From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 19 Sep 2000

Glad Neil Smith mentioned Tom Dolan's bio of Ross Macdonald. As a reader I have always preferred John D. to Ross and did not expect to be that impressed with the Dolan book. It was an excellent book and quite good in the areas where the new John D. bio is weakest.

I believe Bill Crider's mention of the bet John D. made (that he could write a novel that would be serialized in a magazine, published in hardcover, chosen by a book club and made into a movie) is mistaken in one respect. The
$50 bet was with Mackinley Kantor, not Borden Deal. Kantor did pay up after hesitating because THE EXECUTIONER was only an alternative selection of a book club. According to the bio Kantor was always annoying MacDonald by asking when he was going to put aside the paperbacks and write something serious. I don't believe the Hugh Merrill bio mentions that Kantor himself wrote one Gold Medal book ONE WILD OAT.

Merrill also says Kantor joined the NYPD for a couple of years after World War II and used his experience as a policeman in a novel. I seem to recall the title of his police novel as SIGNAL 32. The timing of this seems odd to me. Kantor would have been in his 40s and was having great financial success as a writer in the immediate postwar period. The slicks were publishing his novels and Hollywood was making movies from them ("The Best Years of Our Lives" and "The Romance of Rosy Ridge" are two from that period). Why the hell would he want to take time out to pound a beat? I don't have the references with me in Brussels to be certain but I do wonder if Merrill misplaced the Kantor as cop timing by a decade or two.


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