Wednesday, November 16, 2016


The Park Avenue Hunt Club are supposed to be high-class vigilantes, so what do they have to do with that worried pug eyeing a gunman? I guess you'd have to get this 1935 Detective Fiction Weekly to find out, or pick up a reprint volume of Judson P. Philips' stories. The next obvious question is: who was Norma Millen, and what was Her Story? The answer is that Millen had just served two months in prison as an accessory to murder. Her husband Murton was a bank robber whose gang killed two policemen in Needham MA, one at the bank and one during the getaway, back in 1934. Murton Millen, his brother and another cohort got the chair, while Norma -- whose role in the crime remains unclear to the present day -- lived to tell what presumably reads as a cautionary tale. Her story started last week -- and she got the cover -- but she shares the spotlight this week with Richard Sale's Daffy Dill, stories by H. W. Guernsey, John H. Knox, Herbert E. Smith and Edward Parrish Ware, as well as Fred MacIsaac in his guise of Donald Ross. Millen will continue to recede from prominence in subsequent weeks. Next week her name will appear prominently in red on the cover, though not in the privileged banner position. The following week her name shows up as just another author. By the fifth and final installment of the memoir her name won't appear at all. Such is fame.

1 comment:

  1. "The Crooked Circle" was the name of a 1957 fight movie starring John Smith, Fay Spain and Steve Brodie, but from what I've seen of the movie the only resemblance to the book is the title.