Saturday, December 30, 2006

A new blog from a blogger with good taste

Steve Lewis opens his new Mystery File blog with discussions of two subjects near and dear to me: Augustus Mandrell and Alfred Hitchcock. He says They Shoot Presidents, Don’t They?, the heretofore unpublished "fourth" Augustus Mandrell book, never saw the light of day because author Frank McAuliffe submitted the manuscript just before President Kennedy was assassinated, and the book was cancelled.

That would be interesting, because the first three books were published in 1965, 1968 and 1971. Perhaps They Shoot Presidents contains adventures that Mandrell referred to in the other books and that commentators have suggested were hints or teases, stories never actually written, in the manner of some of the never-written Sherlock Holmes cases that Watson would refer to from time to time. Maybe some of them will turn out to have been "real" cases after all.

© Peter Rozovsky 2006

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Anonymous Robert W. Franson said...

The "fourth" Augustus Mandrell book may have been the first written, but remained unpublished because its essence was subsumed in later and better books, much as Robert A. Heinlein's long-unknown and unpublished first SF novel For Us, the Living (1938) metamorphosed into the far better novel Beyond This Horizon (1942).

If the novel is chronologically fourth, it must wrap up or at least continue developing the Simon Redwool letters . If the novel antedates McAuliffe's invention of Simon Redwool for the series, Redwool will not appear.

December 30, 2006  
Blogger Peter said...

Thanks. I'd just assumed, without having any reason for doing so, that the "fourth" book was written after the first three, so the possibility that it might, in fact, precede the others was exciting.

I found the Simon Redwood letters a bit of an irritation at first, but I'm growing increasingly intrigued with them.

I'll be pleased if Point Blank follows through on its plans to publish the missing book, regardless of its chronological position in the Mandrell story. The only possible disappointment would be that it turns out to be far inferior to the first three. But even in that case, it should be interesting to we Mandrellologists.

December 30, 2006  

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