Created by Michael Avallone
“Great life. Guns, girls and trouble. All kinds of trouble. From getting hit on the head to being kidnapped in broad daylight.”
— it’s a private eye’s life for Ed. (The LIving Bomb)
Welcome to the Nooniverse!
Chameleon-like ED NOON, film-obsessed New York P. I., started out as a more-or-less typical hard-boiled fifties-era dick, working out of an rundown office he’d dubbed “The Mouse Auditorium,” and eventually ended up as a sort of high-tech super spy/eye on special assignment to the President of the United States of America himself, jumping on the sixties spy era.
He’s the creation of Michael Avallone, the self-proclaimed “fastest typewriter in the East.” The books are crammed with outlandish plots, bad puns, right-wing rants, soft-core porn (that was another phase) and scads of off-the-wall baseball and film trivia, making them truly unique. And pretty goofy.
Definitely an acquired taste, and also one I’m not quite sure I’ve acquired.
Just to give you an idea how wacky this series could get, the final books, High Noon at Midnight (1988), Since Noon Yesterday (1989) and The Ninth of Never (unpublished) take place with Ed (now an old man) facing an alien invasion, which may be only a figment of his tired and shell-shocked imagination. Avallone’s son, David, a film maker, who adapted the books into a web serial, describes the conclusion of the series as “A mystery science fiction adventure serial about fathers and sons, the past and the future, sanity and flying saucers. And cockroach headed guys from outer space with ray guns.”
As well as writing the Noon novels and over ninety Noon short stories, Avallone wrote hundreds of books, mostly paperbacks, covering everything from gothic romances to the very successful Man from U.N.C.L.E. series, under numerous pseudonyms as well as his own name. He also wrote for radio, most notably episodes for The Wind-Up, which featured Chester Morris as Ed Noon. He also loved puzzles, and released a whole collection of them for kids, in Ed Noon’s 5-Minute Mysteries (1978), which eventually were reprinted in Mike Shayne’s Mystery Magazine. And he wasn’t above rewriting or simply recycling earlier works for other markets — short stories reappear as novels, puzzles reappear as short stories and Lord how many stories were reprinted other titles.
- “Dolores was a hell of a lot more than tall. She was huge, statuesque. A Glamazon. A regular Empire State Building of female feminine dame. And all woman, besides.”
— Ed in The Tall Dolores. Apparently Dolores was tall.
- “Tony Spanner had known how to live even if he hadn’t known how to die.”
—The Horrible Man
- “Death is as pointless as having a key for an open door that you are only going to walk through once.”
— Meanwhile Back at the Morgue
- “A volcano was going on inside her and the bubbles were erupting like hot lava.”
— The Spitting Image
- “His thin mustache was neatly placed between a peaked nose and two eyes like black marbles.”
— Assassins Don’t Die in Bed
- “She … unearthed one of her fantastic breasts from the folds of her sheath skirt.”
— The Horrible Man
- “The footsteps didn’t walk right in. They stopped outside the door and knocked.”
- “The next day dawned bright and clear on my empty stomach”
— — Meanwhile Back at the Morgue
- “The whites of his eyes came up in their sockets like moons over an oasis lined with palm trees.”
— The Voodoo Murders
- “His eyebrows rose like a fast elevator.”
— The Spitting Image
- “Pistol shots have a funny effect on me. I move when I hear them. Even if it isn’t always in the right direction.”
— Violence in Velvet
- The Tall Dolores (1953) | Kindle it!
- The Spitting Image (1953) | Kindle it!
- Dead Game (1954) | Kindle it!
- Violence in Velvet (1956) | Kindle it!
- The Alarming Clock (1956) | Kindle it!
- The Bouncing Betty (1956) | Kindle it!
- The Case of the Violent Virgin (1957) | Kindle it!
- The Crazy Mixed-Up Corpse (1957) | Kindle it!
- The Voodoo Murders (1957) | Kindle it!
- Meanwhile Back at the Morgue (1960) | Kindle it!
- The Living Bomb (1963) | Kindle it!
- There is Something About a Dame (1963; aka “The Nimble Gunner”) | Kindle it!
- The Bedroom Bolero (1963, aka “The Bolero Murders”) | Kindle it!
- Lust is No Lady (1965; aka “The Brutal Kook”) | Kindle it!
- The Fat Death (1966) | Kindle it!
- The February Doll Murders (1967) | Kindle it!
- Assassins Don’t Die in Bed (1968) | Kindle it!
- The Horrible Man (1968) | Buy the book..Kindle it!
- The Flower-Covered Corpse (1969)..Kindle it!
- The Doomsday Bag (1969; aka “Killer’s Highway”) | Kindle it!
- Death Dives Deep (1970) | Kindle it!
- Little Miss Murder (1971; aka “The Ultimate Client”) | Kindle it!
- Shoot It Again, Sam (1972; aka “The Moving Graveyard”) | Kindle it!
- London, Bloody London (1972; aka “Ed Noon in London”) | Kindle it!
- The Girl in the Cockpit (1972) | Kindle it!
- Kill Her, You’ll Like It (1973) | Kindle it!
- Killer on the Keys (1973) | Kindle it!
- The Hot Body (1973) | Kindle it!
- The X-Rated Corpse (1973) | Kindle it!
- The Walking Wounded (1973)
- And Then There Was Noon (1973)
- The Moon Maiden (1974)
- The Rubbed-Out Star (1974)
- The Big Stiffs (1977; aka “Blues For Sophia Loren”) | Kindle it!
- Dark on Monday (1978)
- High Noon at Midnight (1988) | Buy this book
- Since Noon Yesterday (unpublished)
- The Ninth of Never (unpublished)
- “A Bullet for Big Nick” (1949)
Written in 1949, but no published until 1958; later reprinted in MSMM (Dec 1971) and The New Black Mask Quarterly No.2 (1985)
- “The Bouncing Betty” (Winter 1956, Private Investigator Detective Magazine)
- “The Alarming Clock” (Spring 1957, Private Investigator Detective Magazine)
- “The Killer Was Anonymous” (October 1961, MSMM)
- “The Ten Percent Kill” (November 1961, MSMM)
- “Dark on Monday” (February 1962, MSMM)
- “Murder Has Only One Act” (May 1962, MSMM)
- “Open Season on Cops” (September 1962, MSMM)
- “The Sound of Murder” (January 1963, MSMM)
- “The Case of the Arabella Nude” (July 1963, MSMM; aka “The Arabella Nude”)
- “Murder at the Ball Park” (December 1963, MSMM)
- “Trouble at Travers Pharmacy” (June 1964, MSMM)
- “A Letter from Ed Noon” (March 1965, MSMM)
- “The Thing in Evening Dress” (May 1965, MSMM)
- “Murder the Leader” (October 1965, MSMM)
- “Some People Kill People” (September 1966, MSMM)
- “Corpses Are for Killing” (March 1967, MSMM)
- “The Ugly Penny Murder” (July 1968, MSMM)
- “The Missing Gabriel Horn” (May 1969, MSMM)
- “Violin Solo for a Corpse” (May 1974, MSMM)
- “The Dakar Diamond Caper” (January 1976, MSMM)
- “Bartree Has Escaped Today!” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “The Circus Catch” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “The Cop Dodge Game” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “The Coronet Club Caper” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “The Dead Secretary” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “The Fairfax Kill” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “The Fatal Killing” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “The French Jewel Heist” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “The Great Zampa Hoax” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “Inside-the-Park Homicide” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “The Last Weekend” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “The Real Gone Horn” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “Who Killed Burlesque?” (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; puzzle)
- “Ed Noon’s Minute Mysteries” (May 1980, MSMM; puzzle)
- “The Ball Park Murder” (June 1980, MSMM; puzzle)
- “The Great Zampa Hoax” (July 1980, MSMM; puzzle)
- “Courtroom Killer” (December 1980, MSMM; puzzle)
- “You Can’t Kiss a Corpse” (November 1981, MSMM)
- “The Murder of Mr. Excitement” (November 1982, MSMM)
- “Conversation While Prying” (July 1984, MSMM)
- “The Ten Percent Kill” (#10, December 1990, Hardboiled Detective)
- Ed Noon’s 5-Minute Mysteries (1978; aka “5-Minute Mysteries”)
- The Arabella Nude/Open Season On Cops (1993, Gryphon Double Novel 4)
- THE WINDUP
Written by Michael Avallone
Starring Chester Morris as ED NOON
According to Avallone’s son, David, “From the flyer that I’ve seen, I always thought The Windup was a one-shot thirteen episode Ed Noon radio series. I’ve never heard of the show outside of the context of Ed Noon. The ad had a publicity picture of Morris with the line “Hear Chester Morris as Private Eye Ed Noon in THE WINDUP!” Avallone later adapted his scripts for his 1978 kid’s book, Ed Noon’s 5-Minute Mysteries.
- SINCE NOON YESTERDAY
(1999, AWOL/Bijou Café)
7 monthly 15-20 minute installments
Webcast on Bijou Café, starting January 2000
Based on the novel by Michael Avallone
Written and directed by David Avallone
Special effects by Rick Sander
Music by Darryl Jensen
An AWOL Production
Starring David Avallone as EDDIE CARSTAIRS
Also starring Tamara Taylor, Vernon Wells, Robbie Rist
At the time I wasn’t even sure how to list this: as a film or video or television or web site or what? The seven-part serial ran on the indie film webcaster, Bijou Café, and was written and directed by Avallone’s son, based on the last Ed Noon book. The story begins when Ed vanishes from a mental hospital in upstate New York, and Eddie Carstairs — his estranged son — sets out to find the aged detective. David’s last picture at the time was an ultra-low budget kick boxing movie called “Kick Of Death”… available at Amazon.com and the like. A five minute teaser is up now. The show ran concurrently with a web-comic adaptation of the previous Ed Noon novel High Noon At Midnight.
- Ed Noon
This is where all the links to Ed Noon stuff are located currently, including the Ed Noon twitter feed (maintained by the author’s son and Official Keeper of the Flame, David).
- David Avallone
The official web site of Avallone’s son, no stranger to pulp himself.
- Ed Noon: The Twitter Account
“Live” from the Mouse Auditorium
- My Scrapbook
It exists! A magazine ad for The Windup.