining errors of fact or interpretation are wholly ours, however.

    In all likelihood, as more research is done, the information on this page will change accordingly.  There will be revisions, additions, and perhaps even corrections.  Please keep that in mind and return to this page every so often for the latest information as to what we know then about whom.

FOOTNOTE.  We’ve learned a bit more, but not enough to do more than make some conjectures.  Sometime in 1946 through 1947, coincident with the marked increase in publication of the Fingerprint books, author Clayton Rawson took over as the mystery editor.  Bruno Fischer was already an early and regular contributor to the Z-D line of pulp magazines, but based on the fact that the two were personal friends, we believe that Rawson had a large hand in getting his work published in the Fingerprint line.  (Also note that Fischer’s first Ziff-Davis hardcover, The Pigskin Bag, appeared first in the November 1946 issue of Mammoth Detective, and his second, More Deaths Than One was the lead story in the June 1947 issue of Mammoth Mystery.) 

    Rawson was also probably responsible for Dave Dresser (Brett Halliday) coming over to Ziff-Davis for the three books he did with them, as once again, the latter was friends with both Fischer and Rawson.  (Halliday’s Counterfeit Wife first appeared in in the June 1947 issue of Mammoth Detective.)

    Our earlier statement was that higher advances were the reason a number of authors switched to Ziff-Davis from other publishers.  We can’t confirm that Clayton Rawson was responsible for this, but we suspect that he was.  Another factor entering into our thinking is that all three, Rawson, Dresser and Fischer, had a hand in the formation of the Mystery Writers of America (MWA).

    From an MWA web page, in describing the history of the organization, Lawrence Treat is quoted as saying: “A publisher, Ziff-Davis, signed our model contract and writers flocked to the Z-D banner, which waved for a couple of years until Z-D gave up its mystery line, for reasons I don't know, but which may have had something to do with breaking the solid front of publishers, who would neither sign our model contract nor even think about our share-the-rental program, because it involved (perish the thought) some bookkeeping.

    Another website describes the contract in more details as follows:  Mysteries at the time were sold at a standard, set in stone, price of $2.00, and were sold primarily to rental libraries.  Such a book could bring in more than $10.00 for the store, but the writer would never see more than twenty cents in royalty payments.  The MWA pushed a revolutionary idea of raising the price of the books to $2.50, and splitting the fifty cent increase between the author and publisher.  They even put together a model contract that would give the author a fairer share of the subsidiary rights.  Ziff-Davis signed the model contract, and enjoyed flocks of mystery writers rallying around them until they discontinued their mystery line.  No other publishers would touch the model contract or the MWAs ideas about sharing in the rental profits.



  The Red Gate

  Sinister Street
Quinny Hite

        Over a relatively short writing career, Richard Burke had ten mystery novels appear from six different publishers between 1940 and 1948.  This pair of Fingerprint Mysteries from Ziff-Davis were the last two he did, although he lived until 1962.  Five of the ten books featured a Broadway private detective named Quinny Hite, an ex-cop noted for wearing a derby while on the job.   His final appearance was in Sinister Street.
        Of note is the first case that Hite solved, The Dead Take No Bows (Houghton Mifflin, 1941), which was the basis for DRESSED TO KILL, one of a series of Michael Shayne movies that starred Lloyd Nolan in the 1940s.  Lightning did not strike twice, however, and nothing else that Burke wrote was picked up by Hollywood.
        The Red Gate is one of those tales where a young girl from a poor background marries an old guy (rich) and when the old guy (a judge) dies, the young girl gets the blame.  Clumsily plotted, says the review in the The New York Times, while conceding at the same time that Sadie has some charm.  The book itself is dedicated to “Helen and Dave,” whom we presume to be Helen McCloy and Davis Dresser, aka Brett Halliday.
        According to his obituary, Burke died on the job as a typesetter for the Santa Barbara News Press at the age of 76, having worked for more than 60 newspapers over the years.  The information on the dust jacket refers to him as having been on the staff of the Daily Times in Santa Maria, California, for many years, a theatrical photographer, a Shakespearean actor and a world traveler.

  HELEN FARRAR        

  Murder Goes to School      1948

       Herself a schoolteacher, Helen Farrar’s only mystery novel also had an academic setting.  College and university settings are quite common in detective fiction, but not so high schools, which is where Farrar’s leading character, Sherry Cornell, finds herself in the middle of a murder case.
       Sharing the detective work with Cornell, a language instructor at Los Lomas High School, is the local county sheriff, Jim Ericksen.  Bill’s judgment is that the book is a good one, and that Cornell and Ericksen made an excellent sleuthing team together.  Regrettably, such a series never happened, as a second book from Helen Farrar was never written or published.
       According to the dust jacket, the author was the daughter of a university professor, educated at the University of California, studied at Oxford, Cambridge, and the Sorbonne, and taught English, French, and history in half a dozen schools and junior colleges, mainly in California where the novel is set.
       She is also not to be confused, as we were for a short while, with Helen Graham Farrar, who wrote two gothic novels in the early 1970s.



    The Pigskin Bag

    More Deaths Than One
  PI Ben Helm
    The Bleeding Scissors

    Before turning to writing for the pulp magazines in 1936, Bruno Fischer, born in Germany in 1908, held a variety of other jobs after high school: he was a sports reporter, rewrite man and police reporter for a Long Island newspaper, he was a truck driver and chauffeur, and he did book reviews and political columns for New Republic and other similar magazines.    FOOTNOTE
    Once established in the pulp field, however, Fischer became a full-time writer, producing hundreds of mystery, detective, and weird menace stories for just about every magazine under the sun, using both his own name and the pseudonymous Russell Gray.
    Fischer’s first  hardcover mystery novel, So Much Blood, was published by Greystone Press in 1939.  His primary series character, medium-boiled private eye Ben Helm, first appeared in The Dead Men Grin (McKay, 1945).  Helm, who was married and was perhaps as much a criminologist as he was a PI,  ended up in a total of six mystery adventures in hardcover before he was through.
    Fischer left the pulps and hardcover fiction behind in the early 1950s, and much of his reputation among collectors today rests on the large number of original crime novels he began doing then for Gold Medal.  After 1969 he gave up writing to assume the positions of executive editor of Macmillan's Collier Books and education editor of the Arco Publishing Company, both of which he held for over a decade. 
    As for Fischer’s books in the Fingerprint series, The Pigskin Bag is a finely crafted suspense novel about a man who finds the eponymous bag in his garage, it having belonged to a man who died in an accident witnessed by his wife.  Before he can take the bag to the police, it is stolen and a murdered man left in its place in the garage.  Reviews were uniformly excellent.  Will Cuppy in the Saturday Review, for example, called it “exciting, fast-moving, with some spine-tingling moments.”
    The Bleeding Scissors is another suspense novel, this one involving a man whose wife suddenly and inexplicably turns up missing, a New York City play called The Virgin Mistress, an apparent hit-and-run death, and a villainous  private detective (not “Nameless”).
    More Deaths Than One, the middle entry among Fischer’s Ziff-Davis mysteries, is Bill’s own favorite among the three.  This one is an unusual detective story told in alternating first-person viewpoints among six principal characters, one of whom is Ben Helm, and another one of whom is the cleverly and fairly concealed murderer of a womanizing artist in a small upstate New York town. 
    Fischer was particularly good at drawing believable characters whose actions and motivations are psychologically sound, an ability he demonstrated to good advantage in More Deaths Than One, and equally so in The Evil Days, his final work of crime fiction (Random House, 1974).  Failing eyesight regrettably prevented Fischer from doing others, as he had planned.  He died in 1992.

FOOTNOTE.  The entire Fischer family emigrated to the US in 1913.

         R. L. GOLDMAN       

         The Purple Shells        1947

    Raymond Leslie Goldman, to use the author’s full name, was born in 1895 and is said to have taught creative writing in Nashville after serving in World War I.   His writing career began in the pulps and the occasional slick magazine, his first published story being “Smell of Sawdust,” which appeared in Collier’s Weekly in 1917.  Leaving the pulp magazines after the 1920s, Goldman became a regular contributor of stories and articles to the Saturday Evening Post, Pictorial Review, Delineator et al.
    His first mystery novel, the hard-to-find The Hartwell Case (Skeffington, 1929) was published only in England, as was his second, The Murder of Harvey Blake (Skeffington, 1931).  A quote from the jacket of the latter suggests that: “As in The Hartwell Case, even the most enthusiastic amateur detective reader will prove unable to probe the mystery surrounding the murder, though the author distributes his clues with a lavish hand.”   
    This second book is also notable for the first appearance of Goldman’s long-running series characters, newspaper editor Asaph Clume and his “irrepressible red-headed reporter” Rufus Reed.    Clume and Reed appeared together in six detective novels, including four published by Coward-McCann (1938-42).  The final one, and Goldman’s last mystery, was The Purple Shells for Ziff-Davis.  
    Reed, who is the narrator, is also the principal character, although Clume also has a role.   Set in a fictional midwestern town, the story involves the murder of a biology professor, strangely found with purple sea shells lying beside him.  It may be one of the few conchologist mystery novels in existence.  Bill calls the book well-written, as he deems all of Goldman’s work.

FOOTNOTE: Three of Goldman’s stories were the basis for cinematic productions.  BING BANG BOOM  (1922) was adapted from the serial novel of the same name in Argosy All-Story Weekly, July 31 - August 28, 1920.  BATTLING BUNYAN (1925) was based on his story Battling Bunyan Ceases to Be Funny, which appeared in Saturday Evening Post, March 15, 1924.  The source story for the two-reeler THAT RED-HEADED HUSSY (1929) has not yet been identified.

FOOTNOTE: Most of Goldman’s novels appeared as by R. L. Goldman.  Not all, however.  His last Coward-McCann mystery, Murder Behind the Mike, has the full Raymond Leslie Goldman byline everywhere on book and jacket except for the spines, which have it R. L. Goldman in both cases.  On The Purple Shells, the byline is R. L . Goldman on the jacket cover but Raymond Leslie Goldman on the front flap, and on the title and copyright pages of the book.  Don’t you just love writer and publisher consistency?


The Senator’s Nude     1947

    The author of only the one mystery novel you see to the left, Bill Goode was the pen name of William F. Goodykoontz (1914-1990), at one time a reporter for the Washington Daily News, for which he wrote a regular police and courts beat column called “It Happened in Washington.”  He later switched from crime to political reporting, covering the White House and the House of Representatives for various news sources, including the Washington Post.
    Perhaps you can tell from the front cover of the dust jacket (seen to the left) that The Senator’s Nude was not intended to be an Advise and Consent type of novel.  More from the blurb on the inside flap:
    “Headlines throughout the nation rock Washington society when they tell the world: NUDE GIRL FOUND MURDERED IN SENATOR SMUDGE’S BED!  You’ll rock too – with laughter – as the Senator protests frantically that he has never seen the girl before ...
    “Bill Goode’s uproarious mystery novel gives you suspense until the last page, detection at high speed, laughs in every lethal line, and introduces you to a new and scintillating team of detectives – Stoney Hawk, a night editor with a remarkable nose for news, and Larry C. King, who by emulating Casanova, helps solve the year’s most hilarious homicide.”
    Not the Larry King we all know and adore today, we presume.


    Atomic Murder    1947

    If there were a ringer among the list of mysteries Ziff and Davis did in their Fingerprint line, this is the one that it would be.  It is, for example, the only book written by a British author, and the only one reprinted from a prior publication.  Why they happened to choose this one is a ... mystery.
    All of the other books in the series are solid Americana, pure and simple.  Take a quick run through all of the authors and all of their books, and you will see what we mean. 
    Nor was Gribble especially well-known in this country.  Of the fifty or so published under his own name, in a career spanning from 1929 to 1986, only a small fraction have ever been published in this country, and many of those came later on, in the 1950s.    FOOTNOTE
    This is not meant to diminish Gribble’s accomplishments or his abilities.  His long-running series character, Scotland Yard’s Supt. Anthony Slade (who also appears in Atomic Murder) must have been popular in England, but as John Creasey also discovered for a long period of time during the 1940s and 50s, being popular in England does not mean that it carries well over here in the US.  One source on the Internet describes Slade as being described elsewhere as an “imaginative but cautious” policeman.
    A review in the New York Times was less encouraging, however.  Describing the plot as one in which Slade must investigate the machine gun slaying of the prime mover behind a project to harness nuclear energy for industrial use, the reviewer went on to say, “It is quite possible that the reader will weary of it all before Slade gets his man.”
    No matter what, it also means that Atomic Murder is also the only definitive police procedural in the Fingerprint series, qualifying it a second time over for its outlier status.
FOOTNOTE.  Here is a list of the other names that Gribble wrote mysteries under over the course of his career:  Sterry Browning, James Gannett, Leo Grex, Louis Grey, Piers Marlowe, Dexter Muir and Bruce Sanders. 

     Series character: private eye Michael Shayne in all titles.

    Blood on Biscayne Bay
    Counterfeit Wife

    Michael Shayne’s Triple Mystery
  Contents:  Dead Man’s Diary  (Black Mask, September 1945)
      Dinner at Dupre’s  (Mystery Book Magazine, September 1946)
      A Taste for Cognac (Black Mask, November 1944)
     Among author Davis Dresser’s other pseudonyms were Asa Baker, Matthew Blood, Hal Debrett (with Kathleen Rollins Dresser) and Anderson Wayne, but it was as “Brett Halliday” that he made both his fame and fortune.  Never a prolific writer for the pulp magazines, in spite of the collection of three novelettes that made up the Triple Mystery collection, both Brett Halliday and Mike Shayne first started to appear in book form very early on. 
    The first Halliday-Shayne combo was Dividend on Death (Henry Holt, 1939).   After four more books for Holt, the Mike Shayne books switched to Dodd, Mead & Co., where he stayed for most of the rest of his hardcover career, a run interrupted only by the short stay with Ziff-Davis before returning to the folks at Dodd, Mead.  Beginning in 1965, however, the adventures of Mike Shayne began to appear as paperback originals from Dell, where his books had been reprinted almost from the beginning.
    Also worthy of note is that even before the change to the paperback originals, Dresser had begun to farm out the Mike Shayne franchise to two other writers, Ryerson Johnson and Robert Terrall.
    For a short while toward the beginning of the series Mike Shayne’s adventures took place in New Orleans (as did the stories that were part of the 1948 radio series starring Jeff Chandler), but the locale with which he will always be associated is Miami.  The cases solved by the tough, red-headed private eye, known for (yes) a taste for cognac were featured not only in the books and on the radio, but he was played in seven 1940s B-movies by Lloyd Nolan (there were twelve in all) and on television for one season in 1960-61 by Richard Deming.
    There was also a Mike Shayne comic book, and of course his adventures continued for many years after the books ended in a mystery magazine named after him.  Few of these later stories were written by Dresser (as one of the collaborators on this checklist knows full well) but one thing is certain.  Few authors have ever come up with a character as well known in his time as Davis Dresser did. 

           The Twisted Mirror     1947

   Although Leonard Lee has only this one entry in Crime Fiction IV, it hardly seems appropriate to refer to him as a one-shot writer.  Born in 1902 and educated at Princeton, Lee wrote a number of stories for The Saturday Evening Post in the 1930s, and in the 1940s he became one of the contributing authors to the Sherlock Holmes radio program.
    Even more significant is his career as a screenwriter in Hollywood, including among the films to his credit such crime entries as DRESSED TO KILL, with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce starring as  Holmes and Watson; THE FAT MAN, based on the famed radio series; SPY HUNT, based on a Victor Canning novel; and THE GLASS WEB, based on the Max Ehrlich novel.
    Lee eventually moved to television, working on such series as 77 Sunset Strip and Border Patrol before his death in 1964.
    While The Twisted Mirror is his only novel, a play, Sweet Poison, was performed in 1948 and was the basis for two made-for-TV movies, once in 1959 under Lee’s title, and again in 1970 as Along Came a Spider.
    Mirror is a suspense novel in which a series of murders begins to happen in a small California town, and it is up to Lt. Gregory and his men to stop the killer responsible.  The actual protagonist, however, is the narrator, newspaper editor Steve Ross.  A pretty good novel, in Bill’s judgement, tense, with the climactic scenes in a fogbound amusement park especially well done.


   The Triple Cross Murders
    Edward Trelawney
    Death Looks Down
    Edward Trelawney & Katherine “Peter” Piper
    Symphony in Murder
    Edward Trelawney

    Before Amelia Reynolds Long began a second career in writing mysteries, she was a poet and author of many tales of fantasy and science fiction.  One of the few women in the field in the 1930s, she was a steady contributor to magazines such as Weird Tales, Strange Stories, Amazing, and Astounding.  After the publication of The Shakespeare Murders (Phoenix Press, 1939), however, she became almost exclusively a writer of hardcover detective fiction.   FOOTNOTE (1)
    Most of these books also appeared under the Phoenix imprint, both before and after her stay with Ziff-Davis.  Long eventually became the most prolific contributor for Phoenix, a publisher of books largely designed for the lending-library market.  In all, she wrote 30 or so mysteries in the period between 1939 and 1952, both under her own name and as Adrian Reynolds and Patrick Laing. 
    Uneven in quality, her books were not well reviewed at the time.  Anthony Boucher, for example, referred to them at various times as “lightweight” and “filled with cardboard characters.”  The books often seem to feature an ingenious plot setup, only to be undone by development and explanations seemingly unable to match the skillfulness in how they are begun.
    Long’s books do remain popular, however, and they continue to be sought out by collectors.  Coming more or less at the height of her mystery-writing career, the ones done for Ziff-Davis are perhaps as typical as any other of her novels.    FOOTNOTE (2)
    The Triple Cross Murders concerns the murder of a well-known surgeon and lecturer at the Philadelphia University Medical School.  A severed hand with a triple cross tattooed on the wrist, disappearing bodies, an alleged ghoul, and a character colorfully dubbed Louie the Hop figure prominently.  The case is solved by one of Long’s series characters, Edward Trelawney, a criminal psychologist and a special consultant to the D.A.’s office.
    Death Looks Down features murder most foul in the American Literature Room of the Philadelphia University library, and involves a group of Edgar Allan Poe scholars, the theft of what is alleged to be the original manuscript of Poe’s “Ulalume,” a disappearing corpse (a Long staple) and four gruesome murders.  (Another great setup that fizzles toward the end.)   Trelawney is once more on the job, this time with the assistance of another of Long’s series characters, mystery writer Peter Piper (female).
    In Symphony in Murder, the new conductor of the Philadelphia Philharmonic is mysteriously shot during a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.  Trelawney again does the sleuthing.

FOOTNOTE (1).  The Shakespeare Murders was not quite Amelia Reynolds Long’s first mystery novel.  In 1936 she wrote a book entitled Behind the Evidence, based on the Lindbergh kidnaping.  Published under the pseudonym of Peter Reynolds by the Visionary Publishing Company, only 75 copies were printed.  Most of these, it is reported, were distributed to friends of the author.

FOOTNOTE (2).  The one I’ve found to be the most satisfying (Bill speaking here) is The Leprechaun Murders, an Adrian Reynolds effort (Phoenix Press, 1950) and perhaps her least typical – this one because leprechauns, real ones, figure prominently in the story (!).

A NOTE OF THANKS: For much more information on Amelia Reynolds Long, we recommend you to a website dedicated to her by Richard Simms, who most graciously provided us with the cover image of The Triple Cross Murders.

      D. B. OLSEN

    Widows Ought to Weep

    Cats Have Tall Shadows
Rachel Murdock

    Besides the mysteries that appeared under her own name, D(olores) B(irk) Olsen also wrote as Dolores Hitchens, Dolan Birkley and Noel Burke.  She was born in Texas but spent most of her life on the West Coast – California, Oregon, Washington.  She had two children by  her first husband, a Mr. Olsen whom she shed after a short marriage.
    Her second husband, Bert Hitchens, was a railroad detective and her collaborator on five railroad mysteries in the 1950s, but we will continue to refer to her as Olsen throughout these notes.  FOOTNOTE 
    Her first published work was a poem in a motion picture magazine when she was 13, and she later won a prize for an inter-scholastic book of poetry while in college.  Olsen’s first novel, A Clue in the Clay, was published by Phoenix Press in 1938, while her second novel, The Cat Saw Murder (Doubleday Crime Club, 1939), introduced her spinster sleuth, Rachel Murdock, the heroine of a dozen atmospheric “cat” mysteries.  Another series character, English Literature professor A. Pennyfeather, appears in five novels. 
    She did her best work as Dolores Hitchens, producing several very good suspense novels and two excellent private eye novels featuring a character named Sader.  One of these, Sleep with Slander, Bill considers the best traditional male private eye mystery by a woman, just edging out Leigh Brackett’s No Good from a Corpse
    Olsen was a very versatile writer, experimenting with several different types of crime fiction over the course of her career.  She even published one first-rate western novel, Night of the Bowstring (Doubleday, 1962), again using her D. B. Olsen byline.
    The first of the two books she did for Ziff-Davis, Widows Ought to Weep, is an eerie blend of suspense, ghostly terror, and sly humor.  From the jacket blurb: “When Mr. Trimble, surburban carline conductor, looked at the frightened girl ... and then beyond her at the dark and monstrous shape with the gleaming yellow eyes, he felt a cold shiver run up his back. And later, when  his erudite and fanciful friend, Isaac Puckett, finds the dead yellow hairs where the thing had been sitting, Mr. Trimble wishes he had never seen [the girl], and wishes more fervently that he had never become involved in the mystery about her Uncle Merlin, eccentric electrical wizard, and his three oddly assorted ex-wives.”
    Cats Have Tall Shadows is a Rachel Murdock whodunit, set in a hotel on the Oregon coast and involving an odd assortment of characters, a couple of murders, and a collection of porcelain cats.

FOOTNOTE.  The first version of this statement referred to Bert Hitchens as a railroad superintendent.  An email from Jim Doherty corrected us on this point, and he goes on to say:  “Specifically, he was an investigator for the Southern Pacific Railroad Police, which, coincidentally, was the same department my grandfather, the first member of my family to go into law enforcement, worked for.
    “The five novels she collaborated on with her husband were police procedurals about a squad of railroad cops in L. A.  Each book put on a different cop or set of cops in the lead.  They’d recede into supporting roles in other books in the series.  Debuting a year before McBain's first 87th Precinct book, they actually anticipate his concept of a ‘corporate hero.’
    “Indeed, they actually carry that concept to fuller fruition, since, in the 87th Precinct series, Steve Carella very quickly became ‘first among equals,’ while in the Hitchens’s railroad police series, no one character ever rose to that level of prominence.
    “I’m certainly a big fan of these books.  She was almost unique in being able to switch back and forth between a more traditional, ‘cozy’ style as Olsen, to a hard-boiled style as Hitchens.”

    MILTON K. OZAKI        

    The Cuckoo Clock
Caldwell & Brinks
    A Fiend in Need
Caldwell & Brinks

    Born in Wisconsin in 1913, Milton K. Ozaki’s first two detective novels were published by Ziff-Davis, the only two mysteries of his that were published in hardcover.  He went on to be a prolific author of numerous other paperback PI and suspense novels in the 40s and 50s, but before any of this Ozaki had been at various times a newspaperman, an artist, a tax accountant and (this is significant) the owner and operator of the Monsieur Meltoine beauty salon in the Gold Coast section of Chicago.    FOOTNOTE (1)
    Fans of obscure fictional private investigators may recognize Ozaki as the creator of the following medium- to hard-boiled detectives: Rusty Forbes, Max Keene, and Carl Guard.  The latter, according to www.thrillingdetective.com, may be only a slight variation of another PI named Carl Good, whose adventures Ozaki wrote about under his most frequent choice of pseudonym, Robert O. Saber.
    Both of the Fingerprint books, however, were cases for the sleuthing team of Professor Androcles Caldwell, head of the psychology department at North University in Chicago, and his Watson, Bendy Brinks.  Lt. Percy Phelan is the representative of the Chicago police force who appears in both books.
    The Cuckoo Clock takes place in a beauty salon similar to the one Ozaki himself once owned, as mentioned above, the case itself being of  the “locked room” variety.  In the second book, A Fiend in Need, a corpse is found in the self-service elevator of an apartment house, and all of the suspects seem to have airtight alibis.    FOOTNOTE (2)
    The last non-reprint work of mystery fiction appearing as by either Ozaki or Saber appeared in 1960.  In 1973 the former president of the Chicago chapter of the MWA made small headlines in the Washington Post and the New York Times in quite a different way.  Having moved to Colorado, Milton K. Ozaki became the self-named president of all but non-existent Colorado State Christian College of the Church of  the Inner Power, Inc.  Headquartered in a small cabin on an isolated mountain road, the school offered doctorates in many specializations in exchange for donations of $100 or more.  The New York State Supreme Court took exception to this scheme. 

FOOTNOTE (1):  He was the son of Frank J. and Augusta Ozaki, his father having emigrated to the US from Japan in 1899, found his way to Kenosha, Wisconsin, and married Augusta, a native of the state.  His father adopted the name Frank, but his Japanese name was Jingaro (preserved in his middle initial J.  Even though he was the product of a mixed marriage, we believe that Milton K. Ozaki is among the earliest mystery writers of Japanese heritage writing in English as his (or her) primary language.

FOOTNOTE (2):  Fourteen years after her father’s death in 1989, Gaila Ozaki Perran, took the plot of The Cuckoo Clock and rewrote the story as Ticked Off! (Authorhouse, 2003, trade paperback), modernizing it and changing the locale from Chicago to upscale Westport, Connecticut.  The downtown beauty salon is still present, as is Lt. Phelan, but the two amateur sleuths are now Professor Sanford, of Fairfield University, and his assistant,  David Trent.
    The locked room aspect is described thusly: “The owner of the [...] salon is found dead in his apartment, with a knife wound in his back.  The knife, wiped clean, is on the table beside him.  Every door and window is locked from the inside and there are no fingerprints anywhere.”

NOTE:  For an overall look at the Ozaki oeuvre, you cannot do better than Bill Crider’s in-depth investigation of his work, complete with checklist and cover photos.


Memory of Murder    1947     Four short novels.  Series character:  Dr. John Smith.

 ● Fear Unlocked.  First publication as yet unknown.
 ● Memory of Murder. The American Magazine, August 1946.
 ● Secret Corridors.  The American Magazine July 1945.     (Luke Bradley also appears.)
 ● Volcano. The American Magazine December 1945.

    Both under his own name, Judson (Pentecost) Philips and as his primary alter ego, Hugh Pentecost, this author of over 100 mystery novels and collections, not to mention countless short stories for the pulp and digest magazines, came up with as many series characters as some writers do books.    FOOTNOTE
Here is a list of the ones who appeared in book form:  Luke Bradley, Dr. John Smith, Lt. Pascal, Grant Simon, Uncle George Crowder, Pierre Chambrun, John Jericho, Julian Quist, Jeff Larigan, Alan Quist, Carol Trevor & Max Blythe, Coyle & Donovan, and Peter Styles.  This does not include his pulp fiction characters, of which the members of the so-called Park Avenue Hunt Club are perhaps the most well known and best remembered.
    Dr. John Smith, who appears in this, Pentecost’s only book in the Fingerprint series, is a psychiatrist by trade and a detective by avocation, but as Mike Grost suggests on his website, “like a lot of psychoanalytic fiction, it is grim and joyless stuff.  A character in ‘Volcano’ is a jovial artist with a huge red beard; he seems like a dry run for the author’s later artist-sleuth, John Jericho.”
    Bill speaking here.  I concur.  He’s too colorless (literally, according to how he’s described) for my taste.  Of all of the books that Philips-Pentecost wrote, there are many others that would be a better choice as a first one to read.
    Pentecost’s last mystery, Pattern for Terror, was published by Carroll & Graf after his death at the age of 85 in 2002.  At his peak he wrote as many as three books a year.  According to his obituary in The New York Times, he kept writing up until his death, dictating and using a magnifying glass to compensate for failing eyesight.

FOOTNOTE.  Victor speaking.  As to the origin of his pseudonym, Hugh Owen Pentecost (sometimes the name is spelled Pentacost, incorrectly) was Judson’s uncle, who died shortly after Judson was born.  An interesting sidenote is that Hugh Owen Pentecost had married Ida Gatling, daughter of the inventor of the Gatling gun.   
    The Philip Owen pseudonym Philips used for one book (Mystery at a Country Inn, Berkshire Traveller Press, 1979) is derived from his uncle’s middle name and Judson’s own last name.

    ALAN PRUITT              

    The Restless Corpse      1947

    The author of only two mysteries, of which The Restless Corpse was the first, Alan Pruitt had a much more productive career in the real world under his real name, Alvin Rose.  As a newspaperman in Chicago in the 1920s and 30s, he was one of the first reporters on the scene of the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day massacre on Clark Street.   FOOTNOTE
    Upon leaving the Navy in 1946 as a Lt. Commander, Rose took over the job of commissioner of welfare for Chicago.  He served the city until 1967, when he retired as the executive director of the Chicago housing authority.   At the age of 64, he and his wife then planned to move to the San Diego area where, according to a newspaper article, he intended to write mystery novels and possibly teach journalism.
    He may have taught but no further books were forthcoming.  Rose died in 1983, the last fifteen years of his life having been spent in California.
    Not diverging far from his first career, both of his two mysteries, the second one being Typed for a Corpse, a Handi-Book paperback original which came out in 1951, featured Chicago Globe reporter Don Carson as their protagonist.  He is assisted in the sleuthing department by April Holiday, the runaway daughter who is at the focal point of The Restless Corpse.
    The blurb on the jacket of this latter book promises “a new high mark in breezy entertainment,” a case complicated by the body of the walking dead man who just wouldn’t stay where he was put, an ex-Capone mobster who quotes Shakespeare, a white jade Buddha, and a telegram composed of chess symbols.  “It’s fast, funny, and furious, and the dialogue sparkles as Don Carson and April Holiday set a new high in breezy entertainment...”
    Bill mildly disagrees, suggesting that this is typical publisher hyperbole and that the book is not nearly as wonderful as the description.

FOOTNOTE.  Born in Chicago in 1903, Rose almost assuredly came up with the his pseudonym from his mother’s maiden name: Winona Pruitt.

  VIRGINIA RATH           

    A Shroud for Rowena
    A Dirge for Her

    Virginia Rath was a native Californian who for much of her life was active in San Francisco literary circles.  Born Virginia McVay in 1905, she taught high school in a mountain railroad town, married a railroad telegrapher and worked in a railroad telegraph office during World War II.    FOOTNOTE (1)
    Her career in writing detective fiction began much earlier, however, beginning in 1935 with Death at Dayton’s Folly, one of the Crime Club mysteries published by Doubleday.  The book also marked the first appearance of deputy sheriff Rocky Allan, who appeared in six titles between 1935 and 1939, all with a California setting.    FOOTNOTE (2)
    In Rocky Allan’s final appearance, Murder with a Theme Song, Virginia Rath’s other series characters also played a role as a married couple named Michael and Valerie Dundas, who invariably used San Francisco as their base of operations.  They had arrived on the scene one year earlier (1938) in the book The Dark Cavalier.
    As Rocky Allan faded out of the picture, the Dundases appeared in Rath’s last eight books, including the two from Ziff-Davis.  The Dundases are amateur sleuths, but not in the Mr. & Mrs. North vein.  He’s a renowned San Francisco couturier and does most of the detective work.  Their cases are not cozys exactly; they’re conventional whodunits in the Frances Crane/Leslie Ford mode, usually involving S.F.’s upper crust, but the narration includes scenes from the points of view of other characters, some of whom are more earthy types, and there is plenty of wry humor.  Worth reading, says Bill, though he prefers her Rocky Allan stories.
    A Dirge for Her concerns a murdered movie actress, a missing six-year-old boy, blackmail, family skeletons, and a $100,000 ransom demand.  A Shroud for Rowena deals with a suddenly vanished heiress, a private eye of dubious repute (again, not “Nameless”), a couple of murders, burglary, and a putative ghost.  S.F. settings in both.
    Although Shroud was officially Virginia Rath’s last book, the lady was also one of the authors behind the “Theo Durrant” group pseudonym, there being twelve of them responsible in all, including Anthony Boucher, Eunice Mays Boyd, Lenore Glen Offord and other members of the California branch of the MWA.  The book they wrote, The Marble Forest, was published in 1951, but Rath did not live until then, dying regrettably young at the age of 45 in October, 1950. 

FOOTNOTE (1).   Virginia Rath’s husband was Carl H. Rath.  The town where they lived and where she taught school in was Beckwourth, CA. Looking at the census records for 1930, almost everyone in town worked for the railroad.  Beckwourth was named after a rather famous African-American, James Pierson Beckwourth, an early California trader and pioneer.

FOOTNOTE (2).   While in the process of jointly preparing these notes on the Fingerprint authors, Steve came across an essentially unknown novel written by Rath, one that appeared four years earlier than the first mystery she did for Doubleday.  Never published in book form, “The Murders at Hillside” was the lead story in the July 1931 issue of Complete Detective Novel Magazine, one of the few mystery pulps not completely indexed in the Cook-Miller bibliography.  At over 60,000 words in length, a rough count, it is indeed a full-fledged novel.  (Sometime pulp publishers exaggerated a little.)  None of Rath’s usual series characters makes an appearance, so it not a tale that gained a new title when it was published in hardcover.  As a story not known to exist before, its discovery came as quite a surprise.


    Red Is for Murder    1943

    Of the various authors who wrote books for the Fingerprint line, Phyllis A. Whitney may not have the honor of having written the most books in her career – that honor goes to Judson Philips / Hugh Pentecost – but the time span involved in her case is surely the longest.  Red Is for Murder was her first work of adult fiction, published when she was 40 years old.  The most recent of her approximately forty novels is Amethyst Dreams (Crown, 1997), which was published when she was 94.  That book is still in print, as are many of her earlier ones.   FOOTNOTE
    In 1988 the Mystery Writers of America gave Ms. Whitney their Grand Master award for lifetime achievement, the highest honor they can bestow.  As for the type of story on which  her reputation is based, she is an author whom the New York Times once called the “Queen of the American Gothics.”  Last year at the age of 102, it is reported, she was working on her autobiography.   (The link will take you to her home page.)
    For several years after Red Is for Murder, Whitney concentrated on children’s fiction.  (Her first book, A Place for Ann (1941) was also in the young adult category.)  Her next adult mystery, The Mystery of the Gulls, did not appear until well after the war was over, in 1949.  The majority of the titles for which she is best known were published in the 1960s through the 1980s.
    The jacket blurb for Red Is for Murder reads in part as follows: “How does it feel to be in a big [Chicago] department store after the customers have hurried home and the lights have been darkened so that eeriness reigns over the vast reaches of the floors?  To Linell Wynn, who writes sign copy for Cunninghams’, such a scene has always seemed perfectly natural until the day that murder walks the floors at dusk.   
    “The matter-of-factness of the police as they question people whom she knows, works with every day, does nothing to dispel the feeling that they are only temporarily holding back the powers of darkness.  Evil has struck once – and evil is hovering, waiting to strike again [and soon] she stumbles upon death for the second time.”
   Phyllis A. Whitney was born in Yokohama of missionary parents.  Her middle name is “Ayame,” which is the Japanese word for “iris.”   Her mother’s first marriage was to Gus Heege, who claimed to be the originator of the Swedish dialect play, his most famous being “Yon Yonson.”  After Whitney’s father died in Japan, she and her mother returned to the US, where in 1920 (according to census records) she lived with her mother in the Devin household, where her mother worked as a maid.  In 1930 as Phyllis Garner, she worked as a librarian in a circulating library in Chicago.  She must have married George Garner around 1925, as she claimed to have been married for five years.  For more information on her long and productive life, follow the link above to her home page.



    The Alliance Book Corporation was established in New York City in 1938, and according to short notes in the New York Times (July 9 and Oct 24 1938), its original intention was to handle “the works of German and Austrian authors living outside Germany and Austria, and [to] publish these works in the German language,” as well as in English.

   Their first list, Fall and Winter 1938-39, included works by Vicky Baum, Thomas Mann, Emil Ludwig, and others.

   President of the company at its founding was Henry G. Koppell (1895-1964; born Heinz Guenther Koppell) who had founded the German Book Club in Germany in 1924.  In May, 1942, it was announced that Ziff-Davis had purchased the Alliance Book Corporation, with Koppell continuing as president, but he left the company later that year (New York Times, 11 Dec 1942).  Initially the Alliance imprint was meant to have been kept as a separate entity, but according to the Times (11 Jan 1943) all three names were to appear on the books of the firm.

    Before its takeover by Ziff-Davis, Alliance had published four books in its “Fingerprint Mystery” line.  The announcement of this new publishing program was made in the New York Times (22 June 1941), with one of the first of these books being I Am Saxon Ashe, by an anonymous author.

    The first Fingerprint Mysteries published by the Alliance Book Corporation:




Date of Publication

    Review Date
(New York Times)
Saxon Ashe
I Am Saxon Ashe
August 29, 1941
September 7, 1941

James Warren
No Sleep at All September 25, 1941
September 28, 1941
Saxon Ashe
Saxon Ashe Secret Agent
March 3, 1942
April 19, 1942

Gelett Burgess
Ladies in Boxes
April 24, 1942  (Previously published
in the Toronto Star Weekly, May 17, 1941.)
May 3, 1942

    A mystery entitled Murder with Music, by Gilbert Riddell, is listed in Hubin’s Crime Fiction IV as being published by Alliance in 1935, but this was a company called Alliance Press and a totally different entity. 

    The two Saxon Ashes are spy/adventure novels featuring “the exploits of Bibobi the agile mimic, boxer, acrobat [the public persona of Saxon Ashe], and of his twin brother Sir Hubert Darendyck – both employed as secret agents by the English Intelligence Service.”  Saxon Ashe – Secret Agent takes place in Amsterdam and other parts of Holland and behind enemy lines in Germany, and concerns the thwarting of Nazi efforts to infiltrate and invade Holland.  A copy of I Am Saxon Ashe is not at hand, but a blurb on the back jacket of the Warren novel says of it, “Take a dash of the Scarlet Pimpernel, a bit of Bulldog Drummond, a touch of Buchan, shake well and add the special qualities of this anonymous author’s skill and imagination, bring to a boil in the Second World War, and you may have a faint idea of the thrills and excitement that await you.”

    Copyright records for the second Saxon Ashe book have revealed that the previously unknown author was  Victor McClure [sic].  More than likely, this was meant to be Victor MacClure, 1887-1963, who had a dozen mystery thrillers published under his own name between 1923 and 1937.   In his review of the book in the New York Times Book Review, Isaac Anderson didnt think too highly of it, commenting that despite the violent and perilous exploits with which it deals, the book makes dull reading.  Perhaps Mr. MacClure should have remained anonymous.

    As you will see from the front cover of the second Ashe novel, the Fingerprint logo is prominently displayed on the front cover.

    No Sleep at All, by James Warren, was also published first in England.  It is a moderately hardboiled, Peter Cheyney-type mystery narrated by a protagonist also named James Warren, a young Scotland Yard detective constable who investigates murder and devious doings among London’s pre-war night club set.  Fast-paced and well-written, says Bill, with credible characters and clipped dialogue.

    This was Warren’s first mystery in a career that lasted from 1941 to 1958, eight books in all, but only the one from Alliance.  A gent by the name of James Weston appeared in several of the later books, all somewhat tamer than the first, one of them being She Fell Among Actors, which was published by Doubleday’s Crime Club in 1946.  (According to Al Hubin, “James Warren” was almost certainly a pseudonym, and which books Weston was in, as opposed to Warren, is currently being investigated.)     FOOTNOTE (1)

   The greatest mystery behind Gelett Burgess’s Ladies in Boxes may be why there are no copies available for sale anywhere at the moment online.  Bill confesses that not even he has a copy.  Burgess, of course, was (and is) far better known as a humorist and a poet you probably know the one about the purple cow.  He also wrote a few works of crime and mystery fiction, listed in Hubin.  The most well-known of these may be Find the Woman (Bobbs-Merrill, 1911) .   FOOTNOTE (2)

    From a review in the New York Times (May 3, 1942), we learn that the boxes are coffins, not suprisingly, and they are filled with three exquisitely beautiful women whom a gypsy palmist predicted would die within a week.  All three die the very next day, and the question is, who killed them?  There are any number of suspects, all members of a high society set.  “The man who eventually solves the problem is Bob Catfield, a police detective familiarly known as ‘Bobcat.’  It is quite easy to believe that all of the characters in this story are imaginary.  Not one of them suggests anything more lifelike than a puppet.”

    Ouch.  This was the last of Burgess’s seven entries in Hubin, and the last Fingerprint Mystery from Alliance before Ziff-Davis took over.  It was the only one of the four from Alliance to have been published in the US first, and in fact it had no British publication.

FOOTNOTE (1).  As we continue to discover more information, it will be included in these notes as we go.  Here is the first of two such examples, this one courtesy of Al Hubin.  Prompted to look further into the matter of pseudonymous James Warren, he found two items offered separately on ABE but each connecting Warren somehow with the name Robert Brendon.  The implication was that Warren was a pseudonym of Robert Brendon, but without knowing, of course, it could easily be the other way around.  Al emailed both booksellers, and replies came back quickly.
    Doug Sulipa of Comic World in Manitoba, Canada, responded first, saying that he had run across a story or an article by Brendon in an obscure magazine, perhaps a men’s adventure type, that suggested that Brendon was actually James Warren.  He had kept a note on the reference but no longer had the magazine. 
    Even with Doug’s input to go by, this did not get around the fact that the leading character and the stated author are one and the same in No Sleep at All.  This is what made it still seem more likely that the James Warren byline was the pseudonym and not the reverse.
    Then came an email reply from Paula Chihaoua of Addyman Books in Hay-on-Wye in the UK, and this was the clincher.  Their copy of She Fell Among Actors was inscribed by the author on the title page, as you will see in the image to the right.   He signed it first as James Warren and underneath, in parentheses, as Robert Brendon, his real name.  One more piece of data verified.

FOOTNOTE (2).  One of Burgess’s earlier works of crime fiction, The Master of Mysteries, was published anonymously by Bobbs-Merrill in 1912.   Subtitled “Being an Account of the Problems Solved By Astro, Seer of Secrets, and His Love Affair With Valeska Wynne, His Assistant,” the book is a collection of short stories, all cases solved by one Astrogen Kerby, or ‘Astro’ for short. 

    Quoting a website dedicated to The Classical English Detective Novel, as one source, we learn more:

    In America, in 1912, the occult detective – crystal and all – [in the form of] Astrogen Kerby, who appeared in The Master of Mystery by Gelett Burgess, was introduced.  The book was very cryptic and mysterious in the sense that it was published anonymously.  However, if you take the first letter in each of the 24 short stories you get the following message: The Author is Gelett Burgess,” and if you take the last letters you get: False to Life and False to Art.
    This kind of thing is not unique.  If you get the chance, try to read the first letter of each chapter of The Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen and see what kind of message it yields.

    The Master of Mysteries is a Queen’s Quorum selection, and while it is scarce, three copies are available at the moment on ABE.  (The asking prices are in the $150-$200 range.)   What Victor has discovered about Ladies in Boxes, however, from a small news item in the New York Times for April 9, 1942, is that advance copies were called back from book reviewers before publication.  “It seems that Mr. Burgess, as is his way, had worked in an acrostic and that printing difficulties had garbled the cryptogrammic message.  Reprinting done, the book is announced for April 24.”

    All we can do is wonder what the acrostic was in this case.  (A copy is on order from Inter-Library Loan, so we may soon know.)

        Copyright © 2006, 2009 (slightly revised version) by Bill Pronzini, Victor A. Berch and Steve Lewis


A Chronological Listing, by Victor Berch


    Date  (*)
  Date  (**)

Amelia Reynolds Long
The Triple Cross Murder
Oct 26, 1943 *
Oct 31, 1943

Phyllis A. Whitney
Red Is for Murder
Oct 26, 1943
Oct 31, 1943

Amelia Reynolds Long
Symphony in Murder
June 3, 1944
June 8, 1944

Amelia Reynolds Long
Death Looks Down  (***)
March 15, 1945 *
April 1, 1945

Milton K. Ozaki
The Cuckoo Clock
July 5, 1946
Aug 4, 1946 (CT)

Brett Halliday
Blood on Biscayne Bay
Oct 31, 1946
Nov 24, 1946

Bruno Fischer
The Pigskin Bag
Dec 6, 1946
Dec 22, 1946

Brett Halliday
Counterfeit Wife
May 13, 1947
May 25, 1947

Virginia Rath
A Shroud for Rowena
May 27, 1947
June 1, 1947

Bill Goode
The Senator’s Nude
May 29, 1947
June 8, 1947

Alan Pruitt
The Restless Corpse
May 29, 1947
June 22, 1947

D. B. Olsen
Widows Ought to Weep
June 4, 1947
June 22, 1947

Milton K. Ozaki
A Fiend in Need
June 6, 1947
June 29, 1947

Bruno Fischer
More Deaths Than One
July 15, 1947
July 27, 1947

Leonard Gribble
Atomic Murder
Sept 23, 1947
Oct 5, 1947

Leonard Lee
The Twisted Mirror
Oct 1, 1947
Nov 3, 1947

Richard Burke
The Red Gate
Oct 21, 1947
Dec 7, 1947

R. L. Goldman
The Purple Shells
Oct 21, 1947
Nov 16, 1947

Hugh Pentecost
Memory of Murder
Oct 28, 1947
Nov 16, 1947

Virginia Rath
A Dirge for Her
Oct 28, 1947
Oct 31, 1947 (CS)

Helen Farrar
Murder Goes to School
Jan 13, 1948
Jan 18, 1948

Brett Halliday
Michael Shayne’s Triple Mystery
March 4, 1948 *
May 9, 1948

Richard Burke
Sinister Street
March 16, 1948 * April 28, 1948 (SRL)

D. B. Olsen
Cats Have Tall Shadows
March 29, 1948
April 11, 1948 (SFC)

Bruno Fischer
The Bleeding Scissors
April 23, 1948
May 2, 1948

NOTES:  * = Copyright registration date.  ** = All reviews from the NY Times except where noted.  CT = Chicago Tribune; CS = Chicago Sun; SFC = San Francisco Chronicle; SRL = Saturday Review of Literature.

*** = The copyright date is 1944, which could be a typographical error or the date of a serialization of some sort.  Or, even a story or condensed version under a different title.  Or, even still, it was intended for publication in 1944 and production was delayed.

        Copyright © 2006 by Victor A. Berch.

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