Steve Mallory

Created by Douglas Heyes
Pseudonyms include Matthew Howard
(1919-1993)

STEVE MALLORY is a partner in a small detective agency based in Los Angeles, that employs, besides his partner, Harry Jellison, at least three other ops. That’s the set-up, anyway, in the 1951 novel The Kiss-Off, a quick, hard read that’s one of those almost-forgotten treasures from the past. It’s a great read, full of treachery, double crossing, cold-blooded murder, hot-blooded women, and more metaphors and similes than a Chandler convention. Looks like Heyes was paying attention. Not surprising, then, that Mallory was one of the names Chandler discarded for his hero before settling on Marlowe.

But Mallory was also adapted for radio, by and starring Douglas Heyes. In Steve Mallory, Private Eye, he’s part of a two-man detective agency based in Los Angeles, and has a secretary named Rusty. The story is in first-person narrative (as were most radio private eyes), and Steve is the same Marlowe-type character, giving out with wisecracks. His partner Harry is killed at the beginning of the surviving episode.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Initially a private in the 618th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, a cartoonist for Disney, a comic strip artist and a greeting card art director, Heyes has been involved in all sorts of P.I. things over the years, from books to radio, film and television, writing, directing, acting and Lord knows what else. He created P.I’s Lee Gordon and Ray Ripley, and was involved in directing and/or writing some other great crime P.I. (and P.I.-adjacent) tales on television and film, often in conjunction with Roy Huggins, including episodes of Maverick, 77 Sunset Strip, City of AngelsThriller, Magnum P.I., Checkmate, Bearcats! and other series from 1950s through the 1970s. An ace storyteller, Heyes work was always good and always entertaining.

NOVELS

  • The Kiss-Off (1951; aka “Goodbyr Stranger”) Buy this book

RADIO

  • STEVE MALLORY, PRIVATE EYE
    (1951; network unknown)
    Written by Doug Heyes
    Starring Douglas Heyes as STEVE MALLORY
    and Rosemary Kelly as Rusty
    Not sure when or where this was broadcast exactly, but there are listings for the show in The Brooklyn Eagle from the summer of 1951, so it might have been a local show.

    • “Tale of the Terrified Temptress” (this is either a rehearsal or audition show, and my money goes on audition-Colin)
Respectfully submitted by Colin Clynes and Kevin Burton Smith.

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