Michael Avallone
(aka Mike Avallone, Mile Avalione, Mike Avalone, Mark Dane, Steve Michaels, Edwina Noone, Priscilla Dalton, John Patrick, Jeanne-Anne dePre, Dorothea Nile, Sidney Stuart, Nick Carter, Troy Conway, Dora Highland, Stuart Jason, Vance Stanton, Max Walker, Lee Davis Willoughby)
(1925-1999)

"He could sure tell a story. He couldn't write, but he could sure tell a story."
-- Bill Crider on Michael Avallone

Michael Angelo Avallone was born in New York, one of 17 children. "I've been writing since I discovered pencils," Avallone once said. And his output suggests he started getting published about two days later.

After stints in the army and as a stationery salesman, he began to write. He got his start in the sports pulps in the fifties, and soon moved on to editing men's magazines (an amazing twenty-seven of them in the four year period from 1954 to 1959. He also edited the Mystery Writers of America newsletter from 1962 to 1965.

He was a remarkably rapid and prolific writer, the self-proclaimed "Fastest Typewriter in the East" and "The King of the Paperbacks," who claimed to have written over a thousand works, almost all paperback originals, including three dozen mystery novels featuring his alter-ego private eye hero Ed Noon. He also wrote romance and gothic novels, horror and science fiction, soft core porn, children's books, poetry, essays, movie reviews, and a ton of TV and film novelisations. He was published by Gold Medal and Midwood, Beacon and Popular, Curtis and Paperjacks, Beacon and Scholastic, Avon and Signet. He often said he would rather write than sleep or eat. The evidence seems to bear him out.

He wrote so many books, under so many pseudonyms, that even apparent misspellings like Mike Avalione and Michael Avalone soon became pen names. He wrote at least sixty-two novels and novelizations under his own name, many with series characters, such as April Dancer, Ed Noon and Satan Sleuth, at least three novels as Nick Carter (with valerie Moolman), two novels as Sidney Stuart, three gothics as Priscilla Dalton, twelve gothic novels as Edwina Noone, five gothic novels as Dorothea Nile, five gothic novels as Jean-Anne de Pre, four novels as Vance Stanton, at least twenty erotic novels as Troy Conway, featuring a horny super spy named Rod Damon, A.K.A. "Capitalism's favorite tool," nine "men's adventure" novels as Stuart Jason (all with series character "The Butcher"), at least three collections of short stories, and at least thirty novels and novelizations unrelated to the above series. He also wrote original novels based on television shows, including The Partridge Family (8 titles), The Man From UNCLE (the first book), The Girl From UNCLE (2 books), Hawaii 5-0 (2 books) and Mannix. The guy just loved to write.

And he was quick. He once completed a novel in a day and a half. One story goes that he wrote a 1,500-word short story in 20 minutes, while dining in a New York restaurant. One year, he supposedly churned out 27 books. Avallone was a tireless committee volunteer for the MWA, serving on the Board of Directors, as well as editing the newsletter. He was also the chairman of its awards, television and motion picture committees. And he was always quick with a quip. Rumours have it was the Avallone who coined the "Father, Son, & Holy Ghost" line to describe Hammett, Chandler, and Macdonald, way back in the early sixties.

He was also legendary for being quick to take offense and quick to lash out, and for his high opinion of himself. An original; a seemingly tireless letter-writer and self-promoter, his own biggest fan, a romping stomping ornery cuss, often charging off in two or three directions at once, at times bitter and spiteful, prickly, opinionated, pounding out white hot attacks on anyone he felt had failed to acknowledge their debt and pay their proper respects to him (never mind that some of these writers never READ him) or in some other way slighted him. He was especially venomous towards more successful writers, notably, supposedly, Stephen King who, Avallone exclaimed at every chance, based every thing he ever wrote on an a Robert Bloch novel.

"A few times," Avallone's son, David, admits, "he substituted himself for Bloch, but this was mostly to drive King fans into rage. Most of his "ornery cussedness" had a pretty simple intention; to piss people off and get attention. Once when I was a child and we were in London, he calmly threw into an interview that he thought Arthur Conan-Doyle must have known exactly who Jack the Ripper was... otherwise he wouldn't have avoided writing about it. This managed to get him into all the other papers, with headlines like "Yank Writer Says Sherlock Was Jack The Ripper"... My point being (one that seems to be lost on a lot of folks) I don't think Dad particularly believed King plagarized him any more than he believed Conan-Doyle knew the Ripper. He just got a huge kick out of the reaction it caused when he said it."

Certainly, Avallone had a high opinion of his own work. After his death, the quips and stories rolled out. "He never wrote a book he didn't like." "He rewrote one book three times, and sold each version, once as a mystery, once as a romance and once as a horror story, to three different publishers." "In making a list of the ten best mysteries of all time, he included one of his own books." "Reading him may have sometimes been a dubious pleasure, and dealing with him an onerous task, but I was glad I knew him. He was his own best character."

His was known for his wacko plots, his hilariously fragmented sentences, his penchant for improvised, nonsensical plots, his love for movie and baseball trivia, his complete allegiance to a sort of virtual unreality in whatever field he chose to write in was steamrollered by his enthusiasm and his own energetic albeit somewhat skewered version of the world, not to mention his penchant for truly pain-inducing puns, as evidenced by such titles as The Cunning Linguist, Turn the Other Sheik and The Alarming Clock.

Due to the sheer quantity of his work, something had to give, and sometimes that might have been logic, but not to worry! Don't understand this sub-plot, this short story, this book? Wait a moment, here comes another!

Bill Pronzini devoted whole chapters to him, in both Gun in Cheek and Son of Gun in Cheek, his twin odes to alternative classics. Avallone was, indeed, the King of the Cheese, and at least of somewhere. Indeed, more than one wag has suggested that Avallone may not have even been of this planet. Critic M. Francis Nevin, in his essay on Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers, dubbed the place Avallone apparently lived in the "Nooniverse,"and he wasn't far off.

He passed away recently, at the age of 74, in his sleep at his Los Angeles home. In a better world, or at least one in which he was allowed to write the rules, it would have been while sitting at his beloved typewriter.

UNDER OATH

  • "Death is as pointless as having a key for an open door that you are only going to walk through once."
    -- from Meanwhile Back at the Morgue

TESTIMONY

  • "I was shocked and saddened to have learned of Michael's death. One of my best friends knew him very well from his pulp-fiction interest, and through him, I got to meet and have dinner with Michael and his lovely wife a couple of times, and hang out...he was an ornery cuss no doubt, but what an interesting man!...and what a lover of Gary Cooper...always laughing and cutting someone up....everyone that he had over to visit him signed his wall on the way down the cellar stairs...I wrote, "You're OK, but you're no Stephen King!"...which he kibbutzed with me about from then on...a really wonderful human being, and a true original that will be sorely missed...."
    -- Russell Simmons

  • "I corresponded with Mike when I was a teenager. Liked him a lot, didn't like him a lot, he was everything he's reputed to be, but he was an early influence and now I write for a living (though what I write are musicals --however, I *did* write Alien Nation #6: Passing Fancy for Pocket, come to think of it ... so hats off to Mike for a direct hit.
    -- David Spencer

NOVELS
This list is woefully incomplete. I'll be adding to it as I go along, but if anyone can suggest a few omissions, I'd be happy to add them...

  • The Tall Dolores (1953; Ed Noon) ....Kindle it!
  • The Spitting Image (1953; Ed Noon) ....Kindle it!
  • Dead Game (1954; Ed Noon)....Kindle it!
  • Violence in Velvet (1956; Ed Noon)....Kindle it!
  • The Case of The Bouncing Betty (1956; Ed Noon)
  • The Alarming Clock (1957; Ed Noon)
  • The Case of The Violent Virgin (1957; Ed Noon)
  • The Crazy Mixed-Up Corpse (1957; by Mike Avalone; Ed Noon)
  • The Voodoo Murders (1957; by Michael Avalione; Ed Noon)
  • Meanwhile Back at the Morgue (1960; Ed Noon)
  • Women in Prison (1961; lesbian fiction)
  • Stag Stripper (1961)
  • The Little Black Book (1961)
  • Sinners in White (1961)
  • Flight Hostess Rogers (1962)
  • Never Love a Call Girl (1962)
  • The Platinum Trap (1962)
  • Sex Kitten (1962)
  • All the Way (1962)
  • The Living Bomb (1963; Ed Noon)
  • Lust at Leisure (1963)
  • There is Something About a Dame (1963; AKA The Nimble Gunner; Ed Noon)
  • The Bedroom Bolero (1963, AKA The Bolero Murders; Ed Noon)
  • The Doctor's Wife (1963)
  • And Sex Walks in (1963)
  • Shock Corridor (1963; movie tie-on)
  • Lust is No Lady (1964; AKA The Brutal Kook; Ed Noon)
  • Dark Cypress (1964; by Priscilla Dalton)
  • Run, Spy, Run (1964; with Valerie Moolman; Nick Carter)
  • Station Six-Sahara (1964, movie tie-in)
  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E. #1: The Thousand Coffins Affair (1965; TV tie-in)
  • The Silent, Silken Shadows (1965; by Priscilla Dalton)
  • Corridor of Whispers (1965; by Edwina Noone)
  • The Victorian Crown (1965; by Priscilla Dalton)
  • Heirloom of Tragedy (1965; by Priscilla Dalton)
  • The Fat Death (1966; Ed Noon)
  • The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. #1: The Birds Of A Feather Affair (1966; TV tie-in)
  • The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. #2: The Blazing Affair (1966, TV tie-in)
  • Kaleidoscope (1966; movie tie-in)
  • The Second Secret (1966; by Priscilla Dalton)
  • The February Doll Murders (1967; Ed Noon)
  • The Man From Avon (1967)
  • The Felony Squad (1967; original TV tie-in)
  • Madame X (1967; movie tie-in)
  • Assassins Don't Die in Bed (1968; Ed Noon)
  • Mannix (1968; tv tie-in; Mannix)
  • The Coffin Things (1968)
  • Hawaii Five-O (1968; TV tie-in)
  • The Incident (1968)
  • The Horrible Man (1968; Ed Noon)
  • The Big Freak-Out (1968; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • Last Licks (1968; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • Keep It Up Rod! (1968; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • The Billion Dollar Snatch (1968; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • A Hard Act to Follow (1968; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • The Wham! Bam! Thank You Ma'am Affair (1968; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • The Flower-Covered Corpse (1968; Ed Noon)
  • Black Hercules (1969; by Stuart Jason)
  • Black Love (1969; AKA Black Lover; by Stuart Jason)
  • Ed Noon, Private Eye (1969; Ed Noon)
  • The Killing Star (1969)
  • The Doomsday Bag (1969; AKA Killer's Highway; Ed Noon)
  • Missing! (1969)
  • Krakatoa East of Java (1969; movie tie-in)
  • Hawaii 5-0: Terror In The Sun (1969; TV tie-in)
  • It's Getting Harder All the Time (1969; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • Just a Silly Millimeter Longer (1969; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • I'd Rather Fight Than Swish (1969; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • A Good Peace (1969; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • It's What's Up Front That Counts (1969; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • A Bullet for Pretty Boy Floyd (1970)
  • Death Dives Deep (1970; Ed Noon)
  • Hornets' Nest (1970; war movie tie-in)
  • One More Time (1970; movie tie-in)
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970; movie tie-in)
  • The Partridge Family #2 :The Haunted Hall (1970; TV tie-in)
  • The Partridge Family #3: Keith, The Hero (1970; TV tie-in)
  • The Last Escape (1970; war movie tie-in, under house name Max Walker)
  • The Cunning Linguist (1970; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • Turn the Other Sheik (1970; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • Will the Real Rod Please Stand Up? (1970; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • The Harder You Try, The Harder It Gets (1971; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • Little Miss Murder (1971; Ed Noon)
  • Black Lord (1971; by Stuart Jason)
  • The Fat Death (1971; Ed Noon)
  • The Ultimate Client (1971; Ed Noon)
  • The Bolero Murders (1972; Ed Noon)
  • The Flower-Covered Corpse (1972; Ed Noon)
  • The Horrible Man (1972; Ed Noon)
  • The Living Bomb (1972; Ed Noon)
  • Shoot It Again, Sam (1972; AKA The Moving Graveyard; Ed Noon)
  • London, Bloody London (1972; Ed Noon)
  • The Girl in the Cockpit (1972; Ed Noon)
  • Black Prince (1972; by Stuart Jason)
  • The Alarming Clock (1973; Ed Noon)
  • Kill Her, You'll Like It (1973; Ed Noon)
  • Killer on the Keys (1973; Ed Noon)
  • The Hot Body (1973; Ed Noon)
  • The X-Rated Corpse (1973; Ed Noon)
  • The Walking Wounded (1973; Ed Noon)
  • And Then There Was Noon (1973; Ed Noon)
  • Butcher #6: Kill Time (1973; by Stuart Jason)
  • Come One, Come All (1973; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • I Can't Believe I Ate the Whole Thing (1973; Rod Coxeman; by Troy Conway)
  • Butcher #9: Sealed With Blood (1973; by Stuart Jason)
  • The Moon Maiden (1974; Ed Noon)
  • Ed Noon in London (1974; AKA London, Bloody London; Ed Noon)
  • The Satan Sleuth #1: Fallen Angel (1974; Satan Sleuth)
  • The Satan Sleuth #2: The Werewolf Walks Tonight (1974; Satan Sleuth)
  • The Rubbed-Out Star (1974; Ed Noon)
  • The Satan Sleuth #3: Devil, Devil (1975; Satan Sleuth)
  • Black Emperor (1976; by Stuart Jason)
  • The Big Stiffs (1977; AKA Blues For Sophia Loren; Ed Noon)
  • Carquake (1977)
  • CB Logbook of the White Knight (1977; Dave Dunn)
  • Dark on Monday (1978; Ed Noon)
  • Cannonball Run (1981; movie tie-in)
  • Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981; Charlie Chan)
  • Golda (1982; tv mini-series tie-in)
  • High Noon at Midnight (1988; Ed Noon)
  • Since Noon Yesterday (1989; Ed Noon)
  • Mitzi (1997)
  • Friday the Thirteenth Part III (movie tie-in)
    .
  • Unpublished
  • The Ninth of Never (to be published; Ed Noon)
  • Vampires Wild (unpublished; Satan Sleuth)
  • Zombie Depot (unpublished; Satan Sleuth)

SHORT STORIES

  • "The Man Who Walked on Air" (September 1953, Weird Tales)
  • "Headache Hurler" (October 1955, Ten-Story Sports)
  • "Open Season on Cops" (September 1962, MSMM; Ed Noon)
  • "The Arabella Nude" (July 1963, MSMM; Ed Noon)
  • "The Barking Dog" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Beware the Bird" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Call at Midnight " (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Children of the Devil" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "The Deadly Dress" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Defilers of the Tombs" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Don't Lose Your Head" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "The Fortune Teller" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "The Graveyard Nine" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "The Hand of Fate" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Just Inside the Cemetery" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "The Ladder" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "The Man in the Raincoat" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Mirror of Death" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Never Kick a Black Cat" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Nightmare! " (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "The Phantom Soldier" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Portrait in Hell" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Say Good Night to Mr. Sporko" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Some Things Shouldn't Be Seen" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Terror in the Window" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Theda Is Death" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Tom, Dick and Horror " (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "The Vampire Sleeps" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Voice from the Grave " (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "You Can Take It with You" (1963, Tales of the Frightened)
  • "Every Litter Bit Hurts" (1968)
  • "Violin Solo for a Corpse" (May 1974, MSMM; Ed Noon)
  • "The Big Rig with Hotpants" (1977, CB Logbook of the White Knight; Dave Dunn)
  • "The Boulevard Buffalo with the Gat" (1977, CB Logbook of the White Knight; Dave Dunn)
  • "Escape from the Iron Bar Hotel" (1977, CB Logbook of the White Knight; Dave Dunn)
  • "Heavy Traffic, Big Ten-Fours and Good Numbers" (1977, CB Logbook of the White Knight; Dave Dunn)
  • "Jesse James on Four Baloneys" (1977, CB Logbook of the White Knight; Dave Dunn)
  • "One of Our YL's Is Nowhere to Be Found" (1977, CB Logbook of the White Knight; Dave Dunn)
  • "Saved by the Fly in the Sky" (1977, CB Logbook of the White Knight; Dave Dunn)
  • "Bartree Has Escaped Today!" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "The Circus Catch" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "The Cop Dodge Game" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "The Coronet Club Caper" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "The Dead Secretary" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "The Fairfax Kill" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "The Fatal Killing" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "The French Jewel Heist" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "The Great Zampa Hoax" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "Inside-the-Park Homicide" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "The Last Weekend" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "The Real Gone Horn" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "Who Killed Burlesque?" (1978, Five-Minute Mysteries; Ed Noon)
  • "Minute Mystery" (August 1980, MSMM; Ed Noon)
  • "Conversation While Prying" (July 1984, MSMM; Ed Noon)
  • "A Letter from Ed Noon" (#1, May 1988, Detective Story Magazine; Ed Noon)
  • "The Ten Percent Kill" (#10, December 1990, Hardboiled Detective; Ed Noon)

COLLECTIONS

  • Tales of theFrightened (1963; collection of horror fiction aimed at kids)
  • CB Logbook of the White Knight (1977; Dave Dunn)
  • Ed Noon's 5-Minute Mysteries (1978; AKA 5-Minute Mysteries; aimed at kids, featuring Ed Noon)
  • Where Monsters Walk (1970's, Scholastic; another collection of horror fiction aimed at kids)
  • The Arabella Nude/Open Season On Cops (Gryphon Double Novel 4, 1993; Ed Noon)

RADIO

  • THE WINDUP
    (1950-s)
    13 episodes
    Written by Michael Avallone
    Starring Chester Morris as ED NOON
    Avallone wrote the scripts for this short-lived series, featuring actor Chester Morris as Noon, which he later adapted for his 1978 kid's book, 5-Minute Mysteries.

FILM/WEB SERIAL

  • SINCE NOON YESTERDAY
    (1999, Bijou Café)
    Internet serial
    Based on the novel by Michael Avallone
    Written and directed by David Avallone
    Starring David Avallone as The Detective's Son

AUDIO

  • TALES OF THE FRIGHTENED, Vol. 1 and 2
    (1963, Mercury Records)
    Stereo: SR 60815 and SR 60816
    Mono: 20815 and 20816.
    Narrated by Boris Karloff

RELATED LINKS

  • The Mouse Auditorium
    The Official Michael Avallone Web Page, now unfortunately missing in action. The "Mouse Auditorium" was Ed Noon's nickname for his New York office.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Chris Mills and David Spencer for tossing a few more in the pot, and a very special thanks to David Avallone and Fran Tulip Avallone for their kind help and support.


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