FFB: The Mystery Of The Hidden Room - In Reference to Murder

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March 02, 2018


J F Norris

Never in a million years would I expect someone other than me to dig up Marion Harvey! I have all these books, except the Arden Mystery which I think might be a retitled version of a book Harvey wore in the 1920s. Someone once speculated that Marion Harvey, the mystery writer, and a minor actress from Broadway with the same name who worked during the 1920s and 1930s are the same person. They aren't. This Harvey, first of all, is a man. The only biographical info that exists online is at the FictionMags database:

"Born in Rio de Janeiro; graduate of Hunter College and Cleveland Law School; practiced law in Ohio until moving to L.A."

The Brazil birth place makes sense since two of his books take place in South America and are redolent with authentic cultural details.

I enjoyed reading about Graydon McKelvie and his arrogant adventures. He pre-dates Philo Vance but they have a lot in common. McKelvie, I think, is a lot more entertaining in his know-it-all style of detective work.

Some corrections to your mixed up bibliography: Alias the Eagle and The Clue of the Clock are the same book. I've read the US version under it's original title The Clue of the Clock and it's about a master criminal called "The Eagle". Also, The House of Seclusion was published in the US first, ten years prior to the date you have listed. 1925 is the date of publication in my copy put out by Boston publisher Small & Maynard. Similarly, The Dragon of Wang Lung was published by Clode in 1928, much earlier than the London edition. Clode was the original publisher for most of his books published in the US during the 1920s. You have Grosset & Dunlap for the first two, but that's a reprint house.

BV Lawson

Thanks John! I've updated the references accordingly, and thanks very much for your assistance with the research!

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