Anthony Martin

Created by William Francis (pseud. of William Francis Urell; other pseuds. include Curtis Lucas; 1913-79)

ANTHONY MARTIN, your typical tough-talking, good-looking P. I. working the mean streets of 1940s Los Angeles, appeared in three novels back in the forties. He has, of course, a pile of unpaid bills-- the result, no doubt, of his over-developed conscience.

Rough on Rats (1942) is interesting because of its take of the stag film industry, and Bury Me Not (1943) at times recalls a Jonathan Latimer Bill Crane novel.

They were all narrated in the first person by Martin, in your typical hard-boiled manner, although he occasionally plays it closer to the chest than most, keeping things from the reader until the conclusion. He also displays a little more humour than most.

Francis (actually the pen name of William Francis Urell) was an American writer who began his career submitting stories to magazines such as Collier's and The Novel Magazine, and later turned to writing crime fiction. Rough On Rats was his first novel, and was soon followed by two sequels. From June 1948 to October 1950, he published nearly a dozen mystery stories in Esquire. He also wrote about private eye Steve Cash, who decides to clean up the corrupt little burg of Coastview, California single-handedly in Dig Me Deeper (1953).


  • The title of Rough on Rats (1942) was a spin on a then-popular brand of rat poison, and ithe publisher, William Morrow, actually thanked the manufacturer on the copyright page for allowing them to use to use product's name as the title.


  • Rough on Rats (1942, aka "I. O. U. Murder")
  • Kill or Cure (1942)
  • Bury Me Not (1943)

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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