AUTHORS (Profiles, Interviews, Bibliographies, et cetera)
MARVIN ALBERT. In this latest installment of his ongoing column, The Gold Medal Corner, Bill Crider discusses the books of Marvin Albert, also known as Nick Quarry (and a few others). Steve Lewis provides a complete bibliography of Albert’s work.
ROBERT EDMOND ALTER. Peter Enfantino, M*F’s resident expert on mystery digests, examines and reports in on each of the stories this author wrote for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine in the late 50s and early 60s. (If you can tell us more about how it happened that many of Alter’s books and stories continued to appear elsewhere until at least 1970, while his year of death is generally assumed to be 1966, please do.)
CHARLES ARDAI. A Pro-File interview by Ed Gorman by one of the guiding forces behind the Hard Case Crime mysteries.
NEVADA BARR & J. R. R. TOLKIEN. In this article entitled “Hobbits in the National Parks,” Joe R. Christopher points out allusions you may never have spotted before.
EARLE BASKINSKY. As a special edition of his regular column on the digest mystery magazines of the 1950’s, Peter Enfantino takes a comprehensive look at the short fiction work of the author of The Big Steal (Dutton, 1955) and Death Is a Cold, Clean Edge (Signet, 1956).
CAROL BRAHMS & S. J. SIMON. Reprinted from CADS #44, October 2003, is an article on Inspector Quill, the series detective created by this collaborative pair of mystery authors. Nearly forgotten today, the four books in the series were prime examples of the comic mystery novel during the 1930s and 1940s, aka the Golden Age of Detection.
GIL BREWER. A profile in two parts. In part one, Bill Pronzini takes a long look at this noir author’s life, tragically ended too soon. Be prepared for a large dose of reality when you read this. Part two is a comprehensive checklist of Brewer’s novels by Lynn Munroe, complete with many cover images.
JAMES M. CAIN. Recently posted on The Rap Sheet blog (July 1st) was a short but very effective tribute by J. Kingston Pierce to the author of Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice on the occasion of his birthday, 114 years earlier. That salute is now also available here, along with a bibliography, a comprehensive gallery of Postman covers as they have appeared over the years, plus reviews of four of Cain’s novels by Max Allan Collins and Bill Pronzini, reprinted with permission from 1001 Midnights.
MARY HIGGINS CLARK. A Pro-File interview by Ed Gorman with this perennially best-selling mystery author.
OCTAVUS ROY COHEN. Jon L. Breen attempts to clear his shelves of an author whose books he decides he no longer wishes to keep. Steve Lewis adds a bibliography and asks the question: What other author(s) whose career(s) began in the 1910’s concluded by writing paperback originals in the 1950s or 60s?
ROBERT COLBY. This author of many paperback originals for Gold Medal and other companies of the 1950s and 60s recently passed away. Peter Enfantino, who has been a fan of his for many years, wrote this short tribute to him. Added to it is a complete bibliography of his work, including both novels and short stories.
NORBERT DAVIS: Hard-boiled Wit: LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN and .... Reprinted from CADS #44, October 2003, is this long article by Josef Hoffmann about two authors whom he suggests had a lot in common. In the process Josef also delves into the essence of what makes hardboiled fiction hardboiled, which is always, of course, a topic of never-ending discussion among hardboiled mystery fans everywhere. Steve Lewis, Bill Pronzini & Victor A. Berch add a bibliography of most, if not all, of Norbert Davis’s fiction.
STEVE DODGE. An obscure writer of a single Gold Medal paperback original turns out to have had quite a career under his real name. Gary Lovisi tells us more.
G. T. FLEMING-ROBERTS. An annotated checklist of all the stories known to have been written by this long-time pulp writer, put together by Monte Herridge. Monte also takes a look at the one hardcover novel that Fleming-Roberts wrote, and compares it with the pulp story it is based on. And as if that were not enough, Monte adds a short article about one of the lesser known magician-sleuths Fleming-Roberts wrote stories about, Jeffery Wren.
JOANNE FLUKE. Pamela James talks to the author of the Hannah Swensen mystery series, the most recent one being Peach Cobbler Murder, out in paperback in February 2006. Coming in March in hardcover: Cherry Cheesecake Murder.
J. M. (JAY) FLYNN. In the first of a series of “Forgotten Writers,” Bill Pronzini takes a personal look back at the career of mystery author J. M. Flynn. Reprinted from Mystery Scene #13.
JOHN GODEY. The author of Taking Pelman One Two Three, his most famous crime novel, recently died at the age of 93. In his memory, Steve Lewis does a quick summary of his career and adds both a bibliography and a list of films based on his work.
MARTIN M. GOLDSMITH. From the introduction to the current paperback release of Detour, comes this short profile of the author, written by Richard Doody.
THE NOVELS OF MARTIN M. GOLDSMITH. As a follow-up to my review of the book on which the classic B-movie DETOUR was based, Bill Pronzini gives a brief description of the author’s other two books and provides cover scans of all three in jacket.
ED GORMAN. A Pro-File interview by Ed Gorman with himself as the subject.
STEPHEN GREENLEAF. An overview of mystery writer Stephen Greenleaf’s writing career by Ed Lynskey, an interview with Mr. Greenleaf, and a bibliography of his work.
FRANK GRUBER. Reprinted from the January 1941 issue of Writer’s Digest is this article by Frank Gruber offering advice to writers of detective fiction on how to improve their product.
PATRICIA GUIVER. Sadly, I have just learned of the recent death of the author of the Delilah Doolittle “Pet Detective” books. Here is a bibliography of her work, along with some comments about her by Meredith Phillips, editor at Perseverance Press, where her final novel was published, the sixth in the series.
PAUL HALTER. Very few of the short stories and novels written by this modern master of the Locked Room mystery have been published in the English-speaking world. Once you read John Pugmire’s discussion of his work, you will be as frustrated as I am. First appeared in Mystery*File 47, Feb 2005. Newly added are four reviews of Halter’s work by John.
DONALD HAMILTON. This multi-part essay by John Fraser on the creator of agent Matt Helm first appeared in Mystery*File 45, August 2004. And no, Hamilton’s other thriller novels are far from neglected.
JOSEPH HANSEN. Contributions include those by Marcia Muller, Jon Breen, Ed Gorman, Bill Crider, Mike Nevins, Marv Lachman and Richard Moore, followed by a bibliography by Steve Lewis . This tribute to the creator of insurance investigator Dave Brandstetter and ex-sheriff Hack Bohannon first appeared in Mystery*File 47, February 2005.
EDWARD D. HOCH. An interview conducted by Steve Lewis in August 2004 with the most prolific author of detective short fiction of all time. First published in Mystery*File 45.
STEVE HOCKENSMITH. A Pro-File interview by Ed Gorman with the author of the newly released Holmes on the Range.
P. M. HUBBARD. The work of this writer of suspenseful thrillers, thoroughly imbued with a sense of the mysterious and the unknown, is analyzed and reviewed by two of his most ardent fans, Tom Jenkins and the late Wyatt James, in whose memory this series of articles and bibliography is dedicated. (Previous appearance: Mystery*File 47, February 2005.)
ROBERTA ISLEIB. Pro-File: The author of the Cassie Burdette golf mysteries is shifting gears and has a new series that will be appearing soon.
JONNIE JACOBS. Pamela James conducts an interview with the author of the Kali O’Brien legal thrillers and the just-published suspense novel, The Only Suspect.
MacKINLAY KANTOR. You may or may not have known it, but MacKinlay Kantor, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Andersonville in 1956, began his career writing for the pulp detective magazines. In this article reprinted from The Armchair Detective, Spring 1997, John Apostolou gives us an inside look into Kantor’s overall career as a mystery fiction writer. A newly revised bibliography follows, along with the usual assortment of cover images.
DAY KEENE. In this early installment of his regular column on Gold Medal paperbacks, Bill Crider finds much to say about the crime fiction of Day Keene, whose work he has admired for many years. Steve Lewis follows with a bibliography of all of Keene’s novels, then a chronological list of most of the stories that he wrote for the pulp magazines. Added later: a theory by Victor Berch as to how Day Keene (born Gunard Hjertstedt) came to choose the name and an identification of Keene’s son, also a writer. Bill’s column first appeared in Mystery*File 41, mid-January 2004.
JOSEPH KOENIG. In this piece reprinted from her blog earlier this year, Sarah Weinman discusses Koenig’s work, which consists largely of four well-regarded crime novels. The crucial question, though, is this. What has become of him?
ED LACY. A long, penetrating profile of the Edgar-winning author by Ed Lynskey, following by a brief bibliography of his crime fiction. First appearance: Mystery*File 45, August 2004.
BRAD LANG. After Gary Warren Niebuhr reviews the three books in the career of private eye Fred Crockett, Steve Lewis talks with the author for a while about how they came to be, among other things. First appearance: Mystery*File 46, November 2004.
JONATHAN LATIMER. A overview of Jonathan Latimer’s mystery fiction, produced and directed by John Fraser. A bibliography by Steve Lewis follows, followed in turn by a letter from Mike Nevins. First appeared in Mystery*File 46-47.
GLENN LOW. One of the paperbacks this 1940s pulp author wrote in the 1960s qualifies as a entry presently missing in Allen J. Hubin’s Crime Fiction IV, a discovery made by James Reasoner, although you certainly could not ascertain this fact from the cover, which he supplies. Steve Lewis adds a partial bibliography, and Bill Pronzini has some closing comments on two of this author’s books. (This page has been greatly revised from its first posting.)
DENNIS LYNDS as MICHAEL COLLINS. In Mystery*File #47 , February 2005, Ed Lynskey and I had the privilege of doing an interview with Dennis Lynds on his writing career as Michael Collins, the pen-name he used primarily for his Dan Fortune novels. What a charming, gracious man he was to work with – and very much opinionated too, in the best sense of the word. I never met him in person – we were in touch only by email – but I was very much affected by his unexpected death this past August and saddened that he is no longer with us.
Besides the interview, Ed does a comprehensive overview of the Dan Fortune books, followed by a bibliography of all of the novels and short fiction that appeared under the Michael Collins by-line.
JOHN D. MacDONALD. In an interview with Ed Gorman in 1984, JDM discusses his early days as a writer and how Travis McGee came to be, among other things.
DAN J. MARLOWE. In this article, Josef Hoffmann describes the relationship between Dan J. Marlowe, Al Nussbaum and Earl Drake. What’s the connection? You will have to read to find out. A bibliography follows, then an installment of Bill Crider’s Gold Medal Corner, featuring none other than Dan J. Marlowe.
DAN J. MARLOWE’S ADULT FICTION. One of Dan Marlowe’s pseudonyms for short fiction was Jaime Sandaval, but research specialist Bart Choveric has discovered that Sandaval had several pen names of his own. Read about it here.
ROBERT MARTIN. A profile in three parts. (1) An overview of Robert Martin’s writing career by Jim Felton, who grew up in the same Ohio town as the author. (2) A complete checklist of all of Martin’s books and short stories, including those he wrote as Lee Roberts. (3) Coverage by Gary Warren Niebuhr of Martin’s most well-known character, private eye Jim Bennett, with an in-depth look at each of the novels Bennett appeared in.
ROBERT MARTIN. As a companion piece to the article on Robert Martin previously posted by fellow Tiffin OH resident Jim Felton, Bill Pronzini writes about the correspondence he had with the author of the PI Jim Bennett novels toward the end of his (Martin’s) career. Cover images of all twenty of his books that ever appeared in hardcover are included.
HAROLD Q. MASUR. This interview by Gary Lovisi with Hal Masur, the author of the Scott Jordan mysteries who died late last year, first appeared in Paperback Parade #30, August 1992. Accompanying the interview are commentaries on Mr. Masur’s work by both Gary and Art Scott, plus an updated bibliography of his novel-length fiction by Gary and Steve Lewis.
RICHARD MATHESON. If you can state with any degree of authority in which genre the books of Richard Matheson should be considered to belong, then you haven’t read Richard Matheson. Mysteries, westerns, horror fiction, science fiction, fantasy, timeless love stories and more, often in the same book. In this article reprinted from Filmfax magazine, Ed Gorman describes his lifelong love affair with the works of Richard Matheson, then interviews the author himself.
JAMES McCLURE. More bad news. The author of the police procedural series featuring the marvelous pairing of South African detectives Lieutenant Tromp Kramer, of the Trekkersburg Murder and Robbery Squad, and his assistant, Bantu Detective Sergeant Mickey Zondi, died on June 17th. Follow the link to a brief tribute, consisting of reviews of two of the books in the series, a bibliography, a short excerpt from one of the novels, and as a bonus, as many cover images as I've been able to come up with.
GREGORY MCDONALD. In the early 1980s Lee Goldberg did some interviews with the people involved with the first Fletch movie and then with the author himself. And here they are.
WADE MILLER. Collaborating on this extensive, in-depth look at the careers of Robert Wade and Bill Miller are Ed Lynskey, Steve Lewis, Marv Lachman, Gary Warren Niebuhr, Richard Moore, Bill Crider, Ted Fitzgerald and Bill Pronzini. Besides reviews, cover images and an informal checklist of the two co-authors’ novel-length crime fiction, an interview with Mr. Robert Wade is must reading for all fans of their work. Reprinted from Mystery*File 42, February 2004.
MARCIA MULLER. A Pro-File interview by Ed Gorman with the author of the Sharon McCone PI novels, among others.
MILTON K. OZAKI. Prompted by spotting Ozaki’s entry in the Ziff-Davis bibliography, Bill Crider dusted off this in-depth investigation of his overall writing career, complete with checklist and cover images, and sent it along for your reading pleasure.
CORNELIA PENFIELD was a mystery writer you may never have heard of, but back in 1933 she wrote two fairly good detective stories, then nothing more. I reviewed the two mysteries last year, along with the manuscript of a third novel, never published. Several excerpts are included, along with extensive commentary on this completely unexpected find.
GARY PHILLIPS. A Pro-File interview by Ed Gorman with the author of the PI Ivan Monk novels plus many other works of tough, hard-boiled crime and mystery fiction.
MORTIMER POST. Al Hubin has uncovered some key information about this one-shot 1930s mystery author, most of which has not been known before.
PETER RABE. Shortly before the death of this author of many paperback originals from Gold Medal, George Tuttle had a short conversation with him, and here it is. (Also included is a bibliography of Rabe’s work, compiled by Steve Lewis.)
ROBERT RANDISI. A Pro-File interview by Ed Gorman with this prolific author of mystery and western fiction.
PETER RAWLINSON (1918-2006). According to the online edition of the Telegraph, the Lord Rawlinson of Ewell died on June 28th at the age of 87. During his lifetime he had held every important legal office in the British government except that of Lord Chancellor, including serving as Solicitor-General under Harold Macmillan and then as Attorney-General in Edward Heath’s cabinet. Of interest to mystery fans is that fact that he also wrote a number of crime novels, most of them in the rather obvious category of Legal Thriller. The first link will take you to an annotated bibliography of his work here on Mystery*File, the second to a more complete obituary.
JOE RAYTER. As another installment in his series of Forgotten Writers, Bill Pronzini talks about two who are perhaps as forgotten as any, both of whom hail from Petaluma, California, which by no coincidence at all is also Bill’s home town. (The other author is Hy Silver.)
MARY REED & ERIC MAYER. With Ed Gorman’s gracious consent, I will be taking over his series of Pro-File interviews with (we hope) a long list of contemporary crime and detective fiction authors. The first to appear in this new sequence are the husband-and-wife co-authors of the “John the Eunuch” historical mystery series.
HELEN REILLY. Among other questions that Mike Grost considers as he analyzes several of her books is whether she should be considered a HIBK writer, or a Black Mask one. And if you do not know what HIBK stands for, Mike will tell you that also.
CAROLE SHMURAK. An interview conducted by Steve Lewis, October 2005. Carole is the author of Deadmistress, the first in a series of mysteries that came out earlier this year.
HY SILVER. As another installment in his series of Forgotten Writers, Bill Pronzini talks about two who are perhaps as forgotten as any, both of whom hail from Petaluma, California, which by no coincidence at all is also Bill’s home town. (The other author is Joe Rayter.)
MICKEY SPILLANE: You, the Jury. Panned by the critics and loved by his readers, Mickey Spillane was perhaps the most controversial mystery writer of all time, even in his lifetime. Steve Holland presents the evidence on either side of the divide. When the prosecution rests and the defense has no further rebuttal, it is left to you, as a member of the jury, to carefully consider your verdict. (Disclaimer: Some small points of various plots may be disclosed.)
STEWART STERLING. One of the highlights of the newly revived print version of Mystery*File (#40, December 2003) was this article by Richard Moore on Fire Marshal Ben Pedley and hotel detective Gil Vine, two of the specialty detectives created by this now almost forgotten author.
T. S. STRIBLING. A review by Richard Moore of his biography. First appearance: Mystery*File 44, June 2004.
DOROTHY UHNAK. An interview conducted by Ed Lyskey, who also provides an overview of her writing career. Vince Keenan and Steve Lewis then wind things up with a review of the TV pilot movie, Get Christie Love! This material first appeared in Mystery*File 46 and 48.
ELAINE VIETS. An interview conducted by Pamela James. First appearance: Mystery*File 47, Feb 2005.
The CECIL WAYE novels by JOHN RHODE. It is well-known that C. J. C. Street wrote many detective novels as by John Rhode and Miles Burton. It is not so well-known that he also wrote four extremely hard-to-find mysteries as by Cecil Waye. Reprinted from CADS #44 (October 2003) is Tony Medawar’s detailed look at the four novels.
CHARLES WILLIAMS. In this earlier installment of The Gold Medal Corner, Bill Crider tells you why you should not miss reading anything that Charles Williams has written, whether it appeared as a Gold Medal paperback or not. Followed by a bibliography compiled by Steve Lewis and two letters not previously published. You can’t beat the covers, either. Reprinted from Mystery*File 47.
DAVID NIALL WILSON. A Pro-File interview by Ed Gorman with this contemporary horror novelist.
CORNELL WOOLRICH. Additions to the Nevins bibliography by Steve Lewis and Paul Herman, obtained from the pulp magazine publishers’ file cards.
FICTIONAL DETECTIVES (AND ONE OTHER)
JIM BENNETT. A profile in three parts. (1) An overview of Robert Martin’s writing career by Jim Felton, who grew up in the same Ohio town as the author. (2) A complete checklist of all of Martin’s books and short stories, including those he wrote as Lee Roberts. (3) Coverage by Gary Warren Niebuhr of Martin’s most well-known character, private eye Jim Bennett, with an in-depth look at each of the novels Bennett appeared in.
CHARLIE CHAN. The character created by Earl Derr Biggers is arguably one of the world’s best known detectives, even though TV and cable networks are regrettably reluctant to show the movies today. Marv Lachman gives us a guided tour of the six books that Charlie Chan appeared in, along with a good many of the quotes for which the Chinese detective is famous.
ELVIS COLE, PRIVATE EYE. This overview by Tom Jenkins of the Elvis Cole books by Robert Crais is entitled “... If the Day Got Any Better, My Cat Would Die.”
MORTIMER DEATH. Monte Herridge continues to dig up vintage pulp tales dealing with murders in funeral homes and/or in which undertakers also solve mysteries as a profitable sideline. Two one-shot efforts have been added to the page where a list of such stories is maintained, but a newly discovered series of such tales (by Bennett Barlay) has been given its own page.
RAFFLES. The stories about Raffles, “the gentleman burglar,” and Bunny, his devoted accomplice, are before my time, and perhaps yours as well, but the tales of their exploits will not be fogotten by anyone who’s read them. Take a trip back in time with mystery novelist Mary Reed, as she retells their history, and how redemption came at the end.
SAM DURELL. An introduction to Edward S. Aarons’ Assignment series, published by Gold Medal between 1955 and 1976. Doug Bassett does the honors. Included as a lengthy footnote is a retelling of the detective work done by Jeff Falco and Al Hubin in 2004 as they unraveled the hidden identity of “Will B. Aarons,” the man who continued the adventures for another six novels.
SHERLOCK HOLMES ON PBS. The recent movie shown here in the US last month on PBS has generated a sizable amount of controversy. Here is Esmeralda’s reaction. As always, additional comments are welcome.
TRAVIS McGEE & MATT HELM. Following John Fraser’s article on Donald Hamilton, Doug Bassett wrote this piece in which he does an in-depth comparison of Matt Helm, Hamilton’s primary series character, with Travis McGee, the “salvage” expert in the long-running series written by John D. MacDonald. First appearance: Mystery*File #46, November 2004.
TOMMY & TUPPENCE. Each of the stories in Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime were spoofs of other detective story writers, including herself. In this article Mike Grost reveals whose work was being parodied, story by story, while at the same time providing a unique historical perspective to Christie’s early career. Its first appearance in Mystery*File was issue #45, August 2004.
HONEY WEST. Gary Warren Niebuhr takes a second look at the Honey West private eye novels written by the husband-and-wife combo, G. G. Fickling, in the 50s, 60s and early 70s. Do they hold up today?
GENERAL ARTICLES AND CHECKLISTS
AUSTRALIAN PULP FICTION. If you’re of a certain age and literary persuasion, you will recall with pleasure the name of Carter Brown and the seemingly hundreds of books published under his name in the US in the 1950s and 60s, mostly from Signet, and many with covers by noted artist Robert McGinnis.
Carter Brown was not his real name, as most of us know now, but how many of you are familiar with his contemporaries in the Australian pulp fiction factories of the fifties? Crime and mystery writers Alan G. Yates, Gordon Clive Bleeck, Marc Brody, Larry Kent, K. T. McCall, and the conditions under which they wrote – all are the subject matter of this two-part article by Dr. Toni Johnson-Woods of the University of Queensland, and one you should not miss.
CLERICAL DETECTIVES. At my suggestion, Philip Grosset wrote this introduction to his website, where you will find in-depth coverage of mysteries solved by members of various religious orders. Nearly a dozen such detectives are featured on his site, from Christine Bennett (former nun) to Sister Mary Teresa, with Father Brown and Rabbi Small among those falling alphabetically in between.
CRICKET & THE MYSTERY STORY. Many of us on this side of the Atlantic do not even pretend to understand the rules of cricket, but even if he is a Yank, Marvin Lachman has learned to love the game. He has even accumulated a large list of mystery stories in which cricket plays a part, and he discusses them with style in this article, which was revised and previously appeared in CADS #46, September 2004.
EDITING ANTHOLOGIES. In this behind the scenes exposé, Jon L. Breen discusses the joys and woes of putting “Best of the Year” story collections together. This short piece previously appeared in Mystery*File 47, Feb 2005.
FINANCIAL MYSTERIES. Working with suggestions made by members of DorothyL, Ellen Dark has compiled a preliminary checklist of mystery fiction taking place in the world of high finance, investment banking, and financial markets such as Wall Street. It’s far from complete, so additions and/or corrections are still very much welcome.
FUNERAL HOMES & UNDERTAKERS. Prompted by my review of Stanton Forbes’ A Business of Bodies, I began a checklist of other mysteries taking place in and around funeral homes. Since it was first posted, two early pulp hero characters have been added, courtesy of Monte Herridge, and thanks to Bill Pronzini, several new hardcover entries.
GUILT EDGED MYSTERIES. Between 1947 and 1956, E. P. Dutton published most of their detective fiction under a single imprint, that of “Guilt Edged” mysteries. Steve Lewis, Victor Berch and Bill Pronzini have combined resources to come up with a complete checklist of the books in this series, including many cover images.
GUILT EDGED MYSTERIES. A chronological list of the books appearing in Dutton’s specialized line of detective fiction, 1947-1956, compiled by Victor Berch. This is a companion piece to the overview of the series done earlier by Victor, Bill Pronzini and Steve Lewis.
GUILT EDGED MYSTERIES. A page of cover images not used in the original overview of the series.
HARDBOILED FICTION. Megan Abbott, author of the Edgar-nominated Die a Little, is teaching an introductory course in hardboiled fiction at The New School in Manhattan this current Spring 2006 semester. The first link will take you to the syllabus for the course. This second one (a pdf file) is a handout she distributed the first evening to promote discussion about the overall “geneaology” which connects and puts into perspective many of the books and authors to be covered in the course.
THE HOCKEY REFS MYSTERY. Jim Felton has been collecting references to the game of hockey in the mystery story for a long time now, and he begins this lengthy bibliography by wondering why there are so few of them. (Please note that this page has been relocated. Also added has been a lengthy review by Jim of the quintessential mystery in which hockey plays a role, both as a game and as a business, and that is Emma Lathen’s Murder Without Icing.)
LOCKED ROOMS AND OTHER IMPROBABLE CRIMES. Back in 1993-94, I wrote a several of columns for the British mystery fanzine CADS in which I annotated a number of possible new entries to Bob Adey’s masterful book on locked room mysteries. Thanks to Geoff Bradley for allowing me to reprint all eight installments online.
MORE LOCKED ROOMS. Prompted by my recent columns on locked room mysteries, John Pugmire submits his own annotated list of such improbable crimes. Once again, none of these are in Bob Adey’s classic reference book on the subject.
MIDNITE MYSTERIES. An updated and improved list of the books in this hardcover reprint series published by Books, Inc., between 1944 and 1946.
MURDER CLINIC was a short-lived radio series that lasted but a year and a few months, running only from July 1942 to October 1943. The program is not even mentioned in most of the standard OTR reference books, but what was offered to the listener each and every week the series was on the air was a mind-boggling array of stories by such Golden Age mystery writers as Edgar Wallace, Ngaio Marsh, Carter Dickson (John Dickson Carr), Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, G. K. Chesterton, Jacques Futrelle, Stuart Palmer, and (as you will see) many, many more. Victor Berch and I have compiled a nearly complete checklist of the series, including the titles of many stories never known to have been adapted before. Also part of this broadcast log are the authors, the detectives, and in most cases the original appearances of the stories.
NATIVE AMERICAN DETECTIVES. A chronological checklist compiled by Steve Lewis. No, Tony Hillerman is not the first author to be listed, but he was certainly the first to make any great impact.
REVIEWING. The late Sue Feder is joined by Jon L. Breen in discussing the art of mystery reviewing. You can add your comments as well.
SERIES CHARACTERS ON TV. Part One of a series by Marvin Lachman in which he will be listing and annotating all of the mystery series characters in book form who have found counterparts on the small screen. Authors A through C are included in this, the first installment. Additions and/or corrections are specifically requested.
SERIES CHARACTERS ON TV. Part Two of Marvin Lachman’s continuing series on mystery series characters who have been portrayed on television. Authors D through E are included in this, the second installment. (You must know what author takes up most of the allotted space.) Additions and/or corrections are especially welcome.
SERIES CHARACTERS ON TV. Part Three of Marvin Lachman’s continuing series on mystery series characters who have been portrayed on television. Authors F through K are included in this, the third installment.
SERIES CHARACTERS ON TV. Part Four of Marvin Lachman’s continuing series on mystery series characters who have been portrayed on television. Authors L through O are included in this, the fourth installment.
SERIES CHARACTERS ON TV. Part Five of Marvin Lachman’s continuing series on mystery series characters who have been portrayed on television. Authors P through Z are included in this, the final installment.
Now that each section is complete, the list will soon be published in final form, with all parts together, along with any corrections and additions which have been discovered. You are encouraged, says Marv, to send along any that you have found as soon as possible.
THE ZIFF-DAVIS FINGERPRINT MYSTERIES. From 1943 to 1938 Ziff-Davis used the Fingerprint Mystery imprint to publish a very collectible series of detective novels. Bill Pronzini, Victor Berch and Steve Lewis have compiled a complete list of all of the books in the series, added detailed biographical notes about each of the authors, and provided color images of the front covers of all of the dust jackets. In the introduction to these notes, a short history of Ziff-Davis is related, including their merger in 1942 with the Alliance Book Corporation, which had actually published the first four mysteries in the series (1941-42). These additional books and their authors are also included as part of this “Complete Set of Fingerprints.”
ADDENDA TO CRIME FICTION IV
ADDENDA TO CRIME FICTION IV, Part 9. Allen J. Hubin submits more additions, corrections, and one deletion to his Comprehensive Bibliography of Crime Fiction, 1749-2000.
ADDENDA TO CRIME FICTION IV - PART 10. Allen J. Hubin continues to update his Bibliography of Crime Fiction. Even with a cut-off date of the year 2000, information on books and authors continues to pour in. Al’s most recent project has been in identifying “bridging” series characters (i.e., those that first appeared before the year 2000 but with no second appearance until after that date). Here is a sampling of the results from the A-B authors.
PROJECTS OF INTEREST
CLUES: CALL FOR PAPERS. For the Spring 2007 issue, the focus is on author Margaret Millar. For the Winter 2008 issue, submissions on Scottish crime fiction (books and authors) are sought. Follow the links for more information. (Editor Elizabeth Foxwell is working much farther ahead than I am. I often do not have anything planned for tomorrow.)
CLUES: A Call for Papers. The focus of the Fall 2008 issue of Clues are the “girl sleuths” of fiction that everyone remembers (Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Judy Bolton) and others not so familiar (The Dana Girls, Herculeah Jones, Stevie Diamond) and more. Papers on all aspects of these characters and their authors are welcome.
The Crime Fiction Index. The link on the left will take you to a separate website where Phil Stephensen-Payne has a detailed description of an extremely important project he is working on, the Crime Fiction Index, or CFI for short. In brief, what it will be when finished is an index to over 12,000 issues of English-language crime, mystery, detective & gangster fiction magazines published from 1915 to 2005. Go take a look, but as a reminder, use your back arrow to return.
In particular, Phil has asked for assistance in completing the information he needs on a fairly recent but also elusive magazine called Red Herring Mystery Magazine. Even if you’ve never heard of the magazine before, if you follow the link, it will give you an excellent example of how the data for an individual issue of a magazine will appear in the CFI. And if you can supply some of the missing information, that would be even better!
GOTHIC ROMANTIC SUSPENSE PAPERBACKS. Accompanying a brief history of the genre, very popular in the 1960s and 70s, is a partial listing of all of the paperbacks ever published as gothics, from my own collection.
MPACA Conference. A call has been made by Dr. Alexander Howe, chair, for proposals for the Detective Fiction area of the Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association at their Annual Conference, Oct 27-29, 2006 in Baltimore MD.
MYSTERY MAGAZINE CHECKLISTS. As part of his ongoing Crime Fiction Index, Phil Stephensen-Payne has been making issue-by-issue checklists available online, complete with cover images, whenever he has them. Follow the active links to the magazine of your choice. The results are truly spectacular. (If you’d like to head directly to one fine example in particular, here’s the link to Black Mask.)
DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY. In the thousand or so issues of this pulp magazine that were published, there were many, many series characters, all of whom either solved crimes or committed them. Long-time collector Terry Sanford takes a look at a few of them, up close and personal.
MURDER MYSTERY MONTHLIES. Peter Enfantino’s first column on the crime digest magazines of the 1950s. Covered in this installment, which first appeared in Mystery*File 47, Feb 2005, is Manhunt, Vol. 1, No. 1.
MURDER MYSTERY MONTHLIES. In this second installment of Peter Enfantino’s column in which he covers the mystery digests of the 1950s and 60s, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Sept 1966, and Justice, October 1955, take their turn in the spotlight.
MURDER MYSTERY MONTHLIES. In this most recent column by Peter Enfantino, he continues his story-by-story guide to Manhunt, this time Vol. 1, No. 2 (February, 1953).
The 17 Detective Magazines. Reprinted from the April 1930 issue of Writer’s Digest are the editor’s candid appraisals of the detective magazines of the day, along with helpful comments and advice for would-be crime fiction writers hoping to makes sales to them.
WEB DETECTIVE STORIES. Complete runs of some of the 1950s and 60s crime detective magazines are more difficult than others to obtain, and WDS is one of the toughest. Are the 14 issues worth collecting? Peter Enfantino says yes, and here he tells you why.
THE CRIME OF MY LIFE. This installment of Marv Lachman’s column of mystery commentary includes reviews of two books reprinted by Rue Morgue Press from the Golden Age of detective fiction. Reprinted from Mystery*File 46, November 2004.
THE CRIME OF MY LIFE. The latest installment of Marv Lachman’s regular column of book reviews and other commentary on detective fiction.
THE CRIME OF MY LIFE. Included in Marv Lachman’s latest column of mystery and movie reviews is a long look at The Laughing Policeman, the Edgar-winning novel by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö.
FINDING MEANING IN MYSTERIES. Author Roberta Isleib talks to fellow mystery writers Deborah Donnelly, Jessica Speart, S. W. Hubbard and Victoria Houston about their motivations in writing. This mini-panel discussion first appeared in Mystery*File 44, June 2004.
FINDING MEANING IN MYSTERIES. In Part Two of this series, author Roberta Isleib talks to fellow mystery writers Robin Burcell, Denise Swanson, G. H. Ephron, Libby Fischer Hellmann and Rocelle Krich about their motivations in writing. This mini-panel discussion first appeared in Mystery*File 45, August 2004.
FIRST YOU READ, THEN YOU WRITE. Another column of commentary from Mike Nevins on the world of detective fiction. This time he talks about Carlos Burlingham, Ellery Queen, and his local Dollar Tree DVD bin. This column first appeared in Mystery*File 47, Feb 2005.
FIRST YOU READ, THEN YOU WRITE. The latest installment of Mike Nevins’ regular column of mystery commentary deals with Cornell Woolrich, including some comments on the information uncovered by Steve Lewis and Paul Herman.
FIRST YOU READ, THEN YOU WRITE. Mike Nevins’ regular column of commentary on mystery fiction and film. Names mentioned in this latest installment are Nigel Strangeways, Verne Athanas, Dennis Weaver, Cornell Woolrich and Ellery Queen.
FIRST YOU READ, THEN YOU WRITE. Mike Nevins’ regular column of commentary on mystery fiction and film. Names mentioned in this latest installment include Baynard Kendrick, Robert B. Parker, Mantan Moreland, Reggie Fortune and Philo Vance.
FIRST YOU READ, THEN YOU WRITE. Mike Nevins’ regular column of commentary on mystery fiction and film. Names mentioned in this latest installment include Dan Brown, Martin Scorsese, Cornell Woolrich, Ashley Judd, William Fay and Rex Stout. All in one column!
FIRST YOU READ, THEN YOU WRITE. Mike Nevins’ regular column of commentary on mystery fiction and film. Names prominently mentioned in this latest installment include Edward G. Ulmer, Herschel Bernardi, John Creasey, Joan Kahn, Cornell Woolrich, and Thomas C. Renzi’s book on the latter.
FIRST YOU READ, THEN YOU WRITE. Mike Nevins’ regular column of commentary on mystery fiction and film. In this installment Mike waxes nostalgic over TV detective dramas of his youth (and mine). Prominently mentioned are Perry Mason, Man Against Crime, Boston Blackie, Naked City and M Squad, with many diversions in between.
FIRST YOU READ, THEN YOU WRITE. Mike Nevins’ regular column of commentary on mystery fiction and film. Among people, movies and TV shows mentioned in this installment are Stephen King, Cornell Woolrich, VERTIGO, Thriller, Sergei M. Eisenstein, James Bond, Agatha Christie, Glenn M. Barns, and THE DEPARTED.
THE GOLD MEDAL CORNER. In the first installment of Bill Crider’s column in which he reviews Gold Medal paperbacks of the 1950s, neither of two books he reviews are Gold Medal paperbacks of the 1950s. Can you guess who the authors might be? Hint: Their last names are Pronzini and Gorman. Reprinted from Mystery*File 40.
THE GOLD MEDAL CORNER. In this early installment of his regular column on Gold Medal paperbacks, Bill Crider finds much to say about the crime fiction of Day Keene, whose work he has admired for many years. Steve Lewis follows with a bibliography of all of Keene’s novels, and on a separate page is a chronological list of many of the stories that he wrote for the pulp magazines. Bill’s column first appeared in Mystery*File 41, mid-January 2004.
THE GOLD MEDAL CORNER. Appearing after Josef Hoffman’s article on Dan J. Marlowe is this previous installment of Bill Crider's column in which he also discusses Marlowe’s work. Reprinted from Mystery*File 46.
THE GOLD MEDAL CORNER. In this earlier installment, Bill Crider tells you why you should not miss reading any of written by Charles Williams, whether as a Gold Medal paperback or not. Followed by a bibliography compiled by Steve Lewis and a couple of letters not previously published. You can’t beat the covers, either. Reprinted from Mystery*File 47.
THE GOLD MEDAL CORNER. In this latest installment of his ongoing column, Bill Crider discusses the books of Marvin Albert, also known as Nick Quarry (and a few others). Steve Lewis provides a complete bibliography of Albert’s work.
IN THE FRAME. Vince Keenan’s regular column on books and old movies on DVD. In this installment he discusses Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels and a collection of recently released noir films from Universal.
IN THE FRAME. Another installment of Vince Keenan’s commentary on books and old movies on DVD. This time around he takes a look at the recent work of Donald E. Westlake, followed by his take on a collection of noirish films just released by 20th Century Fox.
IN THE FRAME. In Vince Keenan’s latest column of commentary on books and film, he discusses Jean-Claude Izzo’s Total Chaos, movies HAMMETT and POINT BLANK, and more.
IN THE FRAME. In Vince Keenan’s latest column of commentary on books and film, he discusses two books from Europa Editions (by Massimo Carlotto and Patrick Hamilton) and then compares the two versions of the classic noir film KISS OF DEATH, both available now on DVD.
IN THE FRAME. In this, the latest installment of Vince Keenan’s column on books and film, he discusses KISS KISS BANG BANG, based on a novel by Brett Halliday and recently released on DVD, and two noir movies shown by Eddie Muller in June at the Seattle International Film Festival.
BOOK REVIEW COLUMNS
FATAL KISS. I’ve just revived my book review column. First up: The Devil’s Wind, by Richard Rayner, Girl on the Run, by Edward S. Aarons, and Deadmistress, by Carole Shmurak.
FATAL KISS. Reviews by Steve Lewis.
Hugh McLeave, Second Time Around
Hugh McLeave, Vodka on Ice
Jill Tattersall, Chanters Close
Michael Pearce, The Point in the Market
William Heffernan, A Time Gone By
Judith Skillings, Dangerous Curves
Katharine Hill, Dead Dead Mother-in-Law
Shannon Drake, Wicked
Donald E. Westlake, Pity Him Afterwards
Mary McMullen, Death by Bequest
Marcia Talley, This Enemy Town
FATAL KISS. Reviews by Steve Lewis. Uploaded today were reviews of Stanton Forbes, A Business of Bodies; Harry Shannon, Eye of the Burning Man; and Elmore Leonard, The Hot Kid.
FATAL KISS. More reviews by Steve Lewis. Today’s assortment contains: Ken Pettus, Say Goodbye to April, an obscure PI novel from the early 90s; E. V. Cunningham, The Case of the One-Penny Orange; and Q. Patrick, Return to the Scene, a minor gem from the Golden Age.
FATAL KISS. Reviews by Steve Lewis. Uploaded within the past few days are Pamela Britton, Dangerous Curves; Stephen Marlowe, Homicide Is My Game; and Michael Z. Lewin, Night Cover.
FATAL KISS. Reviews by Steve Lewis. Recently uploaded are Patricia Harwin, Slaying Is Such Sweet Sorrow; Carleton Carpenter, Deadhead; Katharine Hill, Case for Equity; and John Creasey, Double for the Toff.
FATAL KISS. Reviews by Steve Lewis. Added in recent days: Ian Alexander, The Disappearance of Archibald Forsyth, an obscure but quite remarkable PI novel from 1933; Margaret Dumas, Speak Now: Married to Murder; and Christopher B. Booth, Mr. Clackworthy, a collection of con-man stories from 1926.
FATAL KISS. Cornelia Penfield was a mystery writer your may never have heard of, but back in 1933 she wrote two fairly good detective stories, then nothing more. I reviewed the two mysteries last year, along with the manuscript of a third novel, never published. Several excerpts are included, along with extensive commentary on this rather unexpected find.
FATAL KISS. Reviews by Steve Lewis. Recently uploaded were reviews of Charles L. Leonard, Sinister Shelter; David Hewson, The Sacred Cut; Michael Delving, Smiling the Boy Fell Dead; and John Dickson Carr, The Man Who Could Not Shudder.
FATAL KISS. Reviews by Steve Lewis. Recently uploaded were reviews of David Hiltbrand, Deader Than Disco; Don Bredes, The Fifth Season; Maureen Sarsfield, Murder at Beechlands; and George Bagby, Another Day–Another Death.
FATAL KISS. Reviews by Steve Lewis. Recently uploaded have been my comments on the following: Jack Higgins, The Khufra Run; Megan Abbott, Die a Little (my choice for the best noir novel I read all year); Bernard Mara, A Bullet for My Lady (a vintage Gold Medal paperback); Mark Miano, Dead of Summer; and Caroline Roe, Consolation for an Exile.
FATAL KISS. As the first book I chose to read in 2006, I picked a good one. It was Martin M. Goldsmith’s Detour, the book on which the classic noir film of the same name was based.
FATAL KISS. I still have not uploaded reviews of all of the books I read in 2005, but not wishing to fall behind on 2006, here are three from this year. Note that these reviews also contain long commentaries on the authors or the fictional detectives involved: Cara Black Murder in the Marais; Colin Robertson A Lonely Place to Die; and J. P. Hailey (aka Parnell Hall) The Anonymous Client.
FATAL KISS. More reviews and extended commentary on books I’ve read this year. These four are: Robert Lee Hall, Murder on Drury Lane; Leslie Caine, Manor of Death; David Burnham, Last Act in Bermuda; and Hilary Burleigh, Murder at Maison Manche.
FATAL KISS. I’ve taken a short break from other projects to start getting caught up on my own reviews and commentaries. Posted recently are ones for the following: Dean Owen Juice Town; Octavus Roy Cohen Romance in the First Degree; and Bruce Alexander Rules of Engagement.
FATAL KISS. Reviews by Steve Lewis. I’m still trying to get caught up from books I read in March. Here are my comments, rather long, on David Dodge Shear the Black Sheep and Frank G. Presnell, No Mourners Present.
FATAL KISS. Reviews by Steve Lewis. Recently posted are my comments on two more I read in March, one by George Harmon Coxe, Focus on Murder, and the other by William Murray, I’m Getting Killed Right Here.
FATAL KISS. Digging back into the archives and posting them online for the first time, I found my reviews of Roberta Isleib's first two books, Six Strokes Under and A Buried Lie, along with a long commentary I wrote about Night Lady, by William Campbell Gault, all three from December 2003.
FATAL KISS. I’m continuing to dig into the archives for more reviews to post. I wrote the following in November and December of 2003, but I’ve added updates and boosted the bibliographies on several of them. There will be at least one of these that I am 99 and nine 9’s sure you have not read. Matthew Farrer, Crossfire; I. J. Parker, The Hell Screen; Richard Ellington, It’s a Crime; and Margaret Frazer, The Bastard's Tale.
FATAL KISS. FATAL KISS. Among other material backed up are my own reviews. Here’s what I had to say about two books I read earlier this year: Hal Glatzer, The Last Full Measure, and Elizabeth Gunn, Crazy Eights.
FATAL KISS. After taking a short vacation this weekend, I took the opportunity this evening to upload my reviews and other commentary, often bibliographic in nature, on books that I read earlier this year. I am far from catching up, but I am trying!
Frank Rawlings [G. T. Fleming-Roberts], The Lisping Man.
Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain, Murder She Wrote: A Palette For Murder.
May Mackintosh, Balloon Girl.
Roger L. Simon, California Roll.
FATAL KISS. Most of my time this week has been on adding a wealth of information to the Murder Clinic page, thanks to Karl Schadow, and we’re not done yet. To take a break from the major action, I’ve added several reviews of books I read not too long ago:
Michael Kurland, The Empress of India. [This includes an annotated bibliography of all of the author’s crime-related fiction.]
Brian Augustyn, Gotham by Gaslight. [A graphic novel in which Batman meets Jack the Ripper.]
Hugh Clevely, The Case of the Criminal’s Daughter. [A Sexton Blake novel from 1954.]
GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY. Reviews of three noirish and/or hardboiled crime novels by Harry Shannon. This column first appeared in Mystery*File 46, November 2004.
THE GOLDEN AGE OF BRITISH MYSTERY FICTION. Reviews by Allen J. Hubin of a group of British mysteries, almost all of them obscure, but with a few gems to be found here and there.
IT IS PURELY MY OPINION. While I am way behind, L. J. Roberts reports on everything she reads on a monthly basis. These reviews previously appeared in Mystery*File 45, August 2004. I will start catching up with her soon, I hope.
IT IS PURELY MY OPINION. Another large selection of books reviewed by L. J. Roberts. These reviews were previously printed in Mystery*File 46, Nov 2004. Look for more from her soon.
IT IS PURELY MY OPINION. Books read and reviewed by L. J. Roberts in August 2004.
IT IS PURELY MY OPINION. More reviews by L. J. Roberts, this group from September, 2004. As you see, I am gradually catching up with her.
IT IS PURELY MY OPINION. L. J. Roberts read 19 mystery novels in November 2005, and here are her reviews of them.
IT IS PURELY MY OPINION. Reviews of all 14 mystery novels that L. J. Roberts read in December 2005. She reads almost as many kinds of books as I do – and maybe more!
IT IS PURELY MY OPINION. Reviews of all 18 mystery novels that L. J. Roberts read in January 2006. She reads many kinds of books that I do not, which creates a nice balance in M*F ’s coverage, and her opinion is sharper than ever before. It is also a long time since I read 18 mysteries in one month.
IT IS PURELY MY OPINION. Reviews of all 18 mystery novels that L. J. Roberts read in February 2006. As you see, I am falling behind again. LJ is certainly holding up her end. All that’s needed is a little more speed and effort on my part.
Copyright © 2005 by Steve Lewis. All rights reserved to contributors. Return to the Main Page