Created by J.D. Christilain (pseudonym of Marvin H. Albert; 1924-1996; AKA Mike Barone, Al Conroy, Albert Conroy, Ian MacAlister and Nick Quarry)

With New York's Finest preoccupied with the ongoing Tammany Hall corruption scandal, they don't really seem to be doing all that much about investigating the murder of Alice Curry, a prostitute, whose body was found in a warehouse near the East Street docks with its throat slit.

The cops don't have time to spend on the murder of a "scarlet woman," especially when they've got the to worry about.The setting is New York City, the year 1871. A prostitute has been found in a warehouse, her throat slit. So the case falls to street-smart private eye HARP in Scarlet Women (1996), a former street urchin and petty thief (and child of a prostitute himself) who seems to know almost everyone there is to know in the Big Apple, circa 1871.

Besides writng Scarlet Women under the pen name of J. D. Christilian, author Marvin Albert has written as Anthony Rome and Nick Quarry. Probably his best known creation is Tony Rome, which later became a film vehicle for Frank Sinatra, but he has also created other eyes, including Pete Sawyer and Jake Barrow.

In the early 1980's, Albert moved to France, where he was widely admired, and lived there until his death in 1996. After his death, Requiem pour un muckraker, a collection of short stories by French crime writers was published, as a literary "hommage" to Albert. There was also a short story by Albert himself, and a postscript by Patrick Raynal, currently the director of the Serie Noire, where most of Albert's crime novels were published in France.


  • "The talented Christilian (a pseudonym) provides a wonderfully evocative picture of nineteenth-century New York--the people, places, problems, and pleasures of the city and the terrible disparity between its rich and its poor. The plot is gripping and the characters are fascinating, but it's the charismatic and elusive Harp who really makes the story come alive."
    -- Emily Melton, Booklist



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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