Another copy of COMPLETE DETECTIVE NOVEL MAGAZINE from my collection. See this previous post for more information about the project this is a part of.


July 1931. Number 37. Total pages: 144, not including covers. Cover artist (signed): Parkhurst. Cover price: 25¢.

      * 8 * Virginia Anne Rath * The Murders at Hillside * novel * illustrated by Parkhurst

      * 105 * Jonathan Eddy * A Vacant Lieutenancy * short story

      * 113 * Karl Nemmel * The Human Vampire * fact article

      * 118 * Leonard A. Hopkins * Jake Gets a Break * short story

      * 122 * Eddy Orcutt * Shots from Nowhere * short story (impossible crime)

      * 134 * Mark Mellen * Ivory O’Toole, Wise Hombre * short story

      * 142 * U. V. Wilcox * Police Problems * true crime feature

Comments: While Virginia Rath went on to have a long career writing hardcover mysteries, this early novel appears to have never been published in book form. Neither of her two primary series characters, Sheriff Rocky Allan or Michael Dundas appears in “The Murders at Hillside.” For more on Mrs. Rath, see her profile here as one of the authors who wrote for Ziff-Davis’s line of Fingerprint Mysteries.

   The blurb on the first page of “The Murders at Hillside” reads as follows: “Death strikes in the night and a gay house party becomes the scene of a series of baffling crimes. From the first murder to the startling solution of the last you will follow breathlessly this brand new book-length novel, complete in this issue.” It is not clear, but I believe the story takes place in the West Coast, probably California.

   Not a “cozy” as the term is used in today’s terminology, but most definitely neither a typical pulp story of gangsters and cops. What this novel is instead is one of those traditional murder mysteries very common in the 1930s, not only in England (manor houses and all), but in the US as well. Also note that the author was only 26 when she wrote it.

   From Crime Fiction IV:

RATH, VIRGINIA (Anne McVay) (1905-1950); see pseudonym Theo Durrant

* Death at Dayton’s Folly (n.) Doubleday 1935 [Sheriff Rocky Allan; California]
* Murder on the Day of Judgment (n.) Doubleday 1936 [Sheriff Rocky Allan; California]
* Ferryman, Carry Him Across! (n.) Doubleday 1936 [Sheriff Rocky Allan; California; Academia]
* The Anger of the Bells (n.) Doubleday 1937 [Sheriff Rocky Allan; California]

VIRGINIA RATH The Anger of the Bells

* An Excellent Night for Murder (n.) Doubleday 1937 [Sheriff Rocky Allan; California]
* The Dark Cavalier (n.) Doubleday 1938 [Michael Dundas; San Francisco, CA]
* Murder with a Theme Song (n.) Doubleday 1939 [Sheriff Rocky Allan; Michael Dundas; California]
* Death of a Lucky Lady (n.) Doubleday 1940 [Michael Dundas; San Francisco, CA]
* Death Breaks the Ring (n.) Doubleday 1941 [Michael Dundas; California]

VIRGINIA RATH Death Breaks the Ring

* Epitaph for Lydia (n.) Doubleday 1942 [Michael Dundas; San Francisco, CA]
* Posted for Murder (n.) Doubleday 1942 [Michael Dundas; San Francisco, CA]
* A Dirge for Her (n.) Ziff-Davis 1947 [Michael Dundas; San Francisco, CA]
* A Shroud for Rowena (n.) Ziff-Davis 1947 [Michael Dundas; San Francisco, CA]

DURRANT, THEO; pseudonym of William A. P. White, Terry Adler, Eunice Mays Boyd, Florence Ostern Faulkner, Allen Hymson, Cary Lucas, Dana Lyon, Lenore Glen Offord, Virginia Rath, Richard Shattuck, Darwin L. Teilhet & William Worley.

      * The Marble Forest (n.) Knopf 1951 [California]
      * The Big Fear (n.) Popular Library 1953; See: The Marble Forest (Knopf 1951)