RARA-AVIS: Homicide Magazine (or the secret of Holyoke, Mass.)

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 28 Apr 2003

"Homicide Detective Story Magazine" published only one issue--September 1956, which had the rather nice contents that included a John D. MacDonald story and one by William Campbell Gault.

"Homicide" was published by Everett M. Arnold, Arnold Magazines, Inc., 1 Appleton Street, Holyoke, Massachusetts; editorial offices 303 Lexington Avenue, New York 16, New York. It said it was a bimonthly.

The Holyoke, Mass address rang a bell for me, so I pulled down the invaluable MONTHLY MURDERS (A Checklist and Chronological Listing of Fiction In The Digest-Size Mystery Magazines in the United States and England) compiled by Michael L. Cook.

And guess what, "Homicide Detective Story Magazine" became "Killers Mystery Story Magazine" with the same addresses in Mass. and in NYC. Cook lists the contents for the January 1957 (#3) and March 1957 (#4) issues which makes me think there was a November 1956 issue (#2) of either "Homicide" or "Killers."
 The contents of the two issues do not equal the first but includes stories by Talmadge Powell, Edward D. Hoch, Joseph Commings, Charles Fritch and Henry Slesar.

But now the mystery deepens. There are many magazines that all list as the publishers address Holyoke, Massachusetts. So many that I must assume that this was the address of the distributor or some other logical reason for this. At first I thought it was a dodge to escape bill collectors. Now I favor the distributor explanation. I will list the ones I have spotted thus far and include the editorial offices. Where the editorial offices are the same, we can assume they were sister publications.

"Crime and Justice Detective Story Magazine" Four known issues between September 1956 and March 1957. And the publisher is our old friend Everett M. Arnold at 1 Appleton Street, Holyoke, Mass. and the editorial officers were at 303 Lexington Ave. in NYC. Clearly a sister of the others.

"Guilty Detective Story Magazine" A long-lasting digest starting with the July 1956 issue and lasting until June 1962, the last issue Cook lists. Published by Feature Publications at the same Holyoke, Mass. address with editorial offices at 1790 Broadway and later at 32 West 22nd Street in NYC. This was one of Harlan Ellison's steady markets as it was for Robert Turner. Talmage Powell and Harry Whittington were regulars and Lawrence Block and Gil Brewer also graced its pages.

"Hunted Detective Story Magazine" 12 known issues between the first December 1954 to October 1956. Published bimonthly by Star Publications, Inc. 1 Appleton Street, Holyoke, Mass; editorial office 545 Fifth Avenue, NY 17, NY.
 Publisher J.A. Kramer. This was one of the best "Manhunt" imitations. Robert Turner was often in the magazine and other names include Stephen Marlowe, John Jakes, Fletcher Flora, and Talmage Powell.

My eye kept going back to that New York address. It looked very familiar. I scanned around and when I came to the listing for "Manhunt" my eyes bugged out. The editorial offices of the legendary Manhunt were at 545 Fifth Avenue. Hummm. Of course, that was no doubt a large office building with plenty of room for both publications. I suppose the writers and agents benefited from having them in the same building as a rejection could be recycled on the elevator.

"Off Beat Detective Stories" Many issues beginning in 1957 or 1958 and lasting until 1963. Published by Pontiac Publishing Corporation 1 Appleton Street.....Editorial offices first at 1776 Broadway NY 19 NY and later at 1546 Broadway NY 36, NY. Authors published include Lawrence Block, Henry Slesar, Bryce Walton, Ed Hoch, Ed Lacy, and the ubiquitous Talmage Powell.

"Pursuit Detective Story Magazine" 18 known issues from September 1953 to November 1956. Published by Star Publications (Editions), Inc., 1 Appleton Street....editorial offices at 545 Fifth Avenue, NY 17, NY. This was a sister publication of Hunted and that building on Fifth Avenue must have been crowded with mystery writers. This mag featured stories by Frank Kane, Bryce Walton, Evan Hunter, Robert Turner, Stephen Marlowe, August Derleth, and Steve Frazee.

"Sure Fire Detective Stories" unknown number of issues from January 1957 into 1958. Published by Pontiac Publishing Corp., editorial offices at 1776 Broadway, NY 19, NY. This was a sister publication of Off Beat. Writers included Harry Whittington, Larry M. Harris, Robert Turner and that hardworking Talmage Powell.

"Saturn Web Magazine of Detective Stories" Under various names this ran from 1957 into 1965. The first five issues were science fiction and at some point the name changed to Web Terror Stories. Published by Candar Publishing Company, 1 Appleton Street.....editorial offices 218 W. 48th Street, NY 36, NY. Stories by Richard Deming, Frank Kane, Lawrence Block, and John Jakes.

"Trapped Detective Story Magazine" Many issues between June 1956 into 1960. Published by Headline Publications, Inc., 1 Appleton Street.....editorial offices at 1790 Broadway, NY 19, NY and later 32 W. 22nd Street, NY 10, NY. Hummm...this must be a sister publication of "Guilty," unless the two magazines were separate entities but both moved from 1790 Broadway to 32 West 22nd. Possible, I suppose. Writers include two of Bill Crider's favorites Harry Whittington and Milton K. Ozaki as well as Harlan Ellison, Gil Brewer, Robert Alter, Lawrence Block and, the ever popular Talmage Powell.

The Columbia Publications digests like Fast Action Detective and Mystery Stories and Double Action Detective Stories also eventually listed the publisher's address as that now crowded address 1 Appleton Street, Holyoke, Mass. even while maintaining editorial offices at 241 Church Street, NY 13, NY, which had previously been listed as also the address of the publisher.

"Terror Detective Story Magazine" Four known issues from October 1956 to April 1957. Published by Arnold Magazines, 1 Appleton Street....editorial offices 303 Leington Ave. NY 16, NY. Another sister publication of Homicide, Crime and Justice, and Killers. Stories by Fredric Brown, John Jakes, Edward Hoch, Harlan Ellison and Robert Turner.

Whew! This went on longer than I expected and probably longer than anyone cared to read.

RIchard Moore

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