Monday, July 30, 2012

Crime Fiction Alpabet 2012: Letter K

This week over at Kerrie's spot at Mysteries in Paradise we are on the Letter "K" for her 2012 Edition of the meme Crime Fiction Alphabet. My contribution will be.......

Crime Fiction Alphabet: K is for Frank Kane

Frank Kane was born in Brooklyn in July 1912, and by the time he was 19, he had graduated from New York City College, earning a BS. He attended St. John's Law School, but prior to graduating, his first daughter was born. He was told  "better get a job and get some money pretty quick!" So he left law school and began to put his writing skills to use. He served a couple of years as a columnist for the New York Press, was Editor-in-Chief for the New York Trade Newspapers Corporation, and an associate editor for the New York Journal of Commerce. He also worked in public relations, as an advocate and spokesperson for the Liquor Industry. He apparently spent time on "the hill," in D.C., working with government officials to end the prohibition of consumption of alcohol. He did much work with the liquor industry throughout his career. After World War II, he returned to public relations, as well as freelance writing, and later, radio and television production. His writing for a New York newspaper led to a syndicated Broadway column called New York From Dusk To Dawn, which profiled Hollywood movie stars visiting New York. The column was later made into a radio show, on which Kane featured popular movie personalities. He went on to pen scripts for some of the most popular radio programs on the air, including six years as the writer for The Shadow. Kane went on to write for a multitude of radio programs. In the detective-adventure genre, he spent three years writing Gang Busters. He also wrote for Counter Spy, The Fat Man, Casey, Crime Photographer, Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons, The Lawless Twenties and Nick Carter, Master Detective. He also created Call the Police for Lever Brothers, and created, wrote and produced Claims Agent for NBC, which was based on Kane's character, Jim Rogers. And in 1947, Frank Kane was selected to write the Coast Guard documentary You Have To Go Out, starring Robert Young. But it was as the author of mystery novels about the adventures of Liddell that Kane was best known. Kane's first novel, About Face, placed detective Johnny Liddell in Hollywood to solve the murder of an ex-racketeer who became a power in the movie industry. The book could have been taken from the front pages of the newspapers at the time (1947), except that the novel was written months before the Bugsy Siegel murder. His novels, under his own name, and the pseudonym of Frank Boyd, sold multi-millions of copies in hard cover and paperback, and were translated into more than 17 languages. In the 1940's, '50's, and '60's, Kane wrote between close to 40 books, most featuring Johnny Liddell. He also claimed Liddell was the hero of more than 400 short stories featured in top detective magazines such as Manhunt, The Saint Detective Magazine, Private Eye and Pursuit

The Novels
·  About Face (1947, aka "Death About Face," " The Fatal Foursome"; Johnny Liddell)
·  Green Light For Death (1949; Johnny Liddell)
·  Slay Ride (1950; Johnny Liddell)
·  Bullet Proof (1951; Johnny Liddell)
·  Dead Weight (1951; Johnny Liddell)
·  Bare Trap (1952; Johnny Liddell)
·  Poisons Unknown (1953; Johnny Liddell)
·  Grave Danger (1954; Johnny Liddell)
·  Red Hot Ice (1955; Johnny Liddell)
·  A Real Gone Guy (1956; Johnny Liddell)
·  Key Witness (1956)
·  The Living End (1957; Johnny Liddell)
·  Syndicate Girl (1958)
·  Trigger Mortis (1958; Johnny Liddell)
·  Liz (1958)
·  Juke Box King (1959; Mickey Denton)
·  The Line-Up (1959; novelization of the TV series)
·  Trial by Fear (1959)
·  The Flesh Peddlers (1959; by Frank Boyd)
·  A Short Bier (1960; Johnny Liddell)
·  Time To Prey (1960; Johnny Liddell)
·  Johnny Staccato (1960; novelization of the TV series; by Frank Boyd)
·  Due Or Die (1961; Johnny Liddell)
·  The Mourning After (1961; Johnny Liddell)
·  Dead Rite (1962; Johnny Liddell)
·  Crime Of Their Life (1962; Johnny Liddell)
·  The Conspirators (1962)
·  Ring-a-Ding-Ding (1963; Johnny Liddell)
·  Hearse Class Male (1963; Johnny Liddell)
·  Johnny Come Lately (1963; Johnny Liddell)
·  Barely Seen (1964; Johnny Liddell)
·  Final Curtain (1964; Johnny Liddell)
·  Fatal Undertaking (1964; Johnny Liddell)
·  The Guilt Edged Frame (1964; Johnny Liddell)
·  Esprit De Corpse (1965; Johnny Liddell)
·  Two To Tangle (1965; Johnny Liddell)
·  Maid In Paris (1966; Johnny Liddell)
·  Margin For Terror (1967; Johnny Liddell)


  1. Scott - Thanks for the profile on Kane and his work. He was a lot more influential in the hardboiled sub-genre that people sometimes give him credit for I think.

  2. He worked to end prohibition? I'm sold on him.

  3. Scott, you always do such great post! Thanks

  4. Thanks for this profile of Kane Scott as this is an author I know very little about. When I was growing up I think I used to get him mixed up with Henry Kane a bit, which didn't help - definitely time to remedy this!

  5. As always, this is very interesting. Especially the story of the authors live before and after WWII. I enjoy your posts with vintage covers and information about authors I need to know more about.