Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Thomas P. Kelley - Phantom Books?

Anyone following this blog will be familiar with the name Thomas P. Kelley. Kelley (1905-1982) was a Canadian writer of stories for pulps and magazines from the late 1930s into at least the early 1950s. In 1967 he wrote an article about his writing career (Thomas P. Kelley, "Naked, She Stood Before the Window...", Star Weekly Magazine, July 8, 1967, pp. 29-31). A typical quote from the article - "[I start a novel] with only the vaguest conception of what I'm going to write about, and absolutely no idea what will happen, how the plot will unfold or how the yarn will end."

In one paragraph in the article Kelley mentions 12 books he has had published. I know that seven exist but I have never seen or heard of five others. Here is a list of all 12 books as described by Kelley with my comments:

Under his own name:

Life and Death of Jesse James [Export Publishing Enterprises - News Stand Library 92 and 15A as Jesse James]
Riders of the Plains [?]
Bad Men of Canada [Arrow Publishing 115]
The Tapestry Triangle [Associated Weekly Newspapers - T. A. & E. Pemberton]
The Gorilla's Daughter [Export - NSL 122]
No Tears for Goldie [Arrow 117 as Jack C. Fleming]
The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships [Adam Publishing - Handy Library 1]

Under pseudonyms (unnamed except for last book):

Deadshot Riders [?]
Gun Justice [?]
Fast on the Draw [?]
Six-Shooters at Sundown [?]
Wicked Women of Canada by Export under pseudonym Carl Bonher [published by Federal Publishing as Big Book 1 under Carl Bonner]

Kelley's memory isn't perfect but I expect the five books marked [?] do exist. Does anyone have any details?

I've shown the covers of five of the seven known books in earlier posts. Here is the last one I can show (I have never seen The Tapestry Triangle).

Arrow 117 - February 1950

Arrow 117 back cover


  1. Should we assume that's Goldie on the cover? Is she one of the wayward women? If so, who are the others?

  2. Goldie is definitely one of the wayward women. I expect that is her on the cover. Her charms seem to be lost on the man however. I've added the back cover blurb to the post - this explains all.

  3. My thanks for posting the back cover. It does seem to be more the story of a wayward woman, not women; though I do recognize the inclusion of other "misguided 'girls'".

    In any case, I'm sold... though the copy I've just ordered is the NSL edition.

    A "well constructed story" is promised. Seems the same description might be applied to Goldie.

  4. You're welcome. I'm intrigued by your comment about the "NSL" edition. I don't think there is one. There is one copy of "Goldie" for sale on the web and it's the Arrow.

  5. My mistake. It is indeed published by Arrow.

    Not enough sleep.