Nick & Sue Burney

Created by Edward Churchill
Pseudonym o Edward C. Off

The Rock City correspondent for the Las Verdes Sentinel, tall thin NICK BURNEY has an”unruly mop of black hair,” a beat-up but reliable Ford pick-up, and a habit of drinking and driving.

He also has a wife, SUE BURNEY, an outdoorsy type who’s “slim and boyish” with “short, black hair…as snarled as her husband’s,” an upturned nose and full lips (for those of you keeping score at home). She’s no shrinking violet, and she’s no stranger to the sauce, either. At one point, Nick even introduces her to an old buddy as “a new, interesting and at times amazing type of wife.”

Er, maybe…

Of course, what with the drinking and the snappy patter, we’re supposed to think of Hammett’s Nick and Nora Charles, but frankly, I’m more reminded of Gail and Dwight Berke, Carl G. Hodges’ husband-and wife team of reporters, who also appeared in the pulps. Another pleasant but hardly essential series.

Edward Churchill (born Edward C. Off) was a pulp fiction writer who contributed to many pulp magazines, most notably G-Men Detective, where he wrote several stories featuring Dan Fowler (the “Ace of the FBI”), under both his own name and using the house name of C.K.M. Scanlon, and another series featuring Ogden L. “Pee Wee” Holmes, an actual G-Man. He also wrote a couple of stories starring private eye Nick Blade.

Hmmm… Churchill musta liked the name “Nick”…


  • “42 Keys to Murder” (March 1948, Popular DetectiveKindle it!
  • “A’Hunting We Will Go” (July 1948, Popular DetectiveKindle it!


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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