Mark Preston
Created by Peter Chambers (pseud. of Dennis John Andrew Phillips; also wrote as Peter Chester, Philip Daniels, Simon Challis, Dennis Phillips; 1924-2006)

American hard-boiled pulp fiction, once removed.

Journeyman British writer Dennis Phillips started out in the late fifties cranking out cheap, workmanlike hardcover crime novels and thrillers for such pulp publishers as Jenkins and Hale for the lucrative lending library market, under a series of pen names.

But by far his most popular books over the years were the 36 novels he wrote featuring purportedly hard-boiled American P. I. MARK PRESTON. The pseudonym he used for those books was coincidentally also the name of fictional hard-boiled American P.I. Peter Chambers, who worked the mean streets of Manhattan. Go figger!

Preston was a nice-enough guy for a P.I., although he often found himself in over his head, according to Juri Nummelin. "Being a bystander seems to be a recurring theme in Chambers' work...The Californian locales were made up and the towns are fictional... There's not much atmosphere..."

Chambers was a man of many talents. He served in the RAF, from 1942-47, and did hitches in Africa and the Middle East. He was also a dance musician, an entertainer and involved in labour relations with a nationalized British industry. He recorded his last music CD at the age of 80, two years before he died.



Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. And thanks to Alexandra Phillips-Goursat for her help.

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