Mary Kelly

Created by Diana Killian
Pseudonym of D.L. Browne
Other pseudonyms include Josh Lanyon, Colin Dunne, Louise Harris

It had to happen. The female eye, So Cal division, finally went retro. In a promising short story debut which creator Diana Killian assured us was just the start, MARY KELLY is an op for the Brannigan Detective Agency in Los Angeles “between the World Wars,” with a nasty secret.

What is it? Well, she wants to write!

She gets along with fellow ops like Mike Mosley and Stan Stannislaus, and even office manager Miss Appleby whens she has to, but Mary–oh, sorry, “Kelly”–is getting a little tired of just being “the girl” in the office, living by proxy through her pulp writing. She’s always pestering Mr. B. to give her more to do. So the Old Man sends her on a real case…

Chandleresque? You’re soaking in it.

The way I remember it, business was slow that November. Carl von Ossietzky won the Nobel Peace Prize and everyone was learning to Rumba. We were between World Wars and the Pinkertons over on Euclid Street were catching all the fast balls.


(2001) Los Angeles-based writer and reviewer Diana Killian is a relative newcomer to the hard-boiled genre and the Shamus Game, but she’s no stranger to the mystery world. Besides founding and moderating the Wicked Company writing group, she’s written several mystery novels under an intriguing array of pseudonyms, and has co-edited Down These Wicked Streets, a collection of private eye stories with the editor of this site. She’s also an occasional contributor to this site.


I wrote this entry before I’d ever actually met D.L., who is now known in some quarters as “Mrs. Thrilling.” Or simply “She Who Must Be Obeyed.” We’ve been together since 2002.




  • Girl Detective
    The author’s official page, including some (but certainly not all) of her mystery fiction, some intriguing essays on what she persists in calling “Chick Fic,” and best of all, an on-going serialized Mary Kelly story.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

One thought on “Mary Kelly

  1. Hi Kevin,

    Thank you for these two posts. I love revisiting Josh’s “past life.” Happily, I have a copy of Just One of Those Things. If she does ever finish The Mummy Case, I hope you will alert your readers of that fact and where it can be purchased. And thank you as always for continuing to write such an entertaining blog.

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