Cliff Morgan
Created by Richard S. Prather
(1921-2007 )

Now here's a rara avis you collectors might be interested in...

CLIFF MORGAN is a rough and tough Los Angeles private eye, "six feet of ex-U.S. Army Ranger," who ends up in a Mexican jail on a trumped-up charge in Richard S. Prather's Pattern for Panic (1954). The book was subsequently re-released in 1961 with Prather's popular series shamus Shell Scott as the hero, but in fact that was Prather's original intention.

By 1954, Richard Prather's Scott had already appeared in eight or so novels. Pattern for Panic was to be the next novel in the series, but according to Prather, Gold Medal's editors were uncomfortable with the book's four-square anti-communism, probably because Spillane's most overtly anti-commie Hammer novel, One Lonely Night, had gotten such a critical pasting.

So Prather changed Scott's blonde hair to red, re-christened him as CLIFF MORGAN, but made very few other changes. Then he submitted the novel to another publisher, who snapped it up.

When the novel proved to be wildly successful, a chastened Gold Medal asked Scott for the chance to re-publish it as part of the Scott series. When the Gold Medal version appeared in 1961, it was billed as "specially revised," but in fact, it was the novel in its original version, with Scott restored to the place he'd been ousted from by his red-headed doppelganger, Morgan.

NOVELS

Respectfully submitted by Jim Doherty,with (very little) tinkering by Kevin Burton Smith, who stands corrected.


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