Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting the covers and contents of all of the issues of a pulp called COMPLETE DETECTIVE NOVEL MAGAZINE that are in my collection. This is in conjunction with a far more reaching project called the Crime Fiction Index, which is being compiled under the direction of Phil Stephensen-Payne.

   Its intent is to index all of the crime fiction magazines ever published in English, expanding upon two previous such checklists, now both long out of print:

      1. Mystery, Detective, and Espionage Fiction: A Checklist of Fiction in U.S. Pulp Magazines, 1915-1974, compiled by Michael L. Cook and Stephen T. Miller.

      2. Monthly Murders: A Checklist and Chronological Listing Of Fiction In The Digest-Size Mystery Magazines In The United States And England, compiled by Michael L. Cook.

   Follow the link above for more information.

   As for COMPLETE DETECTIVE NOVEL MAGAZINE, Phil also has a checklist of all the issues, most with covers, online here.

   Some of the data is has for the magazine is missing or incomplete, nor does he have all the covers. As I have quite a few of the run, I’ve been promising to give him an assist on these for quite a while. To motivate me – sharp sticks haven’t seemed to work – I’ve decided to post the information here on the M*F blog before sending it along to Phil.

   There will be quite a bit of information that will duplicate his, but even if so it will serve as a check, and while he has quite a few of the covers, some I imagine will be upgrades, as the copies I have are in rather nice condition.

   As the title suggests, each issue contained a full-length novel, along with whatever short stories or other features were needed to fill out the magazine. I’ve estimated the content of the “The Lennox Murder” in the issue below to be 98,000 words, so I feel justified, as did the editors of the magazine, to call the lead story a novel.

   Some of these novels in CDNM can be found in hardcover form. Whether the pulp magazine versions were published before or after the hardcover appeared, I’m not sure, as I don’t have any of these in my collection. As far as I know, the novels in the issues I have were never published anywhere else, although some of the author’s other work may indeed have been. I’ll try to point out instances like this as I go along.

   But what this means to readers and collectors of 1920s and 1930s detective fiction, here’s a source of crime novels you may not have heard about before. Since they appeared in magazine form only, they aren’t included in Al Hubin’s Crime Fiction IV, for example, which cites only book appearances, although in either hardcover or paperback form.

   I won’t be presenting these in any particular order. I’m not organized well enough to do that. If I were to wait until anything like that happened, I would never get anything done.


September 1929. Number 15. Total pages: 144, not including covers. Cover price: 25¢.

      * 4 * Madelon St. Dennis * The Lennox Murder Case * novel * illustrated by J. Fleming Gould

      * 110 * Harry Van Demark * “The World’s Most Dangerous Woman” * true crime feature

      * 114 * Henry Leverage * The Prize Sucker * short story

      * 118 * Harold de Polo * “Tough Guy” Mahoney * short story

      * 125 * Mark Mellen & John Forbes * Held for Ransom * short story

      * 140 * Anonymous * Headquarters, Where the Readers Get Together * letter column

   Comment: The leading character is a female private eye named Tam O’Brien. The daughter of Ex-Chief of Detectives Rance O’Brien, she’s better known as Tam o’ Shanter, Inquirer. Female PI’s were still fairly scarce in 1929, and I don’t believe I’ve seen her name come up before. Historians of the genre are going to have to add her name to the short list of early ones. (On page 66 there is some discussion of some of the previous cases she’s handled, and they’ll probably come up again, as I start posting some of the earlier issues of CDMN.)

   From Crime Fiction IV:


       * The Death Kiss (Fiction League, 1932, hc) [Sydney Treherne; New York City, NY] Film: World Wide, 1933 (scw: Barry Barringer, Gordon Kahn; dir: Edward L. Marin).

       * The Perfumed Lure (Clode, 1932, hc) [Sydney Treherne; New York City, NY]