I received the following inquiry yesterday by email:

Dear Steve,

You are doing a terrific job. Thank you very much.

There are a couple of books/stories I want to know about:

1) I read a book by Erle Stanley Gardner about 25 years ago havi ng a character by the name of Terry Clane. I have not been able to locate that book nor any other with the character. In the book, Terry Clane uses a Chinese meditation technique to solve problems. Can you help me?

2) Has Alfred Hitchcock himself written any mysteries?

Keep up the good work.

— Shashi Dharan

Dear Shashi

Thank you for your kind words about Mystery*File. The original site has been on hiatus since September, and (*fanfare*) this is the first posting in its new format.

If you haven’t visited it yet, another site I have been spending some time on is www.crimefictioniv.com. I hope you’ll take a look when you have a chance.

To answer your questions, the two books by Erle Stanley Gardner in which Terry Clane appeared are Murder Up My Sleeve (1937), and The Case of the Backward Mule (1946). Both can be easily obtained, I’m sure, from the usual sources on the Internet (www.biblio.com, ABE, Amazon, and so on).

I wasn’t previously aware of Terry Clane’s Chinese meditation techique in solving crimes, so I looked him up on Google, where I found a link to Murder Up My Sleeve in The George Kelley Paperback Collection. You’ll find him described there as: Clane, formerly a lawyer and currently a “mysterious adventurer,” has recently returned from an extended stay in China where he studied at a Chinese monastery and collected a large number of Chinese curios, including a sleeve gun. The book came out in 1937, so I imagine that The Shadow got to China before Terry Clane did.

If you’re interested, you can find an extremely complete bibliography for Gardner at http://www.grooviespad.com/esg/works/Bibliography.asp

The only book attributed to Alfred Hitchcock personally is Rope (Dell, paperback, mapback edition, 1948), a novelization of his movie of the same name, but it was actually ghost-written by Don Ward. I strongly doubt that Hitchcock had much involvement with the various anthologies produced under his byline, and probably never with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

For a partial list of the anthologies, a sales list at http://www.alfredsplace.com/mysterybooks.htm provides cover images and the contributors for each.

I hope this helps!