Re: RARA-AVIS: Ziff-Davis Fingerprint Mysteries

Date: 10 Mar 2006


Re your message below:

> If you enjoy 1940s detective fiction, you may be
> interested in reading
> about the books in Ziff-Davis's line of Fingerprint
> Mysteries that came out
> between 1943 and 1948. Bill Pronzini, Victor Berch
> and I have compiled a
> checklist of all of the books in the series,
> complete with extended
> biographical notes on the authors, including Bruno
> Fischer, Virginia Rath,
> Amelia Reynolds Long, Brett Halliday, Phyllis
> Whitney, Hugh Pentecost and
> many others. Color images of the front covers of
> all of the jackets are
> also provided.

Great article, Steve. One correction, however. Dolores Hitchens's husband, Bert, wasn't a railroad superintendant. He was a railroad DETECTIVE. Specifically, he was an investigator for the Southern Pacific Railroad Police (which, coincidentally, was the same department my grandfather, the first member of my family to go into law enforcement, worked for).

The five novels she collaborated on with her husband were police procedurals about a squad of railroad cops in LA. Each book put on a different cop or set of cops in the lead. They'd recede into supporting roles in other books in the series. Debuting a year before McBain's first 87th Precinct book, they actually anticipate his concept of a "corporate hero."

Indeed, they actually carry that concept to fuller fruition, since, in the 87th Precinct series, Steve Carella very quickly became "first among equals," while, in the Hitchens's railroad police series, no one character ever rose to that level of prominence.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 10 Mar 2006 EST