It was Juri Nummelin who on his blog was one of the first to post the news of Zekial Marko’s passing. A brief obituary can be found in its entirety on the Writers Guild of America website.

   Here’s a shortened version:

John Trinian

    “Veteran writer and long-time Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) member Zekial Marko died on Friday, May 9, of complications related to emphysema in Centralia, Washington.

    “Born in 1933 and a WGAW member since 1964, Marko maintained a lengthy career writing for both small and silver screens. His television credits include episodes of The Rockford Files, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and Toma, while his screen credits include the 1964 film Once a Thief, based on his novel.

    “Marko is survived by his wife, Sue, his two daughters, Belle and Zefra, his son, Zoyan, and his brother, Kenn Davis.”

   Marko’s list of TV credits would in itself qualify his death be mentioned on this blog. What the obituary does not say, however, but what has been known to fans of his work for some time, is that he was also “John Trinian,” author of a small eclectic set of mystery and crime paperbacks written back in the 1960s.

John Trinian

   It turns out that Al Hubin already knew this – the name behind the names is included in Crime Fiction IV, as you can easily check. What’s not there, but will appear in the next installment of the online Addenda — and right here, right now, of course — is any biographical information about Markos, including the year he was born (1933) and the fact that his name at birth was Marvin Leroy Schmoker. The latter Juri learned from a relative of Marko’s who contacted him after he died, perhaps because Juri had written about John Trinian on his blog and elsewhere.

   Based on and expanded from his entry in CFIV, here’s the list of all of Trinian’s paperback mystery fiction:

      A Game of Flesh. Bedside Book BB106, 1959; Lancer/Domino 72-678, 1963; Macfadden 75-360, 1970. “An explosive novel of a wanton gigolo and the love-starved women he shamed!”

      The Big Grab. Pyramid G548, 1960; Manor 95230, 1973. Reprinted earlier as Any Number Can Win. Pyramid F-925, 1963. “Their take would be a cool quarter of a million-or a hot slug in the gut.” Film: Cipra, 1963, as Melodie en Sous-Sol (Basement Melody). Released in Britain as The Big Grab; released in the U.S. as Any Number Can Win. Stars: Jean Gabin, Alain Delon.

      North Beach Girl. Gold Medal s1000, 1960. Reprinted as Strange Lovers. Macfadden 60-301, 1967. [A novel set in the San Francisco beat world of the Fifties.]

John Trinian

      The Savage Breast. Gold Medal s1104, 1961; Macfadden 60-330, 1968. “Born beautiful, spoiled rotten..was she a goddess to be loved or a tigress to be tamed?”

John Trinian      John Trinian

      Scratch a Thief. Ace Double F-107, 1961. Also published as: Once a Thief. Gold Medal k1569, 1965, as by Zekial Marko; and under the latter title as by John Trinian: Manor 95272, 1973. “A blood and guts book about a cop with a grudge and an ex-con who wanted to go straight…” Film: MGM, 1965, as Once a Thief; in French: Les Tueuers de San Francisco. (scw: Zekial Marko; dir: Ralph Nelson). Stars: Alain Delon, Ann-Margret. [Go here for a short clip from the film.]

John Trinian      John Trinian

      House of Evil. Pyramid F-712, 1962. [?? Macfadden-Bartell, 1970] “The story of a Hollywood sex cult.”

John Trinian

      Scandal on the Sand. Gold Medal k1449, 1964. Macfadden-Bartell 75-338, 1970.

John Trinian

   Reviews or commentary on Trinian’s work are few and hard to come by, but on Ed Gorman’s blog he had this to say, not too long ago:

    “A few weeks ago I reviewed a 1964 Gold Medal novel called Scandal on The Sand by John Trinian. Really fine pb. The structure was masterful and the social observation surprisingly rich. And the plot cooked. This guy knew how to tell a story. And the writing was equal to the other aspects of the tale. Deft turns of phrase; conscious rhythms in the sentences; interesting, even entertaining word choices.”

   What better things could one writer say about another? A fitting way to end this short tribute, I hope you’ll agree.

[UPDATE.] Later the same day. Keen eyes on your part may have noticed the same thing I did. It is true, it is he, and this small bit of information is what a followup post, coming up soon, will be all about.