Kent Murdock

Created by George Harmon Coxe (1901-84)

KENT MURDOCK's a refined, cleaned up version of author Coxe's rumpled, fast-talking crime photographer, Flashgun Casey, who appeared in the pages of Black Mask and several novels. Where Flashgun was a big, hot-tempered Boston Mick with a gift for gab and a nose for trouble, given to drink and fisticuffs, Kent is a more mature, and professional man, urbane, sophisticated even. And married. His wife, Joyce, often teams up with him to solve cases, mostly in the Boston area, often involving Beacon Hill types. Together they appear in twenty-two novels.

Another person who pops up in several novels to help out is Jack Fenner, a Boston private eye. Murdock returns the favor, showing up in Fenner (1971) and numerous other entries in the series. In fact, I'm not even sure which books are Fenner books and which are Murdock books at times.

The prolific writer Coxe has several other PI series characters: Sam Crombie, Max Hale and Leon Morley.

COLLECTOR'S NOTE

  • The Dell reprint of Four Frightened Women, Dell $5 to be exact, became their very first "mapback" -- so you can imagine how much collectors will cough up for it.

NOVELS

OMNIBUS EDITIONS

  • Triple Exposure (1959)

Contains the novels The Glass Triangle, The Jade Venus, and The Fifth Key.

SHORT STORIES

  • "Speak No Evil' (1947; aka "Seed of Suspicion")

FILMS

  • MURDER WITH PICTURES
    (1936, Paramount Pictures)
    Written by George Harmon Coxe,  Jack Moffitt, Sidney Salkow
    Cinematography: Ted Tetzlaff
    Director: Charles Barton
    Starring Lew Ayres as KENT MURDOCK
    Also starring Irving Bacon, Benny Baker, Joyce Compton, Ernest Cossart, Paul Kelly, Anthony Nace, Gail Patrick, Joe Sawyer, Onslow Stevens

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. And thanks to Glen Davis for a word to the wise.


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