Erle Stanley Gardner

Pseudonyms include A.A. Fair, Grant Holiday, Carleton Kendrake, Charles J. Kenney, Charles M. Green,  Kyle Corning (1889-1970) Although critics sneered and many felt that Erle Stanley Gardner was not a very good writer (Rex Stout, for example, once claimed that the Perry Mason books weren't even novels), ERLE STANLEY GARDNER was one of the bestselling writers of … Continue reading Erle Stanley Gardner

The Literary Life of Ralph Dennis

By Richard A. Moore RALPH DENNIS (1932-1988) was born in South Carolina and had a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina, where he also taught. For mystery fans, Dennis will always be associated with the City of Atlanta, the locale for the twelve novel series about Jim Hardman, former cop and unofficial private … Continue reading The Literary Life of Ralph Dennis

Fredric Brown

Pseudonyms include Bob Woehlke (1906-72) "There are no rules. You can write a story, if you wish, with no conflict, no suspense, no beginning, middle or end. Of course, you have to be regarded as a genius to get away with it, and that's the hardest part -- convincing everybody you're a genius." -- Fredric … Continue reading Fredric Brown

Ed Lacy

Pseudonym of Leonard S. Zinberg Other pseudonyms include Steve April (1911-1968) Author Ed Lacy (born Leonard S. Zinberg) is best known for creating the first truly-credible black private eye, Toussaint Moore, in his 1956 novel Room to Swing, for which he won the Edgar for Best Novel. Lacy, in fact, was white, although he was … Continue reading Ed Lacy

Norbert Davis

Pseudonyms include Harrison Hunt, Cedric Titus (1909-1949) "Norbert Davis is a natural. If we were to pick anyone who, in spite of all human trials and tribulations, looks upon life resignedly and mostly as all fun, our nominee would be Bert." -- Joseph T. Shaw,  in an unpublished intro to The Hard-Boiled Omnibus Chandler cited one … Continue reading Norbert Davis

Bill Pronzini

Pseudonyms include Jack Foxx, Alex Saxon, Brett Halliday, William Jeffrey, Romer Zane Grey, and Robert Hart Davis (1943 --) BILL PRONZINI is simply one of the genre's masters. Top of the Line. An Ace Performer. The Bomb. He seems to have taken a crack at just about everything in the mystery genre: noirish thrillers, historicals, locked-room … Continue reading Bill Pronzini

Ross Macdonald

Pseudonym of Ken Millar (1915-83) "No once since Macdonald has written with such poetic inevitability about people, their secret cares, their emotional scars, their sadness, cowardice, and courage. He reminded the rest of us of what was possible in our genre." -- John Lutz, in January Magazine "We're all guilty" -- Lew Archer, in The … Continue reading Ross Macdonald

The Fictional Allan J. Pinkerton

Created (well, fictionalized, anyway) by Eric Lerner, Michael P. Spradlin and Daniel Stashower "Dainties and a gun. Oh, she was irresistible." -- Pinkerton's Secret by Eric Lerner Of course, more than one smart aleck in the back of the room will be tempted to suggest that most of what ALLAN J. PINKERTON wrote about his own … Continue reading The Fictional Allan J. Pinkerton

Charlie Siringo

A lot of folks have tried to trace the private eye, as we understand it, to the American cowboy myth. While I think it actually goes back further than that, you could certainly make a case if you consider CHARLIE SIRINGO (1855-1928). He's a fascinating character, a real-life frontier figure who spent more than two decades as … Continue reading Charlie Siringo

Allan J. Pinkerton and the Pinkerton Detective Agency

  To say that Allan J. Pinkerton (1819-1884) lead a colorful life is a little bit of an understatement. In his long and varied career he was called a traitor and a patriot, an outlaw and a police officer, a thug and an idealist, a left-leaning political activist fighting for the plight of the workers and … Continue reading Allan J. Pinkerton and the Pinkerton Detective Agency