RARA-AVIS: Re: James Michael Ullman

From: Steve Lewis ( stevelewis62@cox.net)
Date: 28 Dec 2005

>At the moment I'm reading James Michael Ullman's THE NEON HAYSTACK (1963).
>Anyone read it? It was a hardback originally and I believe it won a
>contest of
>some sort (perhaps Edgar for the best first novel?). Ullman wrote only one
>other novel, AFAIK, and went into obscurity after that. Anyone know anything
>about him? The book is interesting, albeit not very original: it tells
>about a
>man who cleans the corrupt town while searching his lost kid brother. It
>be interesting to have an article about him on Mystery*File or somewhere else.


It sounds like a good idea to me too. Here's what I discovered using Google over the last half hour or so:

Ullman (1925-1997) was a journalist for the Chicago Tribune. Much of his fiction takes place in Chicago.

Mystery novels:

The Neon Haystack,1963. Edgar nominee for Best First Novel, 1964. (Winner: Florentine Finish, by Cornelius Hirschberg)

Good Night, Irene, 1965.

The Venus Trap, 1966. Rudy Chakorian, financial wizard intent on personal gain, disappears with a fortune in diamonds, leaving his small son and business partner to suffer the consequences for his misdeeds. Considerable information concerning stock manipulation following World War II gives the novel appeal to an audience interested in business affairs. Much of the action is set in Chicago; however, the setting is not essential to the plot.

Lady on Fire, 1968. Private detective Julian Forbes is in Chicago looking for a missing girl, when his secretary-mistress is murdered, apparently because she has viewed some photos of the girl. The case becomes complicated when a merchandising magnate is implicated, and Julian finds that he is being followed by five ruthless thugs.

... plus a handful of short stories from around the same period and a couple of non-fiction books (one on garage sales and another on IRA's).

An article would depend on finding someone who's read all four books. Any takers?


                          Steve www.mysteryfile.com

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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