Barney Calhoun

Created by Richard Deming
Pseudonyms include Max Franklin, Emily Moor, Ellery Queen

“Don’t fret about my ethics, Joe… show me an angle and I’ll shoot it.”

BARNEY CALHOUN is six-foot-two and 210 pounds of ex-cop turned P.I. out of Buffalo, New York, who’s tired of eating hamburger. When a wad of cash is waved in his face, he gets involved with a woman who wants Calhoun to get rid of the body of her husband (shades of Double Indemnity!) which she’s been keeping in a bathtub filled with ice, in the vaguely-Jim Thompson-ish one-shot Hit and Run (1964).

Hit and Run was expanded from a short story with the same title that originally ran in the December 1954 issue of Manhunt, where it was billed as a “Complete New Novel.”


I guess money was tight by the time Deming turned it into a novel, because he dedicated it to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.


Admittedly, Deming did a lot of hack work in his long career, but he also churned out some pretty solid stuff as well, most notably his series featuring private eye Manville Moon. He also wrote several novels under the house pseudonym of Ellery Queen, continuing the Tim Corrigan series, and penned several tie-in novels of such popular crime shows as Dragnet, Mod Squad, Charlie’s Angels, Vega$ and Starsky and Hutch, often under the penname of Max Franklin. A consummate pro, he re-wrote on The Clue of the Broken Blade, one of The Hardy Boys adventures, and even dabbled in television.


  • “… classic bad-to-worse momentum, and got from A to Z with a minimum of fuss. Simplicity wins sometimes.”
    — Pulp International


  • “Hit and Run” (December 1954, Manhunt)



Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

Leave a Reply