Author Frank Kane originally created Big Apple private eye JOHNNY LIDDELL in 1944 for a pulp story, and later went on to write 29 novels and countless short stories about him. Johnny started out as an agency man, but by Bullet Proof (1951), he's out on his own with his own New York agency. A solid series, nothing really exceptional, but it gets the job done, sorta like Johnny. As Bill Crider put it on Rara-Avis in April 2000, if it's a Frank Kane book, chances are "it'll be a competent, straightforward P.I. story."
Frank Kane's brother, Vincent, was an plainclothes cop for the NYPD who sometimes provided technical advice on investigative procedures. Kane spent much time talking to his brother - and other policemen in the force - learning about crime-oriented "tough guys" and gaining insight into their motivations. Through conversations with his brother, Kane developed opinions about how real life detectives might approach those on the wrong side of the law.) In fact, he actually wrote one NYPD cop novel based on his brother's work.
In addition to the Johnny Liddell stories, he wrote one NYPD cop novel based on his brother's work. He also wrote scripts for radio (The Shadow, The Fat Man, Gangbusters) and television shows (S.A.7, The Investigators, and most notably Mike Hammer). Rumours have it that many of the Hammer scripts were just adaptations of his Liddell stories with Hammer substituted for Liddell. Kane also wrote a couple of original novels based on characters from television series, Staccato (as Frank Boyd) and The Line-Up (as Frank Kane).
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Jim Doherty for some of the info on this page, and a tip of the fedora to David Spencer for the heads-up. And a very special thanks to Maura Fox, Frank Kane's grand-daughter, for all the extra info.
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