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Found Pages: The Remarkable Harold Ernest (“Darcy Glinto”) Kelly, 1899–1969.

Mushroom Jungle books I: Authors and Titles NEW

This [Steve Holland speaking] is the story of a publishing phenomenon, the story of the mushroom publishers of the post-War decade. I use the term “mushroom” throughout to describe the many small publishers who sprang up in the days of paper rationing to slake the public’s thirst for reading matter, usually with cheaply produced paperback novels. The term was used by contemporary writers to describe the fly-by-night antics of some of those publishers, whom one writer described as the “here today, gone tomorrow” variety.

Steve Holland, introducing The Mushroom Jungle; a History of Postwar Paperback Publishing (1993)

Books such as Road Floozy, Crazy to Kill, or Blonde Dynamite were sold on their “erotic” cover art or suggestive “blurbs” at every railway station newsstand, every corner newsagent, every back-street “bookseller” and every market book barrow, only to quickly and quietly disintegrate as they were passed from reader to reader in offices, army barracks (especially among those doing National Service) and mechanics’ shops across Britain in the bleak post-war years.

Clive Bloom, Bestsellers; Popular Fiction Since 1900 (2003)

Invaluable though Steve Holland’s The Mushroom Jungle and The Trials of Hank Janson (2004) are, I’ve been feeling increasingly frustrated by not knowing how extensive the Jungle was, and how many authors there were, pseudonymous and actual—how extensive, and also how perilous. I am referring to what I have come to think of as the toughie, rather than “gangster,” area in it. (But see Note 6: Gangster novels.)

I’ve been able to acquire a number of texts, and they are described in Mushroom Jungle books: a sampling. But until one has some idea of what one’s reading are samples of, there’s a good deal of fuzziness, especially when one’s dealing not only with numerous one-on-one pseudonyms but also with “house” pseudonyms—pseudonyms used by more than one writer. At least there is for me.

This especially matters when accessing works is difficult

With some “entertainment” genres there’s no problem these days. So much has been done on horror movies and so-called exploitation movies (two overlapping categories) that you can form a pretty good idea fairly fast of what’s there, and which of the movies available through the likes of Movies Unlimited you might want to buy.

None of which is true of the overwhelming majority of Jungle books, I mean with respect to contents and quality. The vast majority are now off the market, and a lot aren’t in libraries, and, so far as I know, there have been very few descriptions of individual works, apart from my own in the original and now enlarged Mushroom Jungle Sidebar.


So, here is my amateur attempt at mapping, initially for my own purposes, the toughie area between 1946 and about 1954.

The Jungle, as we know from Steve Holland, also included Science Fiction, Sexies, and Westerns, along with minor lines like the Foreign Legion and literal jungles. I’ve acquired a few Sexies that sounded as though they might be transgressive, but have no interest in SF or, at least at present, rain-forests and deserts, interesting though memoirs by ex-Legionaires in the Twenties and Thirties are.

But if the novels by Lance Carson, Clinton Wayne, and Bryn Logan published by Hector Kelly are anything to go by, there were good, sometimes very good, British Westerns. You didn’t have to have been in Texas or Wyoming yourself to be able to visualize a canyon or a stampede, though of course it helped.

We still need a bibliography of British Westerns from those years. Or else I need to be told where to go for one. I found the standard reference works unhelpful. I’ve provided some possible authorial names in the Notes.


I have a terrible memory for names and can’t remember who wrote what. So I’ve put together four lists.

The title-page names of a lot of Jungle authors,

The same names and a lot of books “by” them between about 1946 and 1954.

The actual names of a number of authors, with their pseudonyms.

The Jungle books that I’ve read myself.

Steve Holland and Allen Hubin, if they glance at this page, will no doubt groan at errors and omissions.

But I feel easier in my mind now, intellectually, and deciding whether or not to go after such works as appear on Abebooks and eBay is less problematic. In the Notes there’s a list of Jungle publishers.


I assembled the names and titles by going through Steve’s impeccably researched Mushroom Jungle and poignant The Trials of Hank Janson (2004), Maurice Flanagan’s abundantly illustrated British Gangster and Exploitation Paperbacks of the Postwar Years (1997), the COPAC online catalogue of books in British and Irish libraries, and finally (on disc) Allen J. Hubin’s invaluable and wonderfully user-friendly Crime Fiction IV: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 1749–2000 (CD-ROM, Locus Press).

Why 1954 as a cut-off date? Well, effectively it feels like the end of an era, the end of, to shift metaphors, a literary frontier.

The clean-up campaign that gathered momentum in 1952 and culminated in the Hank Janson trials in 1954 had had its effects. In Steve Holland’s words,

Gangster novels were poison in the new climate. Popular writers like Ace Capelli, Duke Linton, “Griff,” Brett Vane, Nat Karta, Nick Perelli—mostly house names used on sex-and-violence novels of dubious quality—were consigned to the obituary desk. When publishers did produce crime thrillers, the covers, language and action were toned down compared with what had gone before. Wives, servants and fourteen-year-old schoolgirls looking for thrills would have to get them elsewhere. (Trials, 217)

Sanitized British fiction purporting to be American was now at a disadvantage in relation to real American paperbacks, especially the Gold Medals by writers like John D. MacDonald, Gil Brewer, Bruno Fischer, John McPartland, and Charles Williams, that were being published in Britain.

And clubman Ian Fleming, in hardcover, had upped the domestic sex-and-violence stakes. Did any of the plebeian Junglies, I wonder, match the carpet beater and carving knife in 1953’s Casino Royale (“Say goodbye to it, Bond”)? Or, in Live and Let Die (1954), the prospect of Bond and lovely Simone Latrelle tied naked face to face and towed laceratingly across a coral reef?

To judge from the ones that I’ve read, a lot of the Junglies probably hadn’t lived up (or down) to the promises of their covers. But during its brief heyday, there must have been a buzz of expectations like that on 42nd Street in its sleazoid glory years. Here was where the filtering processes of normal publishing weren’t in effect and anything, imagination suggested, could happen—and sometimes did.

Something of that buzz is still there in the exotic authorial names, the come-on titles, and, of course, the covers


Here, to begin with, is a list of about a hundred and twenty authorial names, all but a handful of them pseudonyms, attached to Toughies or probable Toughies between 1946 and about 1954, with a few Sexies thrown in.

What makes a work sound as though it might be a Toughie rather than something more innocuous? With titles like Death at Honeysuckle Lodge and Drop Dead, Darling there’s no problem. Things aren’t always that clear-cut, but usually there’s a pattern. James Hadley Chase and Darcy Glinto pretty well set things going with titles like No Orchids for Miss Blandish, The Dead Stay Dumb, Lady—Don’t Turn Over, No Mortgage on a Coffin, and Road Floosie. Also, of course, you know that you’re unlikely to encounter insouciant Establishment types in books by authors with names like Nat Karta and Danny Spade.

But no doubt I’ve included some items that don’t belong here and missed others that do.

An asterix indicates an author whom I’ve read something by. I haven’t included James Hadley Chase, who was mainstream by then.


Here are the title-page authors and their works, almost all paperbacks. The vast majority, as I said, have vanished from the marketplace, and some of those that resurface are pretty pricey, at times outrageously so. There are some copies in the libraries (google to COPAC) and a lot more, evidently, in the hands of aficionados who started collecting early. But if you can’t browse in the British Library, you’re pretty well shut out unless you frequent eBay and AbeBooks with money to burn and are occasionally lucky.

I’ve used a double slash // to show at what point I turned to Al Hubin’s bibliography for assistance. I mean, I did do some work on my own. For dates and publishers, see his CD bibliography. It’s truly a joy to use.

Ambler, Dail (Betty Williams)

A Curtain of Glass*, Not Killed, Just Dead, San Francisco by Night, Shadow of a Gun, Hold That Tiger, The Lady Says When, Move Fast, Brother, No More Chances, Johnny Gets His, Wildcat, Duet for Two Gunmen

Ross Angel (Donald Cresswell)

Let’s Shoot This Out, Dames Don’t Dictate, Dame Trouble There, Get Out and Stay Out, Give Me a Gun, Hot Ice, I’ll Fry Yet, Call Me Sometime, The Dame Came Late, Dead Easy, Drop That Gun, Excuse My Gun, It’s All Yours, It’s Murder, She Says, KO for Keeps, Shoot This Out, Luger Lullaby, Misguided Angel, Mister Forty-Five, No Percentage in Death, One-way Trip, To Sleep No More, Tomorrow—the Chair, The Voice of Vice, You Don’t Die Twice// Bullet Proof, Jail Bait, Let’s Sort This Out, Live Till You Die, Over My Dead Body, Reckless, Smile, Baby,Smile, So Long, Johnny

Tony Angelo (T.C.P. Webb)

// Honey, Hold That Scream, Sinner’s Shroud, Satan’s Sister

Bart Banarto (house pseudonym)

Dames Play Dumb, Crime City, // The Big Panic, Bigtime Payoff, Broadway Siren, Bullets for a Bride, Dangerous Curves, Dangerous Wanton, Dark Rackets, Doublecross Dame, Lament for a Blonde, Mink for My Lady, Rackets and Dames, Rackets Incorporated, Wreath for a Widow

Nick Baroni (Frederick Foden, John Jennison, Albert Edward Garrett, Philip M. Pethick, Norman Firth)

Big Time Girl, Girls for Sale,// Blonde Baby, Curves Pay Off, Dangerous Rackets, Easy Curves, Frances, Girl Bait, Hat Check Girls, High Heels and Scanties, High Spot, Manhattan Honey, Mitzi, Nancy, Night Club Moll, No Price Sister, No Regrets, Pay Off, Red Doll, Sally, Shapely Lady, Tansy

Tony Barton (Ernest L. McKeag)

//Think Fast, Sister

Al Bocca (Bevis Winter)

Deliver the Body, Build Me a Blonde, Make It Murder, Desire After Dark, Any Minute Now, Black Morning, Blonde Dynamite, City Limit Blonde, Curves for Danger, A Dame Ain’t Safe, Dead on Delivery, Dead on Time, Deadly Earnest, Easy Come, Easy Go, A Gun for Company, The Harder They Fall, It’s Your Funeral, Let’s Face It, Let’s Not Get Smart, The Long Sleep, No Dice, She Was No Lady, Sinner Takes All, Slaughter in Satin, Sorry You’ve Been Shot, Sudden Death, Ticket to San Diego, Wait for It, Pal, // All or Nothing, Blonde on Ice, The Coffin Fits, A Corner in Corpses, Deliver the Baby, Double Trouble, Dressed to Kill, No Room at the Morgue, Requiem for a Redhead, The Slick and the Dead, Trouble Calling

Jeff Bogar [Harry Hossent, Ronald Wills Thomas, Leslie T. Barnard)

Honey, Stay Blonde// Book a Hearse Now, Bullets for My Blonde, The Concrete Curtain, Confessions of a Chinatown Moll*, My Gun, Her Body*, Corruption City, Dinah for Danger [aka My Gun, Her Body], Duet for a Corpse, Fire Zone, Frisco Lady, Hill-Billy in High Heels, Honey–Stay Blonde, Hoodman’s Bait, Lady from Hades, Lady–Pass My Gat, The Land Pirate, [Dinah for Danger], Pay-off for Paula [The Tigress], Pink Film, Road to Las Vegas, The Speed Queens, Sucker Bait, The Tigress [Pay-off for Paula], Undercurrent

Dale Bogard (Douglas Enefer)

// Don’t Kill Me Twice, Double Kill, It’s Lonely on the Sidewalk, Lay the Dame on Ice, Lead Her Gentle to the Grave, Let the Dead Sleep On, The Loveless Die First, Make Sure I’m Dead, Nine Times Dead, Nobody Died for Johnny, Nobody Knows the Dead Pardon My Body, Speak Softly to the Dead

Cesar Borelli

//Get This Straight

Beth Brown

For Men Only

Whitney Brown (Michael Barnes)

And So to Eternity

Raymond Buxton

Midsummer Madness, No Gentle Lady, A Rope for a Gal Called Lou

Bud Cagson

//Come Clean, Baby, Tough Dames Don’t Cry

Jack Cairo (Frederick Foden)

Millionaire Doll, Cocksure Dame, Dames for Danger, You’ve Had Your Chance,// The Body Dutiful, The Heat’s One, Hell of a Dame

Rod Callahan

// Corpses Ain’t Smart, Don’t Cross Me, Honey, Killers Don’t Care, No Dahliias for the Damned, Step Softly, Sweetheart, Too Smart to Live, Whose Grave Next, Honey

Ace Capelli (Geoffrey Pardoe, Stephen Frances, Norman Lazenby)

Yellow Babe, Big Shot Racketeer, The Big Time, Chicago Pay-Off, Dames Like Dough, Death at Every Door, The Double Cross, The Fix, Frisco Hijack, Get Me Headquarters*, Little Czar of Chicago, Never Turn Your Back, Sister, Move Over, Time to Kill, Yellow Babe,// Baby, You’re Better Dead, Dead on Time, Don’t Die Too Soon, A Gun at My Back, Gunblast, Man-Bait, Play It Your Way, Public Enemy, Say Your Prayers, The Set-Up, Slaughter Street, Smart Doublecross, This Man is Death, Too Smart to Live, Trapped, The Web, Woman Trap

Ross Carni

//No Time for Corpses, The Set-Up, The

Bart Carson (William Maconachie)

Sugar, You’re Poison, Bread for the Dead, Champagne and Choppers, Cuban Heel, Curves Mean Danger, Death Wore Scanties, Hedy–Like Wine, Lady Behind Bars, The Lady is a Spitfire, The Late Demented, Murder Matinee, No Dice, Sister, Phone for a Hearse, Redhead Rhapsody, She Died Downtown, // Dames Scare Easy, Ten Grand Story, There Could be Trouble, This Way, Sister, Torment Was a Woman

Ross Carni

Against the F.B.I., Date for Homicide, Death Called China 2244, No Time for Corpses, The Set-Up, The Showdown

Chick Carter

//Honey Drop Dead

Ralph Carter

The Sins of Donna Kenyon

Bram Casson,

Pardon My Pistol// Keep Away

Al Catraz (Thomas Hector Martin)

Soho Salome

Johnny Cello (Victor Hanson, Michael Barnes, Albert Garrett, Quinn)

Corruption’s Tutor, Duet to Corruption, A Guy Gets His, Jeanie with the Light Brown Corpse, Lights Out, Sin is Her Mantle, They Don’t Live Long,// Ace of Jades, Crisis, Sin Has No Future

Max Clinten (Victor Hanson, Michael Barnes, Stephen Frances)

No Dame Wants to Die*// The Dead Were Strangers, Don’t Make Me Kill, No Flowers for the Dead, No Place for a Dame, Red Hot and Deadly, So Long, Sucker, Strictly Illegal

Sammy Coburn (Bevis Winter)

Don’t Tempt Me, Brunettes are No Better, Death Warrant, Hot Cargo, The Lady Pays, Uneasy Street, You Can’t Die Here,// Showdown

Lynn Como (James McCormick)

//Ice in Her Eyes, Man Hunt, Stuttering Death

Len Cooper,

Dames Meet Death

Frank Corbett

Trouble with a Woman* (see Duke Linton, Crazy to Kill)

Pete Costello (George Bell, Frederick Foden)

Undercover Dame, Moll for the Morgue, My Cutie’s a Corpse, Honey Don’t Dare, Murder in Mink

Johnny Dark (Victor Norwood)

Dame on the Lam// Body and Soul, Fig Leaves for a Lady, A Guy Must Live, The Lady Needs Help, The Snake Walk, The Squealer, Take It or Leave It, Venom

Mickey Delaney

Protection for a Lady, She Had My Number

Kirk David (Frederick Foden, Derek Hyde Davis)

//Born to Die, I Was Alone, It’s Easier for Homicide, It’s Good to Be Alive, The Man Who Went Away, Now We Are Free

Mike T. Dallas

//Death Wears Nylons, Hot Sugar

Jay de Bekker

//Gutter Gang, Keyhole Peeper

Lew Della

//Dark Angel, Fast and Loose, Frenzy, Ladies Sleep Alone, Life is Short, Love Comes Lethal, Risky, Shadows, Temptation, Touch and Go

Brett Diamond (Sydney J. Bounds, John F. Watt, Norman Firth)

A Coffin for Clara, // Bowery Blonde, Curtains for Dulcie, Lady Watch, Redheads Die Young, Say It with Homicide, Sister Sinister, Such Men Are Dangerous, Two-Gun Theresa

Ricky Drayton (Michael Barnes)

Drop Dead*, Stiffs Don’t Squeal*, Hell’s Belles, Nothing to Lose, Anyone’s Grief, The Big Fix, Crime on My Hands, Evie Was No Lady, Get a Load o’ Dis, The Heat’s On, Hell and High Water, I Don’t Die Easy, It Doesn’t Add Up, Lowdown on G-Men (with Karl Medusa), Stay Dead Sweetheart, Stick or Bust, Stripped to Kill, Take It on the Lam// Death Comes Wholesale, Get That Man, Grin and Dare It, It’s Murder, Make It Lethal, The Midnight Male, Never Say No

Johnny DuCrane

Abandoned, Holding the Aces

Dudley-Smith, Trevor

//Double Who Double Crossed, Escape to Fear*, Now Try the Morgue*, Over the Wall

Earl Ellison (John F. Watt, Sydney J. Bounds, Ernest Lister Hale, N. Wesley Firth, Norman Lazenby, Lisle Willis)

Corpses Don’t Care, John Brown’s Soul, Miss Gloria Gets Wise, // Angels Are So Few, The Big Deal, Blondes Aren’t So Dumb, Blood on the Dragon, Bullets for Miss Barrett, Corrupt City, Desert Intrigue, Design for Danger, Dig Mine Deep, Don’t Mourn for Me, Framed, A Lady on Loan, Midnight Alibi, Mink for Miss Marchant, Mink Makes a Good Shroud, No Escape, Paid in Full, Rita Makes a Killing, Rosalind Runs Wild, The Tomb of Horror, Too Much Ambition, Too Smart to Live, Undercover, Unwilling

Johnny Farrell

//Curves and Angles, Night Ride, Sugar, You’re Swell

N. Wesley Firth (Norman Firth)

When Shall I Sleep Again?* This is Murder, Lady, Broadway Doll, Dames Play Rough, Lady in Leicester Square, Studio Revels, Dangerous Dames, Soho Girls// Adventure Island, Concerto for Fear, Death Flows Down River, Deceit, Desire at Midnight, The Frightened Virgin, Gangster Pay-Off, Good Time Lady, Lady Be Careful, Manhattan Bombshell, Milady Takes the Rap, Murder for Sale, Night Secrets, Out for the Count, The Strip Tease Murders, Terror Stalks by Night, Terror Strikes, This Is Murder, The Woman of Danger

Dirk Foster (Geoffrey Pardoe)

Blonde Bombshell, Don’t Scare Me, Sister, Lady, Shed Your Head, No Jane is Safe, Pam Slipped Up, Small Town Big Shot, Some Dames Die Young, Sweethearts Vengeance, Tough for You, Hazel

Pete Garroway (Gray Usher)

A Dame Too Many, High Stepping Jezebel, // Say Yes, Sugar

Darcy Glinto (Harold Kelly) [new books, 1946–55 and reprints from 1940–1942]

Curtains for Carrie, Blue Blood Flows East, No Come Back from Connie, Dainty Was a Jane, Dame Between Two, Mannequin Moll, Straight-Up Girl, Lady—Don’t Turn Over [reissue], One More Nice White Body, She Gave Me Hell and …, Road Floozie [reissue], Deep South Slave, Born to Die, Dames Are Deadly, You Took Me—Keep Me [reissue], Yours Truly, Hoodlum (reissue), The Hangman is a Woman, No Mortgage on a Coffin [reissue]

Hava Gordon (Ramond Buxton)

// Devil’s Coffin, Dead on Arrival

Max Gordon (Frederick Foden, Norman Lazenby

Look Down for Mercy// I Never Killed, Why Squeal on Me?

Spike Gordon (David Boyce, Raymond Buxton, John Russell Fearn)
I Don’t Get It, // The Big Fix, Doctor Samovar, Don’t Touch Me, Gale Gallyon Takes a Hand, She Means Trouble, Taken for Dollars, Unhappy Hophead, You Take the Rap, You’re No Lady

Paul Granados (Arthur Kent)

Broadway Contraband (1954)

G-Man Greer

//Call in the Feds, F.B.I. Showdown, F.B.I. Special Agent, Federal Agent

Chris Grey (Gray Usher)

Heavy Sugar, Wake Up and Die

Johnny Grecco (Geoffrey Pardoe, Stephen Frances)

Mexico Deadline, “ Emma Slasky”, Call Her Savage, Dames Play Rough, A Date with …?, Manhattan Massacre, Mexico Deadline, Million Dollar Snatch, Send Another Coffin, She’s No Lady, A Sucker for Dames, // Don’t Cross Me, Honey, Smart Dame

“Griff” (F. Dubrez Fawcett, William Newton, Ernest Lionel McKeag, John Russell Fearn, A.J. B. Peterson, David Boyce)

Bullets for Snoopers*, I Spit on Your Grave, Brooklyn Moll Shoots Bedmate, Back-Alley Blonde, Some Rats Have Two Legs, From Dance Hall to Opium Den, Carribean Cutie, Cage of Corruption, The City of Lost Woman, Crooked Coffins, Curves Can Cast Shadows, Dared by a Dame*, Dead Bones Tell Tales, Demon Barber of Broadway, Devil’s Daughter, Dope is for Dopes, The Doped and the Damned, Eastern Men, Chicago Women*, Good-bye Tomorrow, Handful of Dreams, Hank Tries the Sidewalk, He Only Says Tonight, Hell-Bomb Floozies, Hi-Jack That Dame, Hot-Shot Rita, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, Liquid Death, Main Street Morgue, Midnight Hostesses, Molls Mean Murder, Murder by Contract, Night Patrol, Only Mugs Die Young, Rub-Out Speciality, She Had It Coming, She Paid ‘Em Off, Shoot to Live, Too Tough to Live, Trading with Bodies, Vice Queens on Broadway [The Midnight Hostess], You Pay the Price, // Bad as Could Be, Dames Don’t Forget, Played the Hard Way, The Poisonous Angel, The Quick or the Dead, Rackets Incorporated, The Silver Key, Stiffs Can’t Squeal, That Room in Camden Town

Mark Hampton (Victor Norwood)

I Don’t Scare Easy, Raw Deal for Dames. That’s Her Problem

Steve Harragan [William Maconnachie]

The Bigamy Kiss, Dope Doll, The Queer Sisters, The Shayne Dame, Smuggled Sin, Three Bad Girls

Joe P. Heggy,

// The Grab, Make It Nylons, Poison Ivy, The Trouble with Women

J. M. Hickman,

Nine O’Clock Curtains, Come and Get Me,// Death on the Run, The Missing Witness, Tide of Death

Kent Howard,

A Private Killing // Dead for Pleasure, Go South, Go Crazy, Kearney Died Twice, Shooting Made Easy, Small Time Crooks

Frank Hansen (Michael Barnes)

I’ll Get By, Lady Be Bad, You’ve Been Tumbled

John Wilkinson Hornby

//Death Pays Dividends, Die Quickly, Brother, Here Today, Dead Tomorrow

W.R. Hutton

Not a Dog’s Chance*, Broadway Racket, Death of a Wide Boy,

Duck Hudson

//Dames Fry Too, Get Going Sister, Take a Powder

Max James (James McCormick)

//Death is Where You Meet It, It doesn’t Matter When You’re Dead

Ace Jackson

There’s Death, Miss Minden

Hank Janson (Stephen Frances)

When Dames Get Tough*, Scarred Faces*, Women Hate Till Death*, Broads Don’t Scare Easy*, Skirts Bring Me Sorrow*, Some Look Better Dead*, Accused*, Amok [Fireball*], Torment for Trixie*, Vengeance, Whiplash, This Woman is Death, Lady Mind That Corpse, Gun Moll for Hire, No Regrets for Clara, This Dame Dies Soon, Blonde on the Spot, Baby Don’t Dare Squeal, Death Wore a Petticoat, Hotsy You’ll Be Chilled, It’s Always Eve Who Weeps. Frails Can Be So Tough, Milady Took the Rap, Sadie Don’t Cry Now, Slay Ride for Cutie, The Filly Wore a Rod, Kill Her if You Can, Death Wore a Petticoat, Vengeance, Killer, // Angel, Shoot to Kill, Auctioned, The Bride Wore Weeds, Conflict, Deadly Mission, Death Wore a Petticoat, Don’t Mourn Me, Toots, Gunsmoke in Her Eyes, Honey, Take My Gun, The Jane with Green Eyes, The Lady Has a Scar, Lady, Toll That Bell, Lilies for My Lovely, Lola Brought Her Wreath, Nyloned Avenger, Persian Pride*, Pursuit*, Sister, Don’t Hate Me, Suspense, Sweetie Hold Me Tight, Tension, Torment*

Duff Johnson

//Coffins in Her Eyes, The Dead Don’t Rise, Operator from Chicago

Mike Kerrigan

Once Upon a Crime, Suddenly a Shroud

Roscoe King

//Pardon My Gun

Ross Kirby

Why Call It Homicide, East Side Assignment, // Newshound’s Nemesis

Marc Lavelle (Ernest Lister Hale Willis)

Curves Spell Death, // Call Me Sugar, Dame Without Shame, Lady, Beware, Paris After Dark, Pay-Off for Desire, Reefer Girl

Edwin La Forge

// Crime Passionel

Nat Karta (Donald Cresswell, Norman Lazenby, Victor Norwood, Terry Stanford, John Russell Fearn, John Watson, Dail Ambler)

A Guy Names Judas*, Cry Wolf Sister*, Love Me Hurt Me*, The Foolish Virgin Says No*, Too Good for the Poor, The Reluctant Virgin, Some Dame, Climax, Pay-Off, Sinister Lovely, We, the Condemned, Big-Top Dame, Brother Rat, Uneasy Alibi, Jealousy, Turn Off the Heat, All The Things You Ain’t, Angels Sleep in Bed, Bravely to Bed, Climax, The Concrete Nymph, The Elusive Corpse, Foolish Cargo, The Hot Seat’s Cold, Jealousy, Once Bitten, Twice Bitten, Pay-Off, Sinister Lovely // The Body’s Mine, A Dame Called Desire, Eat Me If You Must, The Foolish Virgin, The Foolish Virgin Returns, The Hot Rod, Los Angeles Be Damned, The Merry Virgin, The Sin of Miss Bishop, Some Dame, The Tigress Bites, Too Good for the Poor, The Trap Mystery, Vision Sinister, We the Condemned, You Only Lose It Once

Jim Kellan,

She’s Dynamite// Honey, Drop That Weed

René Laroche (Ernest Lionel McKeag)

Cargo to Cairo, House of Assignation, Ladies of Leisure, Strip Tease Girl, Tragedies of Montmartre

Duke Linton (Stephen Frances, Frank Dubrez Fawcett, Victor Hanson, Norman Lazenby, Gray Usher)

Crazy to Kill*(reprinted as Frank Corbett, Trouble with A Woman*), Strip-Tease Angel*, Too Late for Death*, Big Time Racketeer, Bury Me Deep, Call Me Al, Crazy to Kill, Dames Die Too, The Dark Brings Death, Daughter of the Sidewalk, Deadline, Enough Rope, Five Days to Die, Give Me the Low-Down, Hangman’s Harvest, Hold Everything, How Dead Can You Be?, Keep Moving, Bud, Kill and Desire, Killer Bait, Lend Me a Rod, Lips of Death, Poison, Shrouds are Cheap, Sinner, They’ve Got Me Again,, Too Many Yesterdays, Was She Poison?, What Do I Care?, Who’s Sorry Now? // Sin’s Half Mile, So Dead, So Sweet, Strip Tease Angel, The Swinging Corpse, That Dame Sal

Norman Lazenby

//Dead Sinners, Terror-Trap, Yellow

Clarke Loman,

Madame, Don’t Be Difficult

Hans Lugar /Luger (Alistair Patterson, Quinn, George Max)

Come Out with Your Hands Up, You Don’t Say// Appointment with Desire, The Bigger They Are, The Black Fedora, Death by Apointment, Double or Quits, Handle with Care, Harvest for Harpies, Killer End, The Lady Can Lose, Lady–This Is It, Leave It to Me, Line-Up, The Marble Heart, Midnight Sister, One-Way Ticket, Prelude to Passion, Six Foot Deep, This Side Up, You Don’t Say

Johnny Mack

//Fall Guy, Frame Up, Pay-Off, Shakedown,

Lew Mantz

//Hijacker’s Morgue, The Snatch, Trapped

Steve Markham (Geoffrey Pardoe, Stephen Frances)

The Hideout*, Play It Smart// Alcatraz Break, Cornered, Dames Can’t Wait, Dames Spell Trouble, Date in Detroit, Honey, Not Now, I’ll Take Blondes, It’s Not Easy to Die, The Lady Says No, Lilies for Laura, The Maltese Mob, New Orleans Wildcat, Play It Smart, Too Hot to Handle

Rex Marlowe

//Big Time Girl, All or Nothing, Bullets Speak Louder, Carla Packs a Rod, Dangerous Dames, Hell Hath No Fury, Homicide Dragnet, Identity Unknown, One Way Ticket, Perilous Assignment

Lane Martin,

Bait// Chicago Rod, Verdict

M. Mayfair,

The Virgin Dancer

Mike McCracken (Gordon Holmes Landsborough)

Death Smells of Cordite // Black Death, Black Hammer, Killer in Canvas, Protection Again

Rick Madison

//The Damned Don’t Care, Handle with Care, Hit the Jackpot, The Lady Gets Wise, Look Out for Louella, Racket Doll, Save Your Tears, Set Up for Danger, Star Witness, Stranger Beware, Terror Rides the West Wind

Marina Mayfair

The Virgin Dancer, White Cargo

Mike McCracken

//Black Death, Black Hammer, Death Smells of Cordite, Killer in Canvas Jeans, Protection Agent

Karl Medusa (Michael Barnes)

// I Spy, Lowdown on G-Men, They Kill by Night

Jules-Jean Morac

I’m No Prude*, My Life is My Own*, Come into My Parlour, The Life of Tilly Lagourd, Mr Bertrand and the Blonde, Playing with Fire

Spike Morelli (William Newton)

Coffin for a Cutie*, Take It and Like It*, This Way for Hell*, Death for a Doll*, You’ll Never Get Me*, Sorry for You, Beautiful, // Deal Me Out, Give It to Me Straight, More than Kisses, Baby, No Place for Me

Dean Morgan (Graham Fisher)


James Vincent Nolan

Too Tough for a Halo

Rob Norman (Quinn?)

//The Bad Die Young, Don’t Give Me That

Larry O’Brien

Angels Bruise Easy

Luke Paradise (Quinn?)

Scar on a Corpse, // The Corpse Wore Nylon, Tough Assignment

Winston Parker

Women Kill as Well

Nick Perrelli (George H. Dawson, Thomas H. Martin)

The Frail’s a Phoney, Private Eyeful, Blind Murder, A Blonde for Burial, The Body Ran Home, Nothing to Hide, Rita Takes a Ride, She Sure Slipped, Some Dames Don’t, Terror in Tokyo, Two Dames Too Many, Virgin’s Vendetta, Virgins Die Lonely, Who Told the Belle? // At Dead of Night, Blonde for Danger, A Dame Dies Greedy, A Dame Doles Death, Dead on Time, Dope for Dolores, The Lady is a Tiger, Step In, Sister, Sweet and Low, Take It Easy

John Powers (Douglas Enefer)

The Big Slam (1953)

Sarah Prentiss,

Ordeal by Shame*

Rex Rand

Desperation, Playing for Time, She Wanted a Guy Surrendered (Norman A. Lazenby)

Clifton Rank (Courtman Davis),

Homicide Racket, Bury Him Gently, Mind My Shroud, Tigers on Tuesday

Paul Renin (Richard Goyne)

She Who Hesitates*, Flame*, Sex*

Aida Reubens (Aida Emma Rawkins)

// Gangster’s Lair

Rex Richards,

Women at Dusk, Baby, Mind Your Step, A Dame Made for Love, Don’t Fall, Sucker, Dope Racketeer, Downfall for a Lady, Floosie for Hire, No-Good Hussy, San Francisco Dame, Some Dames Do, Too Late to Weep, // Dames Are So Dangerous, Leading Lady

Rex Rioti (Jack Trevor Storey)

Scarlet Widow

Max Risco (Thomas Hector Martin)

Corpse at College, I Can Take It, Night Is So Short, Over My Dead Body, Ramona, Tiger Lily, Visa for Violence

A. Rocco

Build Me a Blonde

Max Risco (Thomas Hector Martin)

// Corpse at College, I Can Take It, Night is So Short, Over My Dead Body, Ramona, Tiger Lily, Visa for Violence

Brad Rigan (Victor Norwood)

I’ll Take the Body, Drop Dead, Sucker, // Killer Take All

Don Rogan

Unhappy Souls, Gunmen Die Hard, Dames Take to Crime

Gene Ross (William Newton)

Lady, Throw Me a Curve*, Corpse in the Boudoir, Curves Cause Trouble, Sorry for You, Beautiful, Step Up, Sucker, This Way for Hell, Two Smart Dames, You’re Dead

Ben Sarto (F. Dubrez Fawcett, J.A. Jordan, Malcolm Hulke, A.J. B Paterson, William Newton)

Miss Otis Comes to Piccadilly*, Chicago Dames*, Miss Otis Throws a Come-Back, Hi-Jacker’s Lady, She Ruled with a Rod, Queen of Crook’s Harem, I’ll Get By, I Kill ‘Em Inch by Inch [Rope for a Lady], Manhattan Terrors, Beech on the Boulevard, Soho Spiv, Tigress of Brazil, “Jews” Pellegrini, Blood and Blondes, Bowery Birdie, Chain Gang Queenie, City of Sin, Corpse in the Cabin, Corrupted Woman, Dames Can Be Poison, Death Rides the Train, Duchess of Dope, Elsa the Terrible, Floozie Takes Lawman, Gangster’s Lady, Gorilla’s Moll, Grand Graft Hotel, Plenty, Manhattan Terrors, Miss Otis Goes Up *, Miss Otis Has a Daughter, The Oldest Profession, Pinday and the “White Slaver,” Rope for a Lady, Sinister Wooing, Snake-Hips, Take What’s Coming, There’s Always a Dame, They Burn for Me, Viper’s Brood, The Wolf Shows His Teeth [Tombstones are for Quitters] // Bodies Fetch Good Prices, Call Me Shameless, Chicago Strip-Tease, Corpse in the Cabin, Decoy Babes, Disillusioned, Donna with Green Eyes, Dynamite Doll, Hi-jacker’s Lady, Hire Me a Roe, Hot Dames Die Cold, Kept, Killer in Love, Kiss Me, Kill Me, The Lady Bites, Lida Takes Plenty, Miss Ginger Dies Twice, Miss Otis Blows Town, Miss Otis Desires, Miss Otis Gets Fresh, Miss Otis Goes French, Miss Otis Hits Back, Miss Otis Makes a Date, Miss Otis Makes Hay, Miss Otis Moves In, Miss Otis Plays Ball, Miss Otis Plays Even, Miss Otis Relents, Miss Otis Says Yes, Miss Otis Takes the Rap, No Holds Barred, Rebecca of the Snatch Racket, Riviera Nights,, She Talked with a Gun, Sidewalk Floozie, Susie Comes to Soho, They Burn for Me, Tigress of Brazil, Too Bad for Suzie, Viper’s Brood, The Wolf Shows His Teeth, Worth More Dead

Kurt Schneider

//Too Late for Tears, Too Scared to Live

Mark Shane (Victor Norwood),

They Kill to Live, Borrowed Time, Death at Her Fingers, Honey Ain’t So Sweet, Jail and Farewell, The Lady Bites the Dusk, Obsession to Kill, // Fifteen Bodies to the Morgue, The Lady Was a Man, Obsession to Kill, Sex Gauntlet to Murder

Gordon Shayne (Bevis Winter)

And So to Death, Ticket to Eternity

Brad Shannon (Victor J. Hanson)

The Big Snatch*, Some Get It*, They Say I’m Bad, “Stir” Crazy, Blues for My Baby, The Body Was Lonely, Bury the Guy, A Coffin for Lefty, Cons on the Run, The Countless Steps. The Dead Don’t Cry, Death Pulls No Punches, Death Walks Softly, Don’t Mention It, Fall Guy, Heads You Lose, The Lady’s for Killing, “Lefty” Connor Moves In, “Lefty” Hands It Out, “Lefty” Takes Over, Murder—So What?, So Many Dead, You Talk Too Much, // I Wake Screaming, Lefty Cuts Loose, Lefty Hands It Out, Rubberneck, Sadie Swings the Blues,

Link Shelton (Stephen Frances)

Dead Men Don’t Love

M. Sinton

//Hell Hath No Fury

Danny Spade (Dail Ambler [Betty Williams])

// The Dame Plays Rough*, Frisco Rock, Calling Mr Spade, Count Me Out, Desert Guerrillas, A Gun for Sale, Move Fast Brother, No More Chances, Silk and Cordite, Story of a Killer, Twice as Dead, What Gives?, Dial Death, You’ll Play This My Way, Story of a Killer, Honey, You Slay Me, // Curves and Black, Don’t Die on Me, Dragnet, A Girl Called Coffee, Hi-Jack, How Far Can You Go?, It’s All in Your Mind, Kiss Me as You Go, The Lady Holds a Gun, Lady Likes to Sin, Move Fast, Nothing to Hide, San Francisco by Night, Shadow of a Gun, She Liked It That Way, So Deep the River, Spades Are Trumps, Strong Arm Stuff, That’s All I Need, Waterfront Rat

Hank Spencer (William Newton, A.J.B. Paterson, F. Dubrez Fawcett)

Vice Squad, Bad-Luck Cutie, The Crash Out, Dumb Babes Don’t Die, The Flesh Game, The Gallows Are High, Gentleman’s Relish, Neck of Sinners, No Face of a Killer, Shroud for a Redhead

Walter Standish (house name)

Women That Are Lost, Crazy Dame, Weep Not My Darling, Floosie Takes a Fall, Softly-Softly, Don’t Sell Me Cheap, Dames Are Welcome, Floosie Goes Astray, Floosie Passes By, Floosie Takes a Fall, I Like My Women Tough, Just like a Dame, No Time to Wait!, Redheads Never Regret, Street of Desire, Without Virtue, // Club Hostess, The Devil in a Skirt, French for Floosie, Heads You Lose, High Yellow, I Forbid, Jeopardy, The Lady Refused, Mistress Mine, My Life is My Own, Pull Down the Blind, Remorse, Send Me a Mink, Too Many Dames Spell Trouble, You Belong to Me

Michael Storme (George Dawson)

Hot Dames on Cold Slabs*, Make Mine a Harlot*, Unlucky Virgin*, Sweetheart with a Wreath*, Satan Buys a Wreath, Dame in My Bed, Elvira Digs a Grave, Tiptoe Thro’ a Graveyard, Make Mine Beautiful, Make Mine a Virgin, Baby Don’t Say Goodbye, Baby Don’t Love Hoodlums, Chicago Terror, The Devil Has a Racket, Dragons Come Expensive, Kiss the Corpse Goodbye, Lovelies are Never Lonely, Make Mine a Corpse, Make Mine a Redhead, Make Mine Dangerous, Me and My Ghoul, Stella Buys a Shroud, Sucker for a Red-Head, // A Corpse Spells Danger, Curtains for Carla, Dame in My Bed, The Grey Messengers, Make Mine a Shroud, Murder Be My Mistress, This Woman is Death, A Woman’s Friend, You’ll Be Better Off

Buck Toler (Harold Kelly)

Tough on the Wops*, Killer on the Run

Ronald Wills Thomas

The Concrete Curtain, Confessions of a Chinatown Moll*, Fire Zone, Lady—Pass My Gat, Pay-Off for Paula, Pink Film, The Speed Queens, Undercurrent

Timothy Trenton,

Intrigue, Deception, Some Dames Die Quick, Lady, Your Gun‘s Showing// Death of a Tough Guy, Dirge for a Doll, Hell Ain’t So Hot, Payoff for Blondie, Vixen Vengeance

Usher, Gray

// A Dame to Discover, Don’t Crowd Me, Double Snatch, Flames Burn High, For Pete’s Sake, I Smell a Cop, I Was a Spy in Britain, Intrigue, Now for It, Sleep If You Dare, Triggerman

Brett Vane (Frederick Foden, John Jennison, Norman Lazenby, Philip M. Pethick)

Night Racket, Blonde Rod, Maria, Miss Pinki Pays Off, Nobody’s Dame, Smart Girl, Brooklyn Daughter// Always a Dame, Arabella, Babs, Black Orchid, Buttercup, Call Me Miranda, Death in Her Eyes, Dollar Rackets, Don’t Dare Lola, Don’t Mind Stella, Easy Living, Eyes and Dolls, False Gold, Fifty Bucks, The Four Hundred, Gardenia, Gilded Lil, Girl for Hire, Good Time Lips, Goodbye Honey, He Moved Away, Irene, Lulu, Make Mine High, Manana, Miss Susan Regrets, The Necklace, Night Racket, Patsy, Poison by Proxy, Private Doll, Redheads Fall Hard, Remember Mimi, She Couldn’t Stay, Sins for Sale, Smart Hussy, Sugar Puss, Sunny, Susanna, This Honey is Mine, Trixie, When Blondes Meet

Roland Vane (Ernest L. McKeag),

White Slaves of New Orleans*, Night Haunts of Paris*,Sinful Sisters*, Pick-Up Girl*, White Slave Racket*, Woman with a Past, Ladies of the Red Lamp, Tainted, Vice Rackets of Soho, The Girl Who Surrendered, Amorous Adventures, The Serpent, Passionate Youth, Wanton Wife, Girl for Hire, Lovelies for Sale, Sins for Sale, Bride for a Night, Call Girls of New York, Clip Joint Girl, The Devil’s Playground, Hot Dilemma, Juvenile Delinquent, Love Denied, Love for a Night, Silken Sin, Sin Stained, Slaves of Passion, This Thing Called “Sin,” Willing Sinner, Woman of Montmartre, // Conquest, Girl from Tiger Bay, Silken Divans

Slim Vincent

//Dames Are No Dice, Floosie on the Run, Tough Guys Fall Too, No Tears for the Dead,

Hans Vogel (Norman Lazenby)

Road to Hell, Main Drag, What Comes Next, At Night I Live, Get Wise on Dames, I Love the Night, Jittery Dame, Like Hell I Hate, Love from Las Vegas, Main Drag, Man Trap, Stop That Dame, Reefer Rhapsody, Sidewalk Serenade, What Comes Next?// Bad Woman, Beware of Wantons, Date with Despair, Night Beat, Road to Hell, Shameless, Stop That Dance

Frank Walton,

Cross-Roads to Crime

Vernon Warren (George Warren Vernon Chapman),

Three Steps to Hell*, Mister Violence*, // The Blue Mauritius, Brandon in New York, Brandon Returns, Brandon Takes Over, Bullets for Brandon, By Fair Means or Foul, Farewell by Death, Invitation to Kill, No Bouquets for Brandon, Background, Stop-Over Danger

John Wingrave

//Backstreets of Soho, The Big Sin, Body and Soul, Night Hostess, The Road to Shame, A Room in Soho, Shameless Spuls, White Slaves of Many Nations, White Slaves of the Congo

Bevis Winter (Al Bocca, also Peter Cagney, Sammy Coburn, Bennet Hill, and Gordon Shayne)

Make Mine Murder, City Limit Blonde, Cures for Danger, The Dead Sleep for Keeps, Redheads are Poison, Redheads Cool Fast, // Blondes End Up Dead, Chase Me Round the Houses, Darker Grows the Street, Next Stop the Morgue

Hyman Zore (Michael Barnes, Victor Hanson, Bevis Winter, Norman A. Lazenby)

Forever Francy, Old New York, Alibi Off Broadway, Black Orchid, Cage Me a Million, Carnival of Death, Cover That Corpse, It’s a Sin, Lady Be Bad, The Lady is a Tramp, Love Street, Mind My Innocence, No Shame on Jancy, Old New York, Redhead Racket // Blue Orchid, Flame, Passion’s Not for Noon, Savage Siren, Shadow of a Sin, This Was a Woman, What’s Ya Problem?, You’re My Ugly


The great ballet impresario Serge Diaghelev once reportedly told Jean Cocteau, in what sounds like a put-down, “Etonnez-moi, Jean.” (Did that would-be grand-master of the astonishing ever manage it, I wonder?) How much that is out there in those “lost” books would still, at least in places, have that fillip of l’insolite, the unexpected, the outrageous, the perhaps genuinely shocking—or even just the scarily suspenseful, the thrilling?

Those qualities are still there for me in the unbowdlerized original editions of a handful of books from 1939–42 (see Violence Inc) by James Hadley Chase, Darcy Glinto, and two or three others, and in Buck Toler’s Tough on the Wops and Glinto’s Blue Blood Flows East, both early Jungle, and certain Hank Jansons. And later on in Peter Loughran’s rivetting The Train Ride (1966) and Dearest (1983).

But the sample of atrociousness that Richard Hoggart memorably provides in The Uses of Literacy (1957) should be viewed with caution.

Apparently his publishers had feared lawsuits if he were to cite actual works as examples of a defective moral sensibility. So he made up his own samples, drawing for his worst one, so far as I can see, on memories, or perhaps cherished copies, of No Orchids for Miss Blandish and Lady—Don’t Turn Over (both almost twenty years old), and maybe some other work.

He certainly had a knack for it, his creation being more nightmarishly sadistic that anything in Chase or Glinto. But I’m happier when I know that I’m reading the real thing, like the passage about a methodical beating with a length of rubber hose from Jim Kellan’s Dames Are Dynamite (1953) quoted by Steve Holland in The Mushroom Jungle (p.78).

As it is, I’ve encountered nothing corresponding to Hoggart’s claim that

We are in and of this world of the fierce alleyway-assault, the stale disordered bed, the closed killer-car, the riverside warehouse knifing. We thrill to these in themselves; there is no way out, nothing else; there is no horizon and no sky. The world, consciousness, man’s ends are this—this constricted and overheated horror.

Nor do I feel (see my descriptions of particular novels in Mushroom Jungle 2) as if I’d passed through some sleazy alley doorway into the milieu described by Steve Holland:

Despite the claim [by Hoggart] that the gangster novelists could not rely on “stock clichés” there were clichés that appeared time and again. The violence itself was a cliché, in many cases the books being little more than a series of beatings, tortures, killings and brawls held together with the smallest amount of linking material. This is not to say that the majority of the books had no plot at all, simply that the plots varied little and were simply vehicles for introducing as many scenes of sadistic brutality as possible.

Mushroom Jungle, 80.

Of course the majority of such books may have been read to pieces and/or tossed into the trash by readers grown older and embarrassed now to have them on their shelves, or dittoed by heirs cleaning up after Dad.

It’s also possible that gangster novels, as described above, are a subset of what I have called toughies, along with more or less normal private-eye novels, and wrongly-accused-man novels, and con-job novels, and so forth.


Here are authors and pseudonyms, still restricted to 1946–54

The identifications come almost entirely from Hubin’s bibliography. But there are numerous works for which he couldn’t provide any, so most of the writers here may have published more than the numbers of books that I’ve indicated.

The names of writers with twenty or more known works to their credit are given in boldface.

Amesbury, James Edward—Hyman Zore 1

Barnard, Leslie T.—Jeff Bogar 3

Barnes, Michael— Ricky Drayton 29, Johnny Cello 1, Max Clinten 2, Frank Hanson 3, Kirk Medusa 3, Hyman Zore 1, Whitney Brown

Bell, George—Pete Costello 3

Bounds, Sydney—Brett Diamond 2, Earl Ellison 1

Boyce, David—Spike Gordon 1, Griff 1

Chambers, Derek Hyde—Kirk David 1

Chapman, George Warren Vernon—Vernon Warren 15

Cresswell, Donald—Ross Angel 31, Nat Karta 1

Davies, Courtman—Clifton Rank 2

Dawson, George—Michael Storme 26, Nick Perrelli 13

Enefer, Douglas—Dale Bogard 13, John Powers 1

Fawcett, Frank Dubrez— Ben Sarto 58, Griff 19, Hank Spencer 1

Fearn, John Russell—Spike Gordon 2, Griff 1, Nat Karta 1

Firth, Norman—N. Wesley Firth 29, Earl Ellison 7, Henri Duval 4, Brett Diamond 1, André Lamour 1

Foden, Frederick—Brett Vane 27, Nick Baroni 8, Jack Cairo 7, Kirk David 4, Max Gordon 2, Pete Costello 1,

Frances, Stephen—Hank Janson 55, Duke Linton 11, Ace Capelli 5, Max Clinten 1, Johnny Grecco 1, Steve Markham 1// Link Shelton 1,

Garrett, Albert—Bart Banarto 1, Johnny Cello 1, Nick Baroni 1

George, Max—Hans Lugar 1

Griffiths, David Arthur—Brett Vane 1

Hanson, Victor— Dale Shannon 27, Duke Linton 13, Johnny Cello 1, Max Clinten 4, Hyman Zore 2

Hickman, J.M.— 4

Hickman, J.M.—5

Hornby, John Wilkinson—3

Hossent, Harry—Jeff Bogar 1

Hutton, W.R.— 6

Jennison, John—Nick Baroni 6, Brett Vane 2

Kelly, Harold—Darcy Glinto 25

Kent, Arthur—Brett Vane 2, Paul Granados 1

Kirby, Ross— 3

Landsborough, Gordon—Mike McCracken 5, G-Man Greer 4, Joe P. Heggy 3

Lazenby, Norman— Hans Vogel 6, Ace Capelli 1, Duke Linton 1, Brett Vane 1, Earl Ellison 1, Max Gordon 1, Nat Karta 1, Hyman Zore 3, Clark Macey 1, Gaston Lamond 1, Benny Logan 1, Mike T. Dallas 1, Paul Lestrange, Ramon Lacroix 11

Maconachie, William—Bart Carson 17

Martin, Thomas Hector— Nick Perrelli 10, Max Risco 7

McCormick, James—Lynn Como 3, Max James 2, Johnny Mack (?) 7

McKeag, Ernest—Brett Vane 32, Griff 4, Ramon Lacroix 4,

Newton, William— Spike Morelli 10, Griff 4, Ross 8, Ben Sarto 1

Norwood, Victor— Mark Shane 10, Johnny Dark 6, Nat Karta 4, Brad Rigan 3, Mark Hampton 3

Pardoe, Geoffrey—Dirk Foster 7

Paterson, A.J.B.— Griff 4, Hans Lugar 4, Ben Sarto 3, Hank Spencer 4

Pethick, Philip M— Brett Vane 5, Nick Baroni 1

Quinn— Hans Lugar 11, Rob Norman 3, Johnny Cello 1

Richards, Rex— 12

Standish, Walter—Walter Standish 32

Stanford, Terry—Nat Karta 1

Thomas, Ronald Willis—Jeff Bogar 11

Trenton, Timothy— 9

Usher, Gray—Gray Usher 10, Pete Garroway 3, Chris Grey 2,

Watson, John—Nat Karta 3

Watt, John F. —Brett Diamond 2, Earl Ellison 3

Webb, Thomas Charles Packham—Tony Angelo 3

Williams, Betty Mabel Lillian—Danny Spade 35, Dail Ambler 14, Nat Karta 1,

Willis, Ernest Lester Hale— Marc Lavelle 7, Earl Ellison 3,

Winter, Bevis—Al Bocca 37, Bevis Winter 10, Sammy Coburn 8, Peter Cagney 3, Gordon Shayne 2


There are some prodigious outputs here —seventy-four books or more by Frances in nine years, seventy-eight by Frank Dubrez Fawcett, sixty by Bevis Winter—and even more prodigious when you see how many are dated in the early Fifties, and more particularly in that annus mirabilis of overproduction, 1953.

What is more significant, though, is that only seventeen writers here do have twenty or more books to their name during the nine years. If one were to treat these as the pace-setters—and this is all very approximative—the rich mix of over eighty more or less exotic-sounding names gives way to the following:

Michael Barnes, Donald Cresswell, George Dawson, Frank Dubrez Fawcett, Norman Firth, Frederick Foden, Stephen Frances, Victor Hanson, Harold Kelly, Norman Lazenby, Ernest McKeag, William Newton, Victor Norwood, Walter Standish, Betty Williams, Bevis Winter.


I have read large numbers of thrillers (see List of Authors). But though an ambiguous fate let me to the unexpurgated Lady—Don’t Turn Over in, I think, 1943, I didn’t follow it up at the time. If other titles were available in the market-town west of London where my boarding school was located, I never saw them. Besides, I had the services of an excellent tuppeny lending library, full of Shark Gotch titles, and John Carters on Mars, and Foreign Legion horrors. And from 1945 to 1951 I was trying to be an intellectual

In 1947, feeling very transgressive, I bought a Sarto (disappointing) from a chap selling books and ‘zines out of a suitcase on the north side of Piccadilly Circus. But that was all. I never even heard of Hank Janson.

When I returned to entertainment reading in 1953, I was in America, where Gold Medals were an especial treat. On Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis, near the train depot, there was a store containing hundreds, perhaps thousands, of used paperbacks for a nickel or dime.

A few years ago, I started acquiring Glintos, since that was the only way to read them, and had some strokes of good luck, including the kindness of strangers. But the Web larder seems pretty bare of Glintos now, maybe because of my site.


Here, then, is my Jungle reading so far.

When a pseudonym belongs to a particular author, I’ve put his or her name in brackets immediately after it.

Dail Ambler [Betty Williams], A Curtain of Glass

Michael Barnes, Landscape with Corpses

Michael Barnes, The Unsuspected (nd. ca 1952?)

Jeff Bogar Payoff for Paula (1951) [Stephen Frances]

Jeff Bogar, My Gun Her Body (1952; Danger for Dinah, 1952) [Leslie Barnard]

Jeff Bogar, Confessions of a Chinatown Moll (1953) [Ronald Wills Thomas]

Dale Bogard [Douglas Enefer], Lead Her Gently to the Grave

Dale Bogard [Enefer], Nobody Died for Johnnie

Peter Cagney, Hear the Stripper Scream (1960)

Peter Cagney [Bevis Winter], Hear the Stripper Scream

Bart Carson (Steve Harragan), Cuban Heel

Bart Carson, Murder Matinee

Bart Carson, Red Head Rhapsody

Bart Carson, She Died Downtown

Ace Capelli, Get Me Headquarters (1949) [Stephen Frances]

Max Clinten, No Dame Wants to Die [Michael Barnes]

Frank Corbett, Trouble with a Woman (1964) [Stephen Frances]

Pete Costello, My Cutie’s a Corpse (ca. 1953)

Pete Costello, My Cutie’s a Corpse [George Bell]

Lew Della, Ladies Sleep Alone

Ricky Drayton [Michael Barnes], Drop Dead (1952)

Ricky Drayton [Barnes], Stiffs Don’t Squeal (1953; Los Muertos No Hablan, (1960)

N. Wesley Firth [Norman Firth], When Shall I Sleep Again (1950)

Darcy Glinto [Harold Kelly], Curtains for Carrie (1947)

Darcy Glinto [Kelly], Blue Blood Flows East (1947)

Darcy Glinto [Kelly0, No Come Back from Connie (1948)

Darcy Glinto [Kelly], Lady—Don’t Turn Over (1949, 1952 reprints)

Darcy Glinto [Kelly], Road Floozie (1950 reprint)

Darcy Glinto [Kelly], The Hangman is a Woman (1953)

Darcy Glinto [Kelly], No Mortgage on a Coffin (1953 reprint)

Darcy Glinto [Kelly]. For others, see BioBibliographical

Spike Gordon, Don’t Touch Me (1953) [John Russell Fearn]

Griff, Bullets for Snoopers (1953) [William Newton]

Griff, Dared by a Dame (1953)

Griff, Eastern Men—Chicago Women (1951)

Steve Harragan, Side-Show Girl (1952; American edition of Bart Carson, This Way, Sister, ca. 1952)

Steve Harragan, The Shayne Dame

Steve Harragan, Kiss of the Damned [Bart Carson, Kiss of the Damned]

Steve Harragan, Sideshow Girl [Bart Carson, This Way, Sister]

Steve Harragan, Carney’s Burlesque

Steve Harragan, Sin is a Redhead

Steve Harragan, Smuggled Sin

Steve Harragan, Three Bad Girls

W. R. Hutton, Not a Dog’s Chance (1947)

Hank Janson, Scarred Faces (1946: “Scarred Faces,” “Kitty Takes the Rap”) [Stephen Frances]

Hank Janson, Scarred Faces (1946: “Scarred Faces,” “Kitty Takes the Rap”) [Stephen Frances]

Hank Janson [Frances], When Dames Get Tough (1946) [Frances]

Hank Janson [Frances], Lady, Mind That Corpse (1949)

Hank Janson [Frances], No Regrets for Clara (1949)

Hank Janson [Frances], Some Look Better Dead (1950)

Hank Janson (Frances), Torment for Trixie (1950)

Hank Janson [Frances], Broads Don’t Scare Easy (1951)

Hank Janson [Frances], Skirts Bring Me Sorrow (1951)

Hank Janson [Frances], Women Hate Till Death (1951)

Hank Janson, Accused (1952) [Frances, with Geoffrey Pardoe]

Hank Janson [Frances], Killer (1952)

Hank Janson Persian Pride (1952) [Frances/Pardoe]

Hank Janson, Amok (1953 [Fireball,1960]) [Frances/Pardoe]

Hank Janson, Desert Fury (1953) [Frances/Pardoe]

Hank Janson, Fireball (1960; Amok 1954)

Hank Janson, Pursuit (1953) [Frances/Pardoe]

Hank Janson [Frances], Torment (1953)

Nat Karta, A Guy Named Judas (1952) [Norman Lazenby]

Nat Karta, Cry Wolf Sister (1951?)

Nat Karta, Love Me Hurt Me (1952) [Victor Norwood]

Nat Karta, The Foolish Virgin Says No (1953) [?]

Duke Linton, Crazy to Kill (1950; reprinted as Frank Corbett, Trouble with a Woman) [Stephen Frances]

Duke Linton, Kill and Desire (1950) [Frances]

Duke Linton, Strip-Tease Angel (1953) [Victor J. Hanson]

Duke Linton, Too Late for Death (1950?) [Frances]

Steve Markham, The Hideout (1950?)

Rex Marlowe, Hell Hath No Fury

Jules-Jean Morac, I’m No Prude (1953)

Jules-Jean Morac, My Life is My Own (tr. 1952)

Spike Morelli, Coffin for a Cutie (1950). [William Newton)

Spike Morelli, Take It and Like It (1950) [Newton]

Spike Morelli, This Way for Hell (1952) [Newton]

Spike Morelli, Death for a Doll (1952) [Newton[

Spike Morelli, You’ll Never Get Me (1952) [Newton]

Sarah Prentiss, Ordeal by Shame (1951)

Paul Renin [Richard Goyne], The Brute (1946)

Paul Renin [Goyne] She Who Hesitates (1953)

Paul Renin [Goyne], Flame (reprint from 1941)

Paul Renin [Goyne], Sex

Gene Ross, Curves Cause Trouble (1953) [William Newton]

Ben Sarto [Frank Dubrez Fawcett], Chicago Dames (1946?)

Ben Sarto, Death by the Seine

Ben Sarto [Fawcett], Miss Otis Comes to Piccadilly [1946]

Ben Sarto [Fawcett], Miss Otis Goes Up [1947]

Brad Shannon [Victor Newton], The Big Snatch (1952)

Brad Shannon [Victor Newton], Some Get It (1953)

Danny Spade [Dail Ambler, née Betty Williams], The Dame Plays Rough (1950)

Michael Storme [George Dawson] Hot Dames on Cold Slabs [1950?],

Michael Storme [Dawson], Make Mine a Harlot

Michael Storme [Dawson], Unlucky Harlot (1948)

Michael Storme [Dawson] Unlucky Virgin (1948)

Michael Storme, Make Mine a Shroud (1952)

Michael Storme [Dawson], Sweetheart with a Wreath (1953)

Michael Storme [Dawson], Dame in My Bed

Buck Toler [Harold Kelly], Tough On The Wops (1947)

Brett Vane, Remember Mimi (1953)

Roland Vane [Ernest McKeag], Night Haunts of Paris (1949)

Roland Vane [McKeog], White Slaves of New Orleans, (1949)

Roland Vane [McKeog] Sinful Sisters (1951)

Roland Vane [McKeog], Pick-up Girl (1952)

Roland Vane [McKeog], White Slave Racket (1952)

Brett Vane, Sunny (Arthur Kent)

Brett Vane, Trixie (Frederick Foden)

Vernon Warren [George Vernon Warren Chapman], Three Steps to Hell (1957)

Vernon Warren [Chapman], Mister Violence (1960)

Bevis Winter, The Dead Sleep for Keeps


So, a small clearing in among the tropical vegetation. I notice a curious tendency in myself, though.

When I see a name like Karta or Linton, I still feel that there’s a single identify there, even when I know otherwise—an American or at least not British identify—and that those writers are somehow better, at least in some of their (unread) books, than would be the case if you put together a list of authors of mainstream British thrillers and crime novels from those years.

Maybe one needs mysterious regions like the nineteenth-century Africa of quasi-fact and fiction in which marvels were there for the diligent or lucky seeker? Watching more than a thousand Hong Kong movies on DVD in the early Nineties, often without English titles, was like that for me, I know, and there there were wonders.

But my handful of samples from the Jungle may be more representative than I supposed. I see that between them those authors wrote over four hundred of the books (not including Frances’ Hank Jansons) bearing the following pseudonyms: Dail Ambler, Ace Capelli, Ricky Drayton, Johnny Cello, Max Clinton, Earl Ellison, Griff. Victor Hanson, Duke Linton. Steve Markham, N. Wesley Firth, Kirk Medusa, Spike Morelli, Nick Perrelli, Nat Karta, Ben Sarto, Dale Shannon, Hank Spencer, Danny Spade, Brett Vane, Vernon Warren, Hyman Zore

Which is another way of saying that they wrote over half of the some eight hundred books that I’ve listed.

The Jungle was not limitless.


Very few of the jungle books that I’ve read have gripped me from start to finish like ones from those years by actual American writers like John D. MacDonald, John McPartland, Kenneth Millar, Jim Thompson, and Charles Williams.

Poor production values (paper, printing, staples) probably has something to do with it. There’s only so much risqué glamour that a cover, even by Reginald Heade, can create.

But basically, a writer who was familiar with actual American towns and cities, and their cops, and police headquarters, and bars, and hookers, and eating-and-drinking habits, and speech patterns, and reporters, and weathers, and had been in the War and knew about handguns and maybe unarmed combat had an edge over ones who’d never crossed the Atlantic.

And yet, and yet—are King Solomon’s mines maybe for real, if only one keeps on beyond the next range of hills … and the next …?

There are so many Jungle titles, and such distances at times between a writer’s weakest books and his best, particularly when he’s writing fast, and strong occasional stretches even in a weaker work, that it would be rash to do any kind of critical foreclosing.

At least if one’s afraid of missing something.

I would be sorry, though, to see the chain-saws and earth-and-timber-moving machinery of Cultural Studies moving in on the region and trimming and tidying it with the kinds of “objective” descriptions of plots and categories that, while removing the thrill of the unknown, leave you as ignorant as before about the merits of a work


How does Harold Kelly (Darcy Glinto, Buck Toler) look in such a broadened context (setting Frances to one side)?

During the Robin Hood years (1946–55), a lot of his creative energy was obviously going into his Westerns as Lance Carson, Clinton Wayne, and Bryn Logan, and his remarkable Deep South Slave. A number of his toughies were reprints. Several of the new ones were mediocre in part or whole, such as Dainty Was a Jane, One More Nice White Body, Straight-Up Girl, and Dames are Deadly.

Several of his subjects were relatively offbeat in relation to the other junglies that I’ve read—an adoption racket, a woman passing as a male gangster, a prize-fighter supposed to avoid sex while training, a working lass taking to the roads and becoming a truck-stop girl, a young black Lothario refusing to knuckle under to the Georgia power system. In the weaker ones there is less “American” detail than in some of the better ones by others. It’s as if he simply wasn’t trying.

But when he was hot, he could build scenes with remarkable intensity, and he was usually exploring serious themes. Also—surprisingly, perhaps, given what he’d done in 1940 in Lady—Don’t Turn Over—there’s virtually no voyeurism in his post-war books.

He is especially notable for the breadth of his sympathy/empathy with women, whether as feisty criminals (Curtains for Carrie, No Come Back for Connie), brave risk-takers (Tough on the Wops, Blue Blood Flows East), potential victims who refuse to be beaten down (No Mortgage on a Coffin, You Took Me, Keep Me), outright victims (Lady—Don’t Turn Over), or the complex heroine of Road Floozie.

In Concluding, I talk at greater length about aspects of his work that I’ve enjoyed. Mutatis mutandis, some of it applies to the Jungle experience more generally.


Jungle Books is for Frank Loose and Morgan Wallace.




November 2008

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