Milo March

Created by M.E. Chaber (pseudo. of Kendall Foster Crossen; other pseudonyms include Bennett Barlay, Christopher Monig, Richard Foster & Clay Richards, 1910-1981)

MILO MARCH, a former employee of both the OSS and the CIA before becoming a high-flying, globetrotting investigator for Intercontinental Innsurance, appeared in over twenty books by M.E. Chaber.

The general consensus about the series is that it's fun, if not exactly Chandler. "Lightweight buy enjoyable," is how paperback collector and mystery writer Bill Crider puts it. Crider then goes on to mention that one of the books was probably the first novel to ever use LSD as a plot device (and there's a great needle cover on the paperback).

M.E. Chaber was actually a pseudonym for the incredibly prolific Kendell Foster Crossen who wrote over 400 raio and television dramas, some 300 short stories, 250 non-fiction articles and around forty-five novels. He also found the time to write reviews, edit several science fiction collections, and serve as editor for a while for Detective Fiction Weekly, and was responsible for the creation of such varied private eyes as Brian Brett, Pete Draco and Manning Draco (apparently no relation), although he's probably best known for creating The Green Lama, a costumed vigilante who appeared in the forties pulps.

In February 2000, Crossen's literary executor contacted me, revealing that they'd unearthed the last Milo novel, which Holt had refused to publish back in the seventies because it contained an unflattering portrait of then-president, Nixon, and a spy mission to Vietnam. There was some discussion of possibly publishing it, but I've heard nothing since.

UNDER OATH

  • "I have been reading the Milo March series from the beginning and have a question about his disappearing son. In the very early books, March meets and marries a girl named Greta from East Berlin, then befriends and plans to adopt a street urchin from Spain named Ernesto. After that flurry of activity, Greta is ignored for a few books, then it's mentioned in passing that she and March are now divorced. But poor l'il Ernesto is never heard from again. What's up with that?

    "This is almost as annoying as that first Scott Jordan book, where he marries a girl who's never heard from again.

    "At least Brett Halliday -- after making the mistake of marrying Mike Shayne off in the first book -- had the decency to kill her off several books later. He didn't leave his readers hanging."

-- David Nobriga

NOVELS

  • Hangman's Harvest (1952; aka "Don't Get Caught")
  • No Grave for March (1953; aka "All the Way Down")
  • As Old As Cain (1954)
  • The Man Inside (1954; aka "Now It's My Turn")
  • The Splintered Man (1955)
  • Take One for Murder (1955)
  • A Lonely Walk (1956)
  • The Gallows Garden (1958)
  • A Hearse of Another Color (1958)
  • The Gallows Garden (1958; aka "The Lady Came to Kill")
  • So Dead the Rose (1959)
  • Jade for a Lady (1962 )
  • Softly in the Night (1963)
  • Six Who Ran (1964)
  • Uneasy Lies the Dead (1964)
  • Wanted: Dead Men (1965).. Buy this book
  • The Day It Rained Diamonds (1966)
  • A Man in the Middle (1967)
  • Wild Midnight Falls (1968)
  • The Flaming Man (1969)
  • Green Grow the Graves (1970)
  • The Bonded Dead (1971)
  • Born to Be Hanged (1973)

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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