You may recall that I’ve got a guilty-pleasure-passion for the Frank Sinatra’s TONY ROME and LADY IN CEMENT movies, both of which were based on books by Marvin H. Albert (who also co-wrote the screenplay for LADY). Novelist, editor and paperback collector Bill Crider has written an interesting article about Albert for this month’s issue of Mystery*File magazine. The article includes a complete bibliography of Albert’s work, compiled by Steve Lewis. Albert was an amazingly versatile, if unappreciated, writer whose work included screenplays, novels in several genres, and even movie tie-ins. He was one of a dying breed.
2 thoughts on “Marvin H. Albert”
This may be because I grew up in small towns and small cities except for Minneapolis but Albert in one of his early 60s novels totally stunned me with a detail about low life Miami bars–the p.i. is on foot and in desperate need of a phone. He races into three taverns. None of them have phones. He finally asks the third or fourth bartender why and the bartender says that’s because guys get so pissed talking to their wives and girl friends that they rip the pay phones off the wall. And Ma Bell refuses to replace them. To me the best writers always tell me something new about the world they’re presenting. Marvin Albert did a lot of this in his westerns, too. He was in Mystery Scene when I was editing it and we exchanged some letters. Very nice guy with an enviably world-wide career. I believe, for a time, he was a part of the John D, Day Keene, Gil Brewer crowd that met in Miami every once in a while. Which reminds me–I sure wish somebody would write a definitive book on John D. I’m afraid he’s slipping from sight.
I have to agree. Those are guilty pleasures. Of course, I enjoy anything with Frank Sinatra.