Re: RARA-AVIS: Robert Dietrich / John Baxter?

From: Anders Engwall (
Date: 23 May 2000

Juri Nummelin:

> Dietrich published couple of books (if
> not only one) under the name John Baxter and somehow all the Swedish and
> Finnish books got that name. The reason? Haven't the faintest idea. Maybe it
> was a plot to get rid of paying for copyrights.

Could be that they had had some success with the book(s) Dietrich wrote as Baxter, and wanted to cash in on that rather than introduce a new name. The copyright in my copy was for Robert Dietrich, btw.

> By the way, Anders, did you
> read your Dietrich in the Manhattan series?


> The same series was published here
> in Finland also, but not any more.

Ah, yes. I've seen such copies a couple of times. Btw, did the Finnish editions also have covers by the legendary Bertil Hegland?

> Is it still in print in Sweden?

No, it was discontinued around 1991. It's actually surprising how long it survived. It outlived the last of its competing lines -- Jaguar and Komet -- by a decade! It might also be interesting to know that they managed to find interesting authors right until the end. The last years saw titles by e.g. Eugene Izzi, Bill Pronzini, Jonathan Valin and fellow rara-avian Robert Randisi. Of course, these were exceptions. Most of the output was rubbish.

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