RARA-AVIS: More on Digests

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 24 Oct 2002

Todd Mason mentioned Mike Shayne and some earlier mystery digests. I did not mention Mike Shayne because I had commented on it at length in the past. The archives will have the earlier posts including several of great interest by James Reasoner. An expansion of my memories of "Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine" can still be found on Kevin Smith's Thrilling Detective website.

As Todd noted the Shayne digest was a market for several people on this list.
 As I recently gathered stories by Lawrence Treat, I was amused to find Treat's name on the cover of the April 1979 issue of MSMM but no story by Treat inside. I did have a story in that issue as did Reasoner. The lead non-Mike Shayne story was by Joe Lansdale. I was disappointed that I did not share an issue with Mr. Treat until I looked at the May 1979 issue of MSMM. The Treat story appeared in that issue as did another story of mine. Steve Mertz, whose email address I have misplaced, also had a story in the May issue.

As for the other digests, I have scattered issues of most of them. I do have all three issues of "Ed McBain's Mystery Book" from 1960-61 and they are very good featuring stories by Richard Prather, Ross Macdonald, Fred Brown, among others. Evan Hunter/McBain was the editor and Pocket Books the publisher. When Hunter/McBain signed my copy of the first issue, he expressed pride in the magazine.

He had a very different view of a later publication: "Ed McBaines 87th Precinct Mystery Magazine." That is not my typo. The first issue misspelled McBain's name in the title and on the contents page of the first issue dated April 1975. The name was correctly spelled on the three issues that followed.

Richard Moore

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