Cabinet 7: Crime & Murder
Carter Brown, A Corpse for Christmas. [London]: Horwitz International, 1965. Pulp Literature Special Collections PR9610.B76 C67
Horwitz’s main man was ‘Carter Brown’, who in real life was an English migrant named Alan Geoffrey Yates (1923-1985). In her book PULP, Toni Johnson-Woods estimates Yates wrote 297 books and sold 80 million copies, giving him a walk-up start in any discussion about Australia’s most popular but least-known authors. Prior to his ‘Carter Brown’ persona, Yates wrote westerns, romances, and sci-fi, using pseudonyms such as ‘Paul Valdez’ and ‘Tex Conrad’.
The first ‘Carter Brown’ – The Lady is Murder – appeared in 1951; by 1955 sale boasts were 10 million. The byline of A Corpse for Xmas (1965) sets the tone for these much read volumes. A further selection of Carter Brown publications are on display in Vitrine 4.
Cleveland Publishing had a winner in their ‘Larry Kent’ series. Larry Kent was in fact Don Haring, an American who had settled in Australia after the war, and Des R. Dunn, who was from Queensland. They both wrote some 400 ‘Larry Kent’ novels, the first novelette appearing in April 1954. Most of the plots were set in New York City, where Larry hung out at nightclubs and steakhouses, smoking his ‘Luckies’ and downing whisky.
The covers usually featured paintings of leggy, full-figured babes and sported such snappy titles as Kill Me a Little, This Way, Sucker!, Dig Me a Dame! and Stand Up and Die! A further selection of Larry Kent publications are on display in Vitrine 1.