John Piper and Quinn
Created by Harry Carmichael (
1908-79; pseudonym of Leopold Horace Ognall, other pseudonyms include Hartley Howard)

JOHN PIPER was a suitably tough insurance assessor and Quinn was a reporter who worked the crime beat for a British paper. Together they appeared in -- all set in England. from the prolific crime writer Leopold Ognall, under the pen name of Harry Carmichael.And the search continues. In November 2001, Lucy Dickinson

There's not much info on†Hartley Howard, real name Horace Ognall, in the web. No one seems to be talking about his books. Still he was a popular crime writer in England from the fifties to the seventies, specializing in hardboiled private eye tales that are so popular in some blog circles. Well, seems like Howard wasn't as good as this game as some of the better known names in the field.

I've started slowly getting back to my book project on British paperback crime writers and been reading some Hartley Howard. I've read one or two of his novels earlier, now I read one of his novels under the pseudonym Harry Carmichael, called Put Out That Star from 1957. It stars the insurance detective John Piper, one of Howard's series characters. In Put Out That Star Piper gets to solve the mystery of a disappearing starlet. This is almost a locked-room mystery, but not quite. The first half of the book is set almost like a play and there's lots and lots of talk. This is pretty far from Howard's better-known Glenn Bowman series in which the hero is a bit like Mike Hammer. They are slow-moving too, though, so I guess this is typical to Howard's output.

Put Out That Star is not a bad book, but it's not very good either. It's safe to say it's mediocre. Howard's career with over 90 novels was so long though he shouldn't have to be so forgotten. I'll be reading more of his work during the coming weeks and months and will be posting about it.

Put Out That Star was published in Finnish under the title Huoneisto n:o 15 in 1959, in the publishing house Gummerus's Salama (= Lightning) series of paperback novels.


Death Leaves a Diary (1952)

The Vanishing Trick (1952 [England]

Deadly Night-Cap (1953)

School for Murder (1953)

Death Counts Three (1954)

Why Kill Johnny? (1954)

Money for Murder (1955)

Noose for a Lady (1955)

The Dead of Night (1956)

Justice Enough (1956)

Emergency Exit (1957)

Put Out That Star (1957)

James Knowland: Deceased (1958)

...Or Be He Dead (1959)

Stranglehold (1959)

Requiem for Charles (1960)

The Seeds of Hate (1960)

Alibi (1961)

The Link (1962)

Of Unsound Mind (1962)

Vendetta (1963)

Flashback (1964)

Safe Secret (1964)

Post Mortem (1965)

Suicide Clause (1966)

Murder by Proxy (1967)

Death Trap (1970)

Remote Control (1970)

Most Deadly Hate (1971)

The Quiet Woman (1971)

Naked to the Grave (1972)

Candles for the Dead (1973)

Too Late for Tears (1973)

The Motive (1974)

False Evidence (1976)

A Grave for Two (1977)

Life Cycle (1978)

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith, with special thanks to Henry Gaskin on Rara-Avis for giving me a lead, and Juri for supplying several important clues. And, of course, the lovely Lucy Dickinson for the scoop on Vern...

| Home | Detectives A-L M-Z | Film | Radio | Television | Web Comics | Comics | FAQs |
Trivia | Authors | Hall of Fame | Mystery Links | Bibliography | Glossary | Search |
This Just In... | Word on the Street | Non-Fiction
| Fiction | Staff | The P.I. Poll |

Remember, your comments, suggestions, corrections and contributions are always welcome.
At the tone, leave your name and number and I'll get back to you...