Day Keene

Pseudonym of Gunnar Hjerstedt
Other pseudonyms include
 Lewis Dixon, Alvin F. Hunter, William Richards, Clark Nelson, Daniel White, John Corbett & Donald King

“Keene is a natural storyteller; he keeps things moving right along, and no reader is likely to bored.”
Bill Crider in 1001 Midnights

“Even in his minor books, you can see a fine wry intelligence at work… he was a very good writer.”
— Ed Gorman

Day Keene was born Gunnar Hjerstedt in Chicago in 1904, half-Swedish and half-Irish, and 100 per cent writer, moving seemingly effortlessly from market to market. After an initial burst of success in the pulps, he switched writing for radio in the thirties, moved back to the pulps in the forties, and became a familiar sight on the paperback racks of the fifties. he never quite reached the lofty, bestselling ranks of, say, John D. MacDonald, but he came awful close at times, comfortably ensconced alongside fellow paperback warriors as Wade Miller,  Bruno Fischer, Harry Whittington, Charles Williams, and Gil Brewer.

Hjerstedt started out as an actor in the twenties, doing mostly repertory work, which is where he eventually became friends with fellow actors Melvyn Douglas and Barton MacLane. But he also wanted to write, and according to legend, he flipped a coin. He first tried his hand at writing short stories in the early 1930s. He only sold a few crime and detective tales, mostly to Detective Fiction Weekly, and a couple of the stories he did sell featured the Chicago detective agency of McPherson, McCreedy and McCoy. The stories were all published under his own name, but he soon abandoned the pulps for the far more lucrative world of radio.

By the mid-thirties, he was writing regularly providing scripts for such shows as Little Orphan Annie, The First Nighter (1935-1937), Behind the Camera Lines (1936) and perhaps most notably, Kitty Keene, Inc. (1937-41), a soap opera about a female private eye, which had a pretty decent run.

But after nearly ten years in RadioLand, Hjerstedt returned to the printed word, this time as “Day Keene”, an adaptation of his mother’s name, Daisy Keeney and not–as some have assumed– because of his work on Kitty Keene, Inc.

Once again, he targeted the crime and detective pulps, and soon proved he could handle the sex stuff and tough stuff as well as anyone.  But his wry wit and sly humour–not to mention his talent for creating three-dimensional and often flawed male characters–made him stand out in a field dominated by one-dimensional slabs of beef. Keene’s short fiction appeared regularly in such magazines as Black Mask, Ace G-Man Stories, Short StoriesDetective Tales, Dime Mystery and Manhunt, frequently as receiving top billing. For the next dozen years or so, Keene would seemingly have at least one story, and often two or three, appearing every month somewhere.

But change was in the wind, and once again, Keene, recently relocated to Florida, moved on professionally as well. By the late forties, the pulp market was starting to falter, and Keene, eying the burgeoning paperback market, moved on to longer works, cranking out paperback originals and even a few hardcovers.

Sure, he churned out some crap, but what’s amazing is how much of it was good stuff. He eventually penned over fifty novels, for such publishers as Avon, Gold Medal, Graphic and Ace, where he contributed more than a few doubles. he had several series character in the pulps, most notably hard-boiled pharmacist Doc Egg, Manhattan homicide detective Herman Stone, private eyes Matt Mercer and Tom Doyle, The Super Feds, and Silent Smith (aka “The Silver Fox”). but he only created one recurring book character, Los Angeles-based private eye Johnny Aloha, who appeared in Dead in Bed (1959) and Payola (1960).

Although now mostly forgotten except by fans of pulp fiction, in his heyday, Keene’s work was generally well received, both commercially and critically, in various fields, not just in this country but notably in France, where many of his mystery and crime novels were first published.

As Cullen Gallagher of Pulp Serenade recalled,

“I was surprised by how often (Keene) was reviewed in The New York Times. What wasn’t surprising was that it was mostly (by) Anthony Boucher, one of the most famous and important mystery reviewers of the 20th century, and perhaps one of the best critics in general.”

Later on, as the paperback market (and tastes) began to change, he shifted gears once again, this time to writing for television, working on such shows as Burke’s Law, Hawaiian Eye and Colt 45. A few of his novels even made it into hardcover, including Chautauqua (1960), which Ed Gorman tagged as “an exceptionally well-done book.” It became the basis for the 1969 Elvis thudder The Trouble With Girls, one of the King’s last acting roles.

Which goes to show you never can tell.


  • “One thing I’ve always liked about Keene was his eye for the sociology of his settings and his people.  His books tended to be set in Florida or Chicago and he made sure you understood what it was like to live there.”
    — Ed Gorman
  • “Familiar enough in its sex and violence and in its expose of criminous goings on in the pop-record business; but it’s fast, lively and professional, and Irish-Hawaiian Johnny Aloha is better company than many of ficitonís private eyes.”
    Anthony Boucher on Payola (The New York Times)
  • “(Day Keene creates) a plot that grips you on page one and keeps squeezing all the way to the finish.”
    — Evan Lewis, Forgotten Books


  • One of Keene’s first stories as “Day Keene” was “League of the Grateful Dead,”  which appeared in the February 1941 issue of Dime Mystery. According to legend, Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist of a San Francisco-based band called The Warlocks, was inspired by the title and decided to change the band’s name. Maybe you heard of them?


    (1937-41, CBS, Mutual)
    Keene scripted many episodes of this radio soap, about a female private eye.


  • All by “Day Keene,” except where noted
  • “Pure and Simple”(October 31, 1931, Detective Fiction Weekly; McPherson, McCreedy & McCoy; by Gunard Hjertstedt)
  • “I Hadda Hunch” (November 1931, Detective Fiction Weekly; by Gunard Hjertstedt)
  • “Excuse My Crust” (December 5, 1931, Detective Fiction Weekly; by Gunard Hjertstedt)
  • “Mr. Beaver, D. A.” (January 1930, Detective Fiction Weekly; by Gunard Hjertstedt)
  • “Murder Mountain” (April 16, 1932, Detective Fiction Weekly; by Gunard Hjertstedt)
  • “Million Dollar Dame” (April 1935, Spicy Detective Stories; by Donald King)
  • “The Case of the Bearded Bride” (May 1935, Clues Detective Stories; McPherson, McCreedy & McCoy; by Gunard Hjertstedt)
  • “Hell Hole of Horror,” (August 1935, Spicy Mystery Stories; by Donald King)
    Aka “Danger Girl” by Alvin F. Hunter.
  • “Murder in Boots” (December 1935, Spicy Detective Stories; by Donald King)
    Aka “A Uniform to Die For” by Clark Nelson.
  • “The Devil Takes His Dead” (February 1936, Spicy Mystery Stories; by Donald King)
  • “It Could Happen Here” (September 1940, Ace G-Man Stories)
  • “Mr. Smith’s Flying Corpses” (December 1940, Dime MysterySilent Smith)
  • “The Human Equation” (January 18, 1941, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “The Ghost of Cock Robin” (January 1941, Detective Tales)
  • “Wake Up, America” (January 1941, Ace G-Man Stories)
  • “The Wages of Sin” (January 1941, Star Western)
  • “League of the Grateful Dead” (February 1941, Dime Mystery)
  • “Danger! Dead Men! Detour!” (April 1941, Detective Tales)
  • “The Lady from Hellas” (May 31, 1941, Detective Fiction Weekly)
  • “Those Who Die Laughing” (May 1941, Strange Detective MysteriesDoc Egg)
  • “No Arrest, As Yet” (July 1941, Detective Tales)
  • “Three Men from Hell” (July 1941, Dime MysterySilent Smith)
  • “Captain Friday, Corpse Agent” (August 1941, Detective Tales)
  • “Last of the Fighting Ainsleys” (September 1941,  Ace G-Man Stories)
  • “Your Adversary, the Devil” (September 1941, Blue Book)
  • “Murder in Paradise” (September 1941, Dime MysterySilent Smith)
  • “Last of the Fighting Ainsleys” (September 1941, Ace G-Man Stories)
  • “Hook, Line and Sinker” (October 1941, Detective Tales)
  • “The Island God Forgot” (October 1941, Strange Detective Mysteries)
  • “Eight Who were Hanged” (October 25, 1941, Short Stories)
  • “The Stars Say Die!” (November 1941, Detective Tales; Herman Stone)
  • “The Eternal Light” (November 1941, Five-Novels Monthly)
  • “The Murder Frame” (December 1941, Thrilling Detective; Matt Mercer)
  • “Murder Hound” (February 1942, Detective Tales)
  • “The Man Who Could Not Die” (February 1942, Five-Novels Monthly)
  • “Big Shot” (March 1942, New Detective)
  • “The Charlie McCarthy Murders” (March 1942, Detective Tales)
  • “The Corpse That Ran Away” (March 1942, Dime Mystery)
  • “It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dog” (March 1942, Detective Tales; by John Corbett)
  • “Murder Is My Sponsor” (April 1942, Detective Tales)
  • “Tong Boy Goes to War” (April 1942, Detective Tales; by John Corbett)
  • “Whose Corpse Am I?” (May 10, 1942, Short Stories)
  • “A Slight Mistake in Corpses” (May 1942, Detective Tales)
  • “Enter—Pat Petunia” (June 1942, Big-Book Detective Magazine)
  • “Positively—the Final Appearance!” (June 1942, 10 Story Mystery Magazine)
  • “Till the Day You Die!” (June 1942, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “Cupid’s Corpse Parade” (June 1942, Dime MysterySilent Smith)
  • “The Corpse Confesses” (August 1942, Ten Detective Aces; Matt Mercer)
  • “The Mystery of Tarpon Key” (August 1942, Detective Tales)
  • “Keep Out of My Coffin” (September 1942, Strange Detective Mysteries)
  • “What So Proudly We Hail” (October 1942, Ace G-Man Stories)
    Not the same as the story with a very similar title in the December 1950 issue of Imagination.
  • “Manana, Mug—Manana” (October-November 1942, 5-Detective Mysteries)
  • “Blaze of Glory” (November 1942, Detective Tales)
  • “A Hearse of Another Color” (November 1942, Dime MysterySilent Smith)
  • “The Widowed Brides of Cypress” (November 1942, Strange Detective Mysteries)
  • “The Corpse Is Gone” (October/November 1942, 5-Detective Mysteries; by John Corbett)
  • “Credit the Corpse” (December 1942, 5-Detective Mysteries)
  • “My Lady of the Darkness” (December 1942, 10 Story Mystery Magazine)
  • “Satan’s Jackpot” (December 1942, Detective Tales)
  • “The Double-Crossing Corpse” (January 1943, Detective Tales)
  • “$10,000 Worth of Hell” (January 1943, Strange Detective Mysteries)
  • “Rhapsody in Blood” (January 1943, Dime Mystery)
  • “Herr Yama From Yokohama” (February 1943, Ace G-Man Stories; 1988, The Super Feds)
  • “Killer in the Snow” (February 1943, Detective Tales)
  • “Lie Down—You’re Dead!” (February 1943, Dime Detective)
  • “Exam for the Dead” (February/March 1943, 5-Detective Mysteries)
  • “Reunion on Murder Mountain” (April 1943, Detective Tales)
  • “He Who Dies Last, Dies Hardest!” (May 1943, Detective Tales)
  • “Sauce for the Gander” (May 1943, Black Mask)
  • “Corpse at the Wedding Feast” (September 1943, Dime Mystery)
  • “Letter to a Marine” (September 1943, Detective Tales)
  • “Murder—as Usuall” (October 1943, Flynn’s Detective Fiction; Herman Stone)
  • “A Great Whirring of Wings” (November 1943, Dime Detective Nov 1943, Dime Detective)
  • “The Man from Hell” (November 1943, Dime Mystery)
  • “Murder by Short Wave” (November 1943, Detective TalesSilent Smith)
  • “The Corpse Exchange” (December 1943, Detective Tales; Matt Mercer)
  • “The Female Is More Deadly” (December 1943, Dime Detective)
  • “Blood on the Good Earth” (January 1944, Detective Tales)
  • “The Man Who Came to Kill” (February 1944, Detective Tales)
  • “Out of This World” (March 1944, Private Detective Stories)
  • “This Will Slay You” (March 1944, Detective Tales)
  • “Three Dead Mice” (March 1944, Flynn’s Detective Fiction)
  • “Corpses Come in Pairs” (April 1944, Detective Tales)
  • “Hell’s Scarlet Flower” (May 1944, Dime Mystery; Doc Egg)
  • “A Hero for Hell’s Backyard” (May 1944, Detective Tales)
  • “Sweet Tooth of Murder” (June 1944, Dime Detective; Herman Stone)
  • “Boy Kills Girl” (June 1944, Flynn’s Detective Fiction)
  • “Brother, Can You Spare a Grave?” (July 1944, Dime Mystery)
  • “Death Is My Bride” (July 1944, Flynn’s Detective Fiction)
  • “Murder Is GI” (July 1944, Dime Detective)
  • “Manhattan Murder-Go-Round” (August 1944, Detective TalesSilent Smith)
  • “Murder—Straight Ahead” (August 1944, Flynn’s Detective Fiction)
  • “Make Mine Murder!” (September 1944, New Detective)
  • “Seven Keys to Murde” (September 1944, Dime Mystery)
  • “The Farmer’s Daughter Murders” (October 1944, Detective TalesTom Doyle)
  • “This Is Murder, Mr. Herbert!” (November 1944, Detective Tales)
  • “The Case of the Reluctant Corpse” (December 1944, Detective Tale)
  • “Silent Smith and the Hounds of Death” (January 1945, Detective TalesSilent Smith)
  • “So Sorry You Die Now!” (January 1945, Dime Mystery; Matt Mercer)
  • “Star Light, Star Bright” (February 1945, Hollywood Detective)
  • “Dead As in Mackerel” (February 1945, Detective Tales; Tom Doyle)
  • “Dames Are Poison!” (February 1945, Detective Tales; by John Corbett)
  • “If the Coffin Fits” (March 1945, Dime MysteryDoc Egg; Tom Doyle)
  • “Dead on Arrival” (April 1945, Detective Tales; Herman Stone)
  • “A Corpse for Cinderella” (May 1945, Dime Mystery May 1945; Tommy Martin)
  • “A Corpse There Was…” (May 1945, New Detective)
  • “Dance with the Death-House Doll” (May 1945, Detective Tales)
  • “You Only Live Twice” (May 1945, Detective Tales; by John Corbett)
  • “Or Would You Rather Be a Corpse?” (June 1945, Detective Tales)
  • “Johnny’s-on-the-Spot!” (June 1945, Detective Tales; by John Corbett)
  • “Murder on My Mind” (July 1945, Detective Tales)
  • “The Night I Died” (August 1945, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine)
  • “Nothing to Worry About” (August 1945, Detective Tales)
  • “Death-March of the Dancing Dolls” (September 1945, Dime Mystery; Doc Egg)
  • “Kill Me, Kill My Dog” (September 1945, Detective TalesSilent Smith)
  • “Grave in Bloom” (September 1945, Detective Tales; by John Corbett)
  • “Affair on Buzzard’s Island” (October 1945, Private Detective Stories)
  • “A Corpse Walks in Brooklyn” (October 1945, Detective TalesSilent Smith)
  • “Dig Deep, Brother!” (October 1945, Detective Tales; by John Corbett)
  • “With Blood in His Eye!” (November 1945, Detective Tales; Herman Stone)
  • “The Woman Who Wouldn’t Stay Dead” (November 1945, Dime Mystery)
  • Homicidal Journey” (November 1945, Detective Tales; by John Corbett)
  • “A Minor Matter of Murder” (December 1945, Short Stories; Tom Doyle)
  • “As Deep as the Grave” (January 1946, Detective Tales\; Tom Doyle)
  • “Carnage by Candlelight” (January 1946, Ten Detective Aces)
  • “Claws of the Hell-Cat” (January 1946, Dime Mystery; Matt Mercer)
  • “They Gave Him a Badge!” (January 1946, Detective Tales; by John Corbett)
  • “Doc Egg’s Graveyard Reunion” (February 1946, Dime Mystery; Doc Egg)
  • “Three Queens of the Mayhem” (February 1946, Detective Tales; Tom Doyle)
  • “Hound of Hell” (February 1946, Dime Mystery; by John Corbett)
  • “Death Is My Shadow” (March 1946, Private Detective Stories)
  • “Kitten on the Corpse” (April 1946, Detective Tales; Herman Stone)
  • “Quietly My Hangnoose Waits” (May 1946, Dime Mystery; Matt Mercer)
  • “This Way Out” (May 1946, Dime Mystery; by John Corbett)
  • “If a Body Meet a Body” (June 1946, Detective Tales)
  • “Pardon My Corpse” (July 1946, Detective Tales; Tom Doyle)
  • “Stay as Dead as You Are!” (October 1946, Detective TalesMatt Mercer)
  • “I’ll Be Seeing You” (November 1946, Dime Mystery)
  • “Little Miss Murder” (November 1946, Detective Tales Nov 1946; Doc Egg)
  • “Once Upon a Crime” (November 1946, New Detective)
  • “Married to Murder!” (January 1947, Dime Mystery)
  • “So Dead the Rogue” (January 1947, New Detective)
  • “Come Seven, Come Slaughter” (April 1947, Detective Tales; Tom Doyle)
  • “It Ain’t Hay, Brother!” (May 1947, Detective Tales)
  • “We Are the Dead!” (May 1947, Dime MysteryDoc Egg)
  • “Homicide House” (July 1947, Detective Tales)
  • “Crawl Out of the Coffin” (September 1947, Detective Tales; Matt Mercer)
  • “A Better Mantrap” (October 1947, Detective Tales; also Dangerous Dames)
  • “Fry Away, Kentucky Babe” (December 1947, Detective Tales; Tom Doyle)
  • “The Corpse They Couldn’t Kill” (January 1948, Detective Tales; Herman Stone)
  • “Eyes in the Night” (January 1948; New Detective)
  • “Alias Jenny Catalpa” (January 1948, Detective Tales; by John Corbett)
  • “No Grave Could Hold Him!” (February 1948; Dime Mystery)
  • “Johnny Came Deadly” (March 1948, Detective Tales)
  • “For Old Crime’s Sake” (April 10 1948, Short Stories)
  • “Deaf, Dumb, and Deadly!” (April 1948, Detective Tales)
  • “No Match for Murder” (May 1948, Black Mask)
  • “Some Die Easy” (May 1948, New Detective)
  • “Marry the Sixth for Murder” (May 1948, Detective Tales)
  • “Setup in 819” (May 1948, Detective Tales; by John Corbett)
  • “Danny and the Big-Time” (June 1948, Detective Tales)
  • “Thirteen Must Die!” (July 1948, Detective TalesMatt Mercer)
  • “Blonde Trouble in Nightmare City” (August 1948, Detective TalesTom Doyle)
  • “Win, Place—or Die” (Detective Tales Sep 1948, Detective Tales)
  • “Poor Little Murder-Girl!” (October 1948, Detective Tales)
  • “The Lady Means—Die!” (November 1948, New Detective)
  • “Corpse on Delivery” (January 1949; New Detective)
  • “Caught by the Camera” (February 1949, All-Story Detective)
  • “Homicidal Baby” (April 1949, Detective Tales; Herman Stone)
  • “Do You Take This Life?” (May 1949; New Detective)
  • “Beyond the Green Doo” (June 1949; Dime Mystery)
  • “Knock Twice for Murder!” (June 1949, Detective Tales)
  • “The Death of You” (July 1949, New Detective)
  • “Wait for the Dead Man’s Tide!” (August 1949; Dime Mystery)
  • “Three Graves Have I” (September 1949, New Detective)
  • “Who Dies Last?” (September 1949, New Detective; by John Corbett)
  • “The Kid I Killed Last Night” (September 1949, New Detective; by Donald King)
  • “The Laughing Dead” (October 1949; Dime Mystery)
  • “She Shall Make Murder” (November 1949, Detective Tales)
  • “Two Can Die” (November 1949, New Detective)
  • “I’ll Die for You” (January 1950; New Detective)
  • “Mighty Like a Rogue” (January 1950; Dime Detective)
  • “Who Dies There?” (January 1950, New Detective; by John Corbett)
  • “They Call It Murder, Honey-Chile!” (February 1950, Detective Tales)
  • “Murder—Do Not Disturb” (March 1950; New Detective)
  • “It’s Better to Burn” (March 1950, New Detective; by John Corbett)
  • “Old Homicide Week” (April 1950, Detective Tales)
  • “Crawl Into Your Coffin” (May 1950; Dime Detective)
  • “Annie, Get Your Shiv!” (June 1950, Detective Tales)
  • “The Bloody Tide” (June 1950, Dime Detective; also 1996, The Mammoth Book of Pulp Fiction)
  • “White Night of Murder” (July 1950, Detective Tales)
  • “Babes in the Morgue” (September 1950; Dime Detective)
  • “Danger Lies Dreaming” (November 1950, New Detective, aka “Death Lies Dreaming”.
  • “Murder Stop” (November 1950, Famous Detective Stories)
  • “Polly Wants a Killer” (January 1951; Dime Detective)
  • “Blonde and Bad” (March 1951, Smashing Detective Stories)
  • “The Cop and the Doll” (Spring 1951, The Phantom Detective)
  • “The Passing of Johnny McGuire” (May 1951, 15 Story Detective)
  • “My Little Gypsy Cheap-Heart” (August 1951; Dime Detective)
  • “Red Hands I Love” (October 1951; Dime Detective)
  • “Caif Society” (1951, The London Mystery Magazine #10; by Donald King)
  • “Miracle on 9th Street” (April 1952, Thrilling Detective)
  • “The Man Who Died Four Times” (July 1952, Popular Detective)
  • “Swamp Scandal” (August 1952, Detective Tales)
  • “How Deep My Grave?” (November 1952, Famous Detective Stories)
  • “Booty and the Beast” (July 1953, Private Eye)
  • “Dead Dreams for Sale” (February 1957, Terror Detective Story)
  • “The Geek Girl” (October 1961, Adam)
  • “Dead in Bed” (March 1962, Mans Magazine)
  • “For Old Crimes Sake” (December 1964, MSMM)


  • “Strangled” (1951, Underworld Detective; as William Richards)


  • Framed in Guilt (1949; aka “Evidence Most Blind”)Buy this book Kindle it!
  • Farewell to Passion (1951; aka “The Passion Murders”)
  • My Flesh Is Sweet (1951) Buy this book
  • Love Me and Die (1951; with Gil Brewer; Johnny Slagle)
  • To Kiss or Kill (1951)
  • Hunt the Killer (1952) Buy this book
  • About Doctor Ferrel (1952)
  • Home Is the Sailor (1952)
  • If the Coffin Fits (1952)
  • Naked Fury (1952)
  • Wake Up to Murder (1952) Buy this book Kindle it!
  • Mrs. Homicide (1953)
  • Strange Witness (1953)
  • Dead Man’s Tide (1954; by William Richards) Buy this book  | Buy this book
  • The Big Kiss-Off (1954) | Buy this book
  • There Was A Crooked Man (1954)
  • Death House Doll (1954)
  • Homicidal Lady (1954)
  • Joy House (1954) Buy this book Kindle it!
  • Notorious (1954)
  • Sleep with the Devil (1954) Buy this book Kindle it!
  • Who Has Wilma Lathrop? (1955)
  • The Dangling Carrot (1955) | Buy this book
  • Murder on the Side (1956)
  • Bring Him Back Dead (1956)
  • Flight by Night (1956) | Buy this book
  • It’s a Sin to Kill 1958)
  • Passage to Samoa 1958)
  • Dead Dolls Don’t Talk (1959) Buy this book
  • Dead in Bed (1959; Johnny Aloha) Buy this book
  • Moran’s Woman (1959)
  • Miami 59 (1959)
  • So Dead My Lovely (1959)
  • Take a Step to Murder 1959)
  • Too Black for Heaven (1959)
  • Too Hot to Hold (1959; aka “T) Buy this book
  • The Brimstone Bed 1960)
  • Payola (1960; Johnny Aloha) Buy this book
  • Seed of Doubt (1961)
  • Bye, Baby Bunting (1963)
  • LA 46 (1964)
  • Carnival of Death (1965)
  • Chicago 11 (1966)
  • Acapulco G.P.O. (1967)
  • Wild Girl (1969)


  • This is Murder, Mr. Herbert, and Other Stories (1948)
  • Framed in Guilt/My Flesh is Sweet) Buy this book Kindle it!
  • League Of The Grateful Dead* 2010) Buy this book
    Volume One in the Ramble House series Intro by series editor John Phelan.
  • We Are The Dead (2010) Buy this book
    Volume Two in the Ramble House series. Intro by Ed Gorman.
  • Dead Dolls Don’t Talk/Hunt the Killer/Too Hot to Hold (2011) Buy this book
  • Death March Of The Dancing Dolls & Other Stories (2011; intro by Bill Crider) Buy this book
    Volume Three in the Ramble House series. Intro by Bill Crider.
  • The Case Of The Bearded Bride & Other Stories (2013) Buy this book
    Volume Four in the Ramble House series. Intro by David Laurence Wilson.
  • A Corpse Walks In Brooklyn & Other Stories (2014) Buy this book
    Volume Five in the Ramble House series. Intro by Robert J. Randisi.
  • Homicide House and Other Stories (2015) Buy this book
    Volume Six in the Ramble House series. Intro by Richard A. Lupoff.
  • Sleep with the Devil/Wake Up to Murder/Joy House (2017) Buy this book Kindle it!
  • Dime Mystery Magazine: Day Keene (2019) Kindle it!
    Five stories, plus an intro by Will Murray.
  • Dead Man’s Tide/The Dangling Carrot/The Big Kiss-Off (2020) | Buy this book
    Another great hattrick of pulp reprints from Stark House.
  • The Kid I Killed Last Night & Other Stories (2020) Buy this book
    Volume Seven in the Ramble House series. Intro by David Laurence Wilson.
    * The first volume in Ramble House’s Day Keene in the Detective Pulps series, an ambitious plan to bring back all of Keene’s short fiction back.


  • Guns Along the Brazos (western)
  • His Father’s Wife (1954)
  • Chautauqua (1960)
  • World Without Women, w/ Leonard Pruyn (1960)
  • Southern Daughter (1967)
  • Live Again, Love Again (1970)
  • Wild Girl (1970)


    Based on the novel Joy House by Day Keene
    Screenplay by Charles Williams


    (1959-63, ABC)

    • “Three Tickets to Lani” (November 25, 1959)
      Teleplay by Dwight V. Babcock and Day Keene
      A “very special” episode, with 77 Sunset Strip’s Stuart Bailey on the trail of an embezzler who’s fled to Hawaii.
    • “The Kamehameha Cloak” (January 13, 1960)
      Teleplay by Dwight V. Babcock and Day Keene


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith, with special thanks to Al Guthrie & Marcel Bernadac for their help.

2 thoughts on “Day Keene

  1. I am the son of Bernard Barton, the illustrator of the covers of numerous paperback issued novels in the later 1940’s and 1950’s, some or which were classic or literarily worthy novels, some of which were certainly marketed via the cover illustrations as elicit or erotic soft core pulp.

    In reviewing images online of cover illustrations my father created, I came across this older blog. It shows a novel called Flight By Night by Day Keene apparently published in 1955 or 56 with illustration by Bernard Barton, definitely my father’s 1950’s style, issued also as a double novel under one cover, with a different illustration, in 1956.

    Do you know of it?

    Regardless, Mr Keane, who I’ve never heard of previously, was clearly one of the more accomplished novelists of his era in the direct to paperback specialties. Though I’m not surprised the publishers requested a relatively racy image to sell it, noting the model for the sultry female subject was almost surely my actually far more conservatively visaged and dressed mother. So thanks for your research and contribution, I learned something from it.

    1. I’m not familiar with that title, though I’ve added it to the list. And that’s your Mom? Ooh-la-la! What a discovery for you—something to show YOUR kids. “Look at grandma!”

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