FORGOTTEN BOOKS #427: Murder Draws a Crowd: Fredric Brown Mystery Library, Volume One and Death in the Dark: Fredric Brown Mystery Library, Volume Two

Haffner Press just released these wonderful volumes of Fredric Brown’s short stories. I read a lot of Fredric Brown in the 1960s, but these mystery stories from the Thirties and Forties are mostly new to me. Fredric Brown wrote great mysteries and Science Fiction. Many of these stories are being reprinted for the first time. If you’re a fan of Fredric Brown and stories of this vintage, these two delightful tomes are must-buys. I’m always interested in supporting small presses who publish books like Murder Draws a Crowd and Death in the Dark. You can’t go wrong with these two gems! GRADE: A

The Moon for a Nickel, Detective Story Magazine Mar. 38
The Cheese on Stilts, Thrilling Detective Jan. 39
Blood of the Dragon, Variety Detective Feb. 39
There Are Bloodstains in the Alley, Detective Yarns Feb. 39
Murder at 10:15, Clues Detective Stories May 39
The Prehistoric Clue, Ten Detective Aces Jul. 40
Trouble in a Teacup, Detective Fiction Weekly Jul-13-1940
Murder Draws a Crowd, Detective Fiction Weekly Jul-27-1940
Footprints on the Ceiling, Ten Detective Aces Sep. 40
The Little Green Men, The Masked Detective Fall 1940
Town Wanted, Detective Fiction Weekly Sep-7-1940
Herbie Rides His Hunch, Detective Fiction Weekly Oct-19-1940
The Stranger from Trouble Valley, Western Short Stories Nov. 40
The Strange Sisters Strange, Detective Fiction Weekly Dec-28-1940
How Tagrid Got There, unpublished until 1986
Fugitive Imposter, Ten Detective Aces Jan. 41
The King Comes Home, Thrilling Detective Jan. 41
Big-Top Doom, Ten Detective Aces Mar 41
The Discontented Cows, G-Men Detective Mar. 41
Life and Fire, Detective Fiction Weekly Mar-22-1941
Big-League Larceny, Ten Detective Aces Apr. 41 {as by Jack Hobart}
Selling Death Short, Ten Detective Aces Apr. 41
Client Unknown, The Phantom Detective Apr. 41
Your Name in Gold, The Phantom Detective Jun. 41
Here Comes the Hearse, 10-Story Detective Jul. 41 {as by Allen Morse}
Six-Gun Song, 10-Story Detective Jul. 41
Star-Spangled Night, Coronet Jul. 41
Wheels Across the Night, G-Men Detective Jul. 41
Little Boy Lost, Detective Fiction Weekly Aug-2-1941
Bullet for Bullet, Western Short Stories Oct. 41
Listen to the Mocking Bird (NT) G-Men Detective Nov. 41
You’ll End Up Burning!, Ten Detective Aces Nov. 41
Number Bug, Exciting Detective Winter 1941
Thirty Corpses Every Thursday, Detective Tales Dec. 41
Trouble Comes Double, Popular Detective Dec. 41
Clue in Blue, Thrilling Mystery Jan. 42
Death is a White Rabbit, Strange Detective Mysteries Jan. 42
Twenty Gets You Plenty, G-Men Detective Jan. 42
Bloody Murder, Detective Fiction Jan-10-1942
Fredric Brown in Trade Magazines, Part One
The “V.O.N. Munchdriller” stories from The Driller
The “William Z. Williams”” stories from Excavating Engineer
Little Apple Hard to Peel, Detective Tales Feb. 42
Death in the Dark, Dime Mystery Mar. 42
The Incredible Bomber, G-Men Detective Mar. 42
Pardon My Ghoulish Laughter, Strange Detective Mysteries Mar. 42
Twice-Killed Corpse, Ten Detective Aces Mar. 42
A Cat Walks, Detective Story Magazine Apr. 42
Mad Dog!, Detective Book Magazine Spring 1942
Moon Over Murder, The Masked Detective Spring 1942
“Who Did I Murder?”, Detective Short Stories Apr. 42
Murder in Furs, Thrilling Detective May 42
Suite for Flute and Tommy Gun, Detective Story Magazine Jun. 42
Three-Corpse Parlay, Popular Detective Jun. 42
A Date to Die, Strange Detective Mysteries Jul. 42
Red is the Hue of Hell, Strange Detective Mysteries Jul. 42 {as by Felix Graham}
Two Biers for Two, Clues Detective Stories Jul. 42
“You’ll Die Before Dawn”, Mystery Magazine Jul. 42
Get Out of Town, Thrilling Detective Sep. 42
A Little White Lye, Ten Detective Aces Sep. 42
The Men Who Went Nowhere, Dime Mystery Sep. 42
Nothing Sinister, Mystery Magazine Sep. 42
The Numberless Shadows, Detective Story Magazine Sep. 42
Satan’s Search Warrant, 10-Story Detective Sep. 42
Where There’s Smoke, Black Book Detective Sep. 42
Boner, Popular Detective Oct. 42
Legacy of Murder, Exciting Mystery Oct. 42
The Santa Claus Murders, Detective Story Magazine Oct. 42
Double Murder, Thrilling Detective Nov. 42 {as by John S. Endicott}
Fredric Brown in Trade Magazines, Part Two
“Willie Skid: Cub Serviceman Says” from Ford Dealer & Service Field
“Let Colonel Cluck Answer Your Questions” from Independent Salesman
“Barnyard Bill Says—” from Feedstuffs

16 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #427: Murder Draws a Crowd: Fredric Brown Mystery Library, Volume One and Death in the Dark: Fredric Brown Mystery Library, Volume Two

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    I’ve read the collected book of his SF stories but have only read a smaller selection of his short mysteries. Will definitely have to read these.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, MURDER DRAWS A CROWD and DEATH IN THE DARK are fabulous volumes featuring some of Fredric Brown’s best work. Many of these stories have been unavailable for years!

    1. george Post author

      Rick, both MURDER DRAWS A CROWD and DEATH IN THE DARK qualify as Big Fat Books. I’ll be chipping away at the stories for months!

  2. Rick Robinson

    I think Todd will pick up my post too, so both will be linked today. I also added the contents. Big story collections like this take me a very long time to finish. I think the Bog Book of Black Mask Stories took me a year.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I’ll be dipping into MURDER DRAWS A CROWD and DEATH IN THE DARK over the next few months. I’m in no rush. I plan to savor these stories.

  3. wolf

    I’m not too much of a mystery fan, but Brown’s style is special so I read a few that I could get my hands on.
    His SF was brilliant too bexond compare – just wondering:
    Where did he get all those ideas from?

    Btw the wiki on him is almost hyperbolic acknowledging his greatness as a writer!
    And for a mathematician like me a title “pi in the sky” works wonders …

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, I’m more familiar with Fredric Brown’s Science Fiction than his mysteries. But reading these two big volumes will rectify that situation.

  4. Jerry House

    I’ve read as many of Brown’s books that I could get my sweaty little hands on. Haffner puts a lot of work into the books he publishes and these two look fabulous. Beside the appendices, do you know if there are any stories here that have not appeared in Dennis McMillan’s 1984-1991 “Fredric Brown in the Pulps” series?

    1. george Post author

      Jerry, I’m guessing there are several stories that didn’t make it into Dennis McMillan’s series. Together, these books present over a 1000 pages of Fredric Brown mystery fiction! I’ve been delighted with all the Haffner Press books I’ve purchased.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, you might want to lobby your local Public Library to buy MURDER DRAWS A CROWD and DEATH IN THE DARK. You would love these two volumes!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *