RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS HB bank robberies

From: Duane Swierczynski ( duane.swier@verizon.net)
Date: 02 Jan 2002


I couldn't agree with you more about THE NAME OF THE GAME IS DEATH. The book even impressed real-life bank robber (and FBI Top Tenner) Al Nussbaum, who was robbing banks between D.C. and upstate New York in the early 1960s. Interestingly, Nussbaum (as "Carl Fischer") wrote a fan letter to Marlowe, inquiring about his research techniques for the book. Marlowe responded in great detail, then forgot about the letter.

Four months later, two FBI agents showed up on Marlowe's doorstep, wanting to know more about this "Carl Fischer." According to an anecdote from the Mystery Writers of America website, Marlowe's letter to Nussbaum provided useful clues for helping the FBI track down his bank-robbing partner, Bobby "One-Eye" Wilcoxson, a few days later.

I believe Marlowe and Nussbaum continued to write each other, and the correspondence partly inspired DEATH's sequel, ONE ENDLESS HOUR, which I think is every bit as good as the original.

Nussbaum later became a mystery writer, as many folks on this list probably know. He wrote the intro to the Gregg Press edition of Richard Stark's THE SEVENTH (THE SPLIT), in which he recalled how he read all of the Parker novels in prison. (The Parker website, "The Violent World of Parker," reprinted this intro.)

--Duane Swierczynski

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