Scott Jordan

Created by Harold Q. Masur
Other pseudonyms include Helen Traubel, Hal Quincey, Hal Q. Masur
(1909-2002)

Quick-thinking, in your face New York City attorney SCOTT JORDAN appeared in a string of fast-paced, tightly-plotted novels and short stories, mostly in the fifties and sixties. Whereas Perry Mason, another lawyer with P.I. tendencies, soon settled down, Scott never lost his brash, energetic, confrontational style, or his willingness to rough it up for a client. Even a wife early in the series (soon discarded and forgotten) couldn’t cool his jets. In fact, one blurb proudly proclaims that Scott’s “no dried up legal eagle — he’s just as much at home with a .38… as he is in court.”

The novels were narrated in the first person, and if they weren’t quite as hard-boiled as that enthusiastic blurb promised, they were nonetheless satisfyingly medium-boiled. The real mystery may be: why are these books so rarely discussed now? Judging from the number of used copies still lurking in bookstores and on the web, they must have sold like crazy back in the day..

Author Masur was a lawyer himself before turning to writing. He also edited several anthologies of short stories, under the byline of Alfred Hitchcock, and served as president of the Mystery Writers of America in 1973. He also ghosted opera singer Helen Traubel’s The Metropolitan Opera Murders (1951).

TRIVIA

  • “Masur often told the story of mentioning in an early novel that his character smoked Camel cigarettes. Some weeks after the novel appeared, he received two cartons of cigarettes from the tobacco company. In his next novel his character drove a Cadillac… but the complimentary car never appeared.”
    — Richard Moore

NOVELS

SHORT STORIES

  • “Bury Me Deep” (March 1947, Mammoth Detective)
  • “Widow in Waiting” (November 1949, Dime Detective)
  • “Dig My Grave” (July 1953, Private Eye)
  • “Widow In Waiting” (1949; 1960, The Name Is Jordan)
  • “Build Another Coffin” (May 1953, Manhunt)
  • “The Double Frame” (June 1953, Manhunt; 1960, The Name Is Jordan)
  • “The Mourning After” (March 1953, Manhunt; 1960, The Name Is Jordan)
  • “Dig My Grave” (July 1953, Private Eye)
  • “Rhapsody in Blood” (August 1953, Manhunt; 1960, The Name Is Jordan)
  • “Richest Man In The Morgue” (December 1953, Manhunt; 1960, The Name Is Jordan)
  • “Dead Issue” (December 25, 1954, Manhunt; 1960, The Name Is Jordan)
  • “Over My Dead Body” (January 1954, Manhunt; 1960, The Name Is Jordan)
  • “Dead Issue” (December 25, 1954, Manhunt)
  • “Self-Defense” (February 1955, Manhunt; 1960, The Name Is Jordan)
  • “The Woman Who Knew Too Much” (June 1957, Manhunt; 1960, The Name Is Jordan)
  • “Silent Butler” (1960, Ed McBains Mystery Book #2; 1960, The Name Is Jordan)
  • “The Corpse Maker” (1965, Come Seven, Come Death)
  • “The Graft Is Green” (May 1973, AHMM)
  • “Lawyer’s Holiday” (February 1974, EQMM)
  • “The $ 1,000,000 Disappeaing Act” (August 1974, EQMM)
  • “The Pocket Evidence” (January 1975, AHMM)
    Sequel to “The Graft is Green”
  • “Murder Never Solves Anything” (August 1976, EQMM)
  • “Framed for Murder” (June 1977, EQMM)
  • “One Thing Lead to Another” (April 1978, EQMM)
  • “The Opinion” (May 1989, EQMM)

COLLECTIONS

  • The Name Is Jordan (1962)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Also, thanks to David Nobriga for his quick eye and Mario Saravanja for his persistence.

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