(no subject)

From: Etienne Borgers ( freeweb@rocketmail.com)
Date: 12 Jan 2001

CHARLES McCLUSKY, facts or legend?

I came across a rather strange report about an American crime writer who is apparently totally forgotten: Charles McClumsky, born in 1903.

In an article of the mid 80's, a French essayist, a crime/detection novels specialist, was visiting Robert Bloch in the USA and the latter told him about McClusky. Bloch, with the help of some others, was giving some finance support to McClusky who lived then literally as a bum. The French essayist even claimed that with the help of Bloch he met McClusky. The life of the writer seems as interesting as his writings, going from a meeting with Ambrose Bierce during the twenties, at a time Bierce was considered dead (with some letter by Bierce, claimed to be from the same period, finally accepted as authentic !) to spending 12 years in jail after a scam in 1953, fabricated by his wife and her lover who planted drugs in his home to get rid of McClusky. Oh, and let us not forget this : the wife published
(and appropriated) one of his existing manuscripts during his jail term under the name of Atha McGuire, title of the novel: HOMICIDE HUSSY, in Gold Medal series, 1955- and McClusky did never get any money from it of course. And much more.. Maybe Bill Crider has the book on his shelves?

Novels that were published by McClumsky, (besides short stories for pulps):
- THE HOUND -1933- Wisconsin Press -reputed to be rather HB
- THE INVISIBLE FIEND- 1934 The last one was published in very small quantity and each of the books was hand finished by McClusky who, as a realistic final touch, partially torn the last page and soiled it with chicken blood, page containing a one and only unfinished sentence... The novel carried many white pages that translated the mental disarray of the central character, PI Dave Parker, during his reported story.

Some of his works were even translated in French at the time, by obscure small publishing houses.

Does somebody know something more about the books? Or the writer?

We all know that life has a better imagination than most of fiction writers, but the whole thing seems to me like a fabricated legend... I could be totally wrong, of course.

E.Borgers Hard-boiled Mysteries http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6384

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