The subtitle for the book will explain more: An Annotated Crime Fiction Bibliography of the Lending Library Publishers: 1936-1967, and there’s a story behind it.

   Bill had completed the book before he passed away in 2004, but at the time of his death, he had not yet been able to find a publisher for it. With the manuscript in the hands of mystery writer Bill Pronzini, the search was continued after Bill Deeck’s death, but there were no takers to be found. Some publishers looked at it, some promises were made, but in the end, nothing more happened. When I (this is Steve) offered in mid-2006 to put the entire book online, Bill agreed, and soon thereafter we began the project.

   The logo for Phoenix Press, the most prolific of several publishers
for the lending library market.

   The website was registered as, some preliminary uploading followed – and that was when events took an unexpected turn. It happened at last year’s Pulpcon, during a conversation that took place between myself and George Vanderburg. George is the man in charge at The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, publisher of a number of hefty volumes both classic detective fiction reprints and stories from the pulps. While discussing the various projects both he and I were working on, George quickly became convinced of the value of the material in Bill Deeck’s book, and having a strong interest in works of bibliographic interest in the field of crime fiction, he enthusiastically declared his wish to publish it. Obviously there were details to be worked out with Bill Pronzini, but with almost no delay, they were. While an official publication date has yet to be set, the process of getting the book into print, we were advised in mid-December, is in its final stages. At last!

   Jump to the present. We’re now heading toward the end of January 2007. Even though Bill Deeck’s book will soon be available, and in the precise format he’d envisioned, we [Bill Pronzini and I] have decided to keep the website up and running. Our intentions are to maintain it as a supplement to the book, not only for now, but for the foreseeable future. Even more, the Internet will allow us to enhance Bill’s book in a way that would be prohibitively expensive to do in printed form: with very little effort, we can upload and display full cover scans of each and every one of the titles which Bill Deeck included and annotated in MA3cAD. Or at least, that’s the goal.


    If you were to go here, for example, you would find cover scans of [almost] all of the mysteries published by Phoenix Press between 1936 and 1939. More pages of Phoenix Press covers will be added in due course. The company continued to publish mysteries until 1952. Other publishers whose mysteries are included in MA3cAD are: Hillman-Curl, Arcadia House, Mystery House, Gateway Books, Alliance Press, Alliance Book Corporation, The William Caslon Company, Dodge Publishing Company, William Godwin Inc., and Jonathan Swift Publishers. Cover images for the mystery fiction published by all of these companies will be uploaded as quickly as we can do it.

   Keep checking with George’s The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box website as to its availability. I’ll be sure to let you know here, of course, as soon as it’s ready. In the meantime, check out the link in the paragraph above, and enjoy the covers!


PS. I almost forget. To read Bill Pronzini’s delightful account (if not deconstruction) of Phoenix Press and the mysteries they published, go here.