Re: RARA-AVIS: James Atlee Phillips

From: Juri Nummelin (
Date: 27 Sep 2000 wrote:

> Juri was wondering how Chandler could have a blurb on a Philip Atlee novel
> when the first was published after Chandler's death.
> James Atlee Phillips had several novels published before his Fawcett series
> as Philip Atlee and those were the ones that caught Raymond Chandler's eye.

This explains a lot. But was the blurb used in the Joe Gall books a commercial one, I mean, did the publisher order it from Chandler? Did he do other blurbs?

> I recently reread SUITABLE FOR FRAMING (1949) and again relished scenes and
> dialog that capture perfectly what I love in a good HB story. Here is one
> sample:
> [snip]

> To me, this is great stuff!

Not bad, not bad. Am sorry to say that his earlier works haven't been translated. And the Joe Gall translations are bad, one of them ("The Irish Beauty Contract") exceptionally bad. I haven't been able to find the original versions, except "The Star Ruby Contract".

> I also enjoy the Philip Atlee novels although the writing and plotting is
> generally not at the level of his earlier work.

There's some charming cynicism in them. The plots aren't very interesting, though.

> His brother David was a top
> CIA official who later wrote a memoir and a novel. I always wondered if
> "Philip Atlee" was also a cover for intelligence work. Both E. Howard Hunt
> and Charles McCarry pursued writing careers while remaining on the CIA
> payroll. I am currently reading his Dell paperback original THE DEADLY
> MERMAIDS from the mid-50s, which features someone operating undercover in
> Haiti for a US intelligence agency.

His? You must mean James Atlee Phillips, even though it's not very clear. Charles McCarry is said to be good, is he?

> James A. Philips died a few years ago. He married a wealthy Arkansas woman
> and lived the good life in his final years. Mike Nevins did a good interview
> with him years ago that was published in an issue of (I think) "Espionage."

Do you know the exact year when he died?

Thanks for the exciting info!


# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 27 Sep 2000 EDT