Steve Silk

Created by James Brendan O'Sullivan (1919--)

STEVE SILK is a former boxer turned un-licensed P.I., working out of what appears to be New York City. Quick with a wisecrack and quicker with his fists, he dresses well and chases women with vigor. According to the back cover blurb of one paperback, Steve is a very private eye with "only three weak points: blondes, brunettes and red heads." He's a big-hearted guy, but there's plenty of room for it in his chest since he only has one lung.

Still, somehow, Steve found the time to appear in sixteen adventures. The dialogue is a little hokey at times, but the plots are actually pretty good, with some pretty clever twists to hook readers.

Like I Die Possessed (1953), certainly one of the few private eye novels to be narrated by the corpse.

Another gimmick was that several of the books took him to Ireland, not exactly the setting of chouce for American tough guy P.I. novels at the time. But it makes sense, since author James Brendan O'Sullivan had, in fact, been born in Dublin. He did work for several years in the U.S. as a crime reporter, disc jockey, copy writer, dramatist and scriptwriter but he moved back home in the fifties.

The series proved quite popular in the U.K. and, apparently Canada, while only a handful of the novels were actually published in the States.


  • Death Came Late (1945)
  • The Death Card (1945)
  • Casket of Death (1946)
  • Death on Ice (1946)
  • Death Stalks the Stadium (1946)
  • I Die Possessed (1953)
  • Nerve Beat (1953)
  • Don't Hang Me Too High (1954)
  • Someone Walked Over My Grave (1954)
  • The Stuffed Man (1955)
  • The Long Spoon (1956)
  • Choke Chain (1958)
  • Raid (1958)
  • Gate Fever (1959)
  • Backlash (1960)
  • Make My Coffin Big (1964)


Handicapped heroes...

Report respectfully submitted by Dale Stoyer.

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