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Addison Francis Murphy

Created by Fred MacIsaac (pseudonyms include Donald Ross and Francis Moore)

"Some day, maybe.. Not yet. If anybody tries to get my address,
you don't know what's become of me."

-- Murphy turning down afull time job offer at a Boston paper

Perhaps if you had a triple-barrelled name like freelance newshawk ADDISON FRANCIS MURPHY, you wouldn't mind so much being known simply as "The Rambler" -- particularly since you're the kinda reporter that'll do anything to get the scoop.

And that's up to and including disguising yourself as a hobo and riding the rails, rambling from town to town, sniffing out a nice, juicy lead and then hiring on with whatever local rag will hire you (which, given your rep for front page scoops is most of them).

As luck would have it, the slim, two-fisted redhead had a knack for butting up against assorted thugs, double-crossing swells, bent coppers and, of course, one or two voluptuous vixens with come-hither eyes and tmurder in their hearts.

What he didn't have was a knack for sticking around. Plagued by wanderlust, each story ended with Murphy packing up and moving on.

The Rambler first appeared in the October 8, 1932 issue of Argosy, but went on to appear in 18 more taut little gems in Dime Detective, as well as a 1936 B-flick from Universal, Mysterious Crossing, which starred James Dunn as the tramp reporter.The first story in the issue, despite the index below, is the first

Frederick John MacIsaac was born in 1886 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and after stints as a newspaper reporter and drama critic, became one of the pulp era's more prolific writers, with over 100 stories published in Argosy alone, including several featuring Bill Peepe, a brassy and brash Hollywood press agent who made like a private eye, as well as creating a couple of series characters in the crime and detective pulps. Besides "The Rambler", who appeared in Dime Detective, he also wrote about Regginald "Reggie" Royce, who appeared in Detective Tales. MacIsaac died in Los Angeles in 1940.


  • "The Affair at Camp Laurel" (October 8, 1932, Argosy)
  • "Alias Mr. Smith" (April 1, 1933, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Ghost City Set-Up" (September 1, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Go Between" (June 1, 1934, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Murder Reel" (August 15, 1934, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Heir-Cooled" (June 15, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Murder on the Mississippi" (December 1935, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Cat's Paw for Murder" (April 1936, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Blond Cargo" (August 1936, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "The Corpse in the Taxicab" (November 1936, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Murder in the Loop" (March 1937, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Time for Dying" (June 1937, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Fall-Guy" (October 1937, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "The Duchess of Diamonds" (February 1938, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Nobody's Stooge" (May 1938, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Bridal Blast-Out" (Septembet 1938, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Murder at the Beauty Show" (April 1939, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Fatal Fall-Guy" (June 1939, Dime Detective Magazine)
  • "Object: Murder" (January 1940, Dime Detective Magazine)


  • The Complete Cases of The Rambler, Vol. 1 (2014). Buy this book


    (aka "Murder on the Mississippi")
    (1936, Universal)
    57 minutes
    Black & white
    Based on characters created by Fred MacIsaacs
    Screenplay by Jefferson Parker and John Grey
    Directed by Arthur Lubin
    Starring James Dunn as ADDISON TRANCIS MURPHY
    Also starring Jean Rogers, Andy Devine, Hobart Cavanaugh, John Eldredge, Herbert Rawlinson, Lorin Raker, J. Farrell MacDonald, Clarence Muse, Libby Taylor, John Henry Allen


Newsroom eyes.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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