Max Strong
Created by Robert Dudgeon (pseud. of seudonym of Frank S. Greenop)

Straight up?

I don't know much about MAX STRONG. He was apparently a series character who appeared in twenty or so novels put out in the fifties by Cleveland Publishing of Sydney, Australia, trying to duplicate the success of Carter Brown by promising “excitement of a different kind” but that's about it.

Oh, and calling them novels is even a stretch, since at least some of these paperback originals are less than a hundred pages, making them "novelettes,' I guess. Which would make sense, since Cleveland would later have great success in that format with the Larry Kent series. In fact, the Max Strong series was frequently advertisied in the back pages of the Larry Kent series.

Heck, I'm not even sure if Strong was supposed to be Australian at all. It's possible Max was a New York based P.I., since many of the books are set in that city.

That is, if he was a private eye at all. And certainly the cover illustrations, many of which are quite snazzy and the titles themselves, would suggest that. As well, many of the books are subtitled "A Max Strong Detective Story."

Max's creator, Robert Dudgeon, was actually the pseudonym of Frank S. Greenop, who also wrote short stories for the Australian pulps, including several featuring another P.I.-sounding character called Steve Hawk.

but like I said, a lot of this is pure guesswork. If anyone knows anything else, drop me a line.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Illustration is from Graeme Flanagan's amazing Vintage Australian Paperback Website.

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