VICTOR BERCH  (December 14)

    Your posting of the Midnite Mystery series spurred my brain.  Would it be feasible to start listing all the different crime series books?  Off hand I’ve come up with two more beside Doubleday Crime Club.  Namely, Guilt Edged Mystery and Inner Sanctum Mystery.  I'm sure there are others.  Put on your thinking cap.

    Steve: Of course Ellen Nehr, after doing her book on the Crime Club mysteries, was going to go on to do some of these next.  There were quite a few, including Harper Sealed Mysteries, Gargoyle Mysteries (Coward McCann), Collier’s reprint Front Page Mysteries, and so on.  Many publishers seem to have had a name for their line of mysteries at one time or another, mostly in the 30s and 40s. 

    I know Ellen had quite a bit of data on the Phoenix mysteries and the other “lending library” publishers, and Bill Pronzini is trying to see if he can’t get it published.  I can’t recall if any of these had a separate name for their line of books, but they probably did.  I’ll inquire of Bill.

    It would be quite a project.  The difficulty would be in actually seeing the books themselves, as ABE listings are hit or miss in terms of describing them.  I know because I helped Ellen quite a bit, trying to distinguish which books were Doubleday and Doubleday Crime Club.  Of course that was before the Internet.  Maybe it would be easier now.   It certainly would be worth doing, but maybe not by me!

    For a list of the Collins Crime Club mysteries in the UK, go to www.geocities.com/bevis1uk/Crime.htm.

BILL PRONZINI  (December 15 and January 3)

    Other series include: S&S’s Inner Sanctum Mysteries (1930s-1940s), Ziff-Davis’s Fingerprint Mysteries (1940s), Houghton-Mifflin’s Black Band Mysteries (1930s), Dutton’s Clue Mysteries (1930s) and Guilt-Edged Mysteries (1940s-1950s), Duell, Sloan & Pearce’s Bloodhound Mysteries (1940s-1950s), Macmillan’s Cock Robin Mysteries (1950s-1960s), McKay’s Armchair Mysteries (1940s), M.S. Mill’s Circle Mysteries (1930s-1940s), Lippincott’s Main Line Mysteries (1940s-1950s), Messner’s Recommended Mysteries (1940s), Putnam’s Red Mask (1960s-70s), Bobbs-Merrill’s Black Bat (1970s), McBride’s Scarlet Thread Mysteries (1930s), and Washburn’s Chanticler Mysteries (1950s-60s).

    The last I heard from J.T. Lindroos, which was some months ago, he’s still planning on publishing Bill Deeck’s lending-library compendium, Murder at 3c a Word, under his PointBlank Press imprint. When I hear anything definite as to a pub date, I’ll let you know.

    Hillman-Curl was the only lending library publisher that named its mystery series; theirs was Hillman Clue Club.  Mystery House was an imprint of Samuel Curl, which also published the Hillman Clue Club line; in the 1950s, Mystery House became an imprint of Thomas Bouregy & Co. which had bought rights to the Curl holdings after his bankruptcy in 1948.

  UPDATE  (January 3)

    Steve: Using this information as a starting point, Victor and I have been discussing the possibilities of making checklists of each of these various mystery series.  I began one for the Guilt Edged mystery from Dutton (a series which contains the first Mickey Spillane novels and all of the early Fredric Brown books), and he has one underway for Gargoyle, from Coward-McCann. 
    More later, when there is something concrete to tell you about.  Of course, if you can tell us about a series of hardcover mysteries that we have missed, by all means, let us know.


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