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Gunshots in Another Room: The Forgotten Life of Dan J. Marlowe Paperback – October 2, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Charles Kelly (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985891106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985891107
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,967,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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4 star
11%
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See all 18 customer reviews
I loved this biography of Dan J. Marlowe.
Lindsey Westbrook
Kelly gets to the root of this fascinating character in an almost novel like true crime story.
steve shadow schwartz
I read it three times because I edited it.
E. Foster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Reasoner on December 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I knew when I first heard about this book that I'd want to read it. I've read only a few books by Dan J. Marlowe, but two of them, THE NAME OF THE GAME IS DEATH and ONE ENDLESS HOUR, are among the best hardboiled crime novels I've ever read. Also, I nearly always enjoy biographies of writers, especially the ones that have a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff about writing in them.

GUNSHOTS IN ANOTHER ROOM, Charles Kelly's biography of Marlowe, certainly qualifies. I had no idea that Marlowe had written porn novels and men's magazine stories, although neither of those things surprises me. This book just confirms something that I've come to learn over the years: writers who I would have thought were quite successful financially often really weren't. A lot of times even writers who publish regularly struggle to make ends meet. That was true of Marlowe as well.

I also didn't know that Marlowe collaborated to such a large extent with William C. Odell. I knew Odell's name was on one of Marlowe's novels as co-author but had no idea that Odell also contributed to at least a dozen more. Nor did I know that Odell wrote three of the Nick Carter novels on his own. I don't think I've read those three books, but I'm not sure.

GUNSHOTS IN ANOTHER ROOM also contains a lot of information about Marlowe's other collaborator, bank robber Al Nussbaum, including a rundown of Nussbaum's criminal career, and the most complete portrait yet of Marlowe's medical problems which led to a bout of amnesia that sidetracked his writing career for a number of years. It's all fascinating stuff and very well-written with a novelistic flair by Kelly, a crime novelist himself in addition to his career in journalism. All of it adds up to make GUNSHOTS IN ANOTHER ROOM a fascinating book and definitely one of the best things I've read this year. Highly recommended. Available in both print and e-book editions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Schmierer on October 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Charles Kelly is a novelist at heart. You'll see what I mean before you finish the first sentence of GUNSHOTS IN ANOTHER ROOM. This doesn't start out like your average bio, and halfway through the first page I knew I was going to like the book. For fans of Dan Marlowe, this is required reading; for hardboiled connoisseurs unfamiliar with Marlowe, you're in for a treat. You are indeed about to discover a forgotten life.

After setting the hook and reeling me in, Kelly spends the next few chapters dispensing the required info on Marlowe's background. His early years set him on a course well-suited for his ultimate calling, only Marlowe didn't catch on until he started writing at age 43. A couple of years later his first two books are published. Then, in February of 1962, he publishes his most famous novel, THE NAME OF THE GAME IS DEATH (Spoiler alert: If you haven't yet read NAME OF THE GAME, skip chapter 4 until you have done so. Kelly gives away key details regarding the main character that are better left alone until revealed in the novel. Come back to Kelly's take on it later).

Now things get interesting. Al Nussbaum and Bobby "One Eye" Wilcoxson are introduced in chapter 5. They're real-life bank robbers now wanted for murder around the time Marlowe publishes NAME OF THE GAME. We follow Nussbaum and Marlowe through parallel narratives until their lives cross paths. Nussbaum's partner, Bobby Wilcoxson, is a dead ringer for the bank robber in Marlowe's book. Nussbaum is captured, sentenced to a long stretch in prison, and manages to contact Marlowe after reading his book. So begins a relationship that lasts decades, with the two of them becoming collaborators, friends, and eventual roommates.
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Format: Paperback
Note the title of this review. I really like this book, but once would have been enough. I read it three times because I edited it. I've known Chuck Kelly for 40 years, because we worked together at the Arizona Republic.

I'm not sure how many people give a damn about Dan J. Marlowe. In fact, I doubt that many people have even heard of him. He's rarely mentioned in the same paragraph as Ernest Hemingway (this paragraph being an exception), for instance. Nonetheless, Marlowe is more than a literary footnote. In his day, he had a name. Marlowe died nearly 30 years ago, and had fallen into obscurity. It was his great fortune that Chuck Kelly decided to haul him back to the light.

I found this book fascinating. Here was a guy who made a decent living as a writer, working for himself. That is very difficult. OK, so he wrote porn and newspaper columns on the side. A man has to eat.

Marlowe's books border on the memorable. That sounds like a cheap shot, but it's not. Millions of books have been written, and few are remembered for more than three weeks. Conceivably, one of Marlowe's books, such as "The Name of the Game Is Death," could still end up as a movie.

"Gunshots in Another Room" is a self-published book. As we all know, most self-published books are junk. But this one is quite well done. Kelly spent years traveling the country, researching Marlowe. Kelly is a very fine reporter. What he doesn't know about Marlowe isn't worth telling.

If you're interested in Dan Marlowe, this is THE book for you. If you like the genre of male books that Marlowe wrote, you'll enjoy this book. Interested in writers or writing? Read this book. Or, if you're just interested in a man who published one book after another, had girlfriends around the nation, befriended a bank robber, then lost his memory to a stroke and fought his way back, you'll like this book. But you'll probably only want to read it once.
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More About the Author

Charles Kelly formerly was a reporter for The Arizona Republic. During his reporting career, he found missing heirs, investigated the 1976 bomb murder of Republic reporter Don Bolles, and helped a wrongly convicted tugboat captain get out of a Mexican prison. Kelly is the author of the biography Gunshots in Another Room: The Forgotten Life of Dan J. Marlowe. He also wrote Pay Here, a novel published by Point Blank Press, and the short story "The Eighth Deadly Sin," published in the collection Phoenix Noir, issued by Akashic Books. His novel, Grace Humiston and the Vanishing, was a finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. When Kelly's self-help book, Finnegan's Way: The Secret Power of Doing Things Badly, was first offered free for two days, it was downloaded by 8,000 readers.

Kelly's website is hardboiledjournalist.com and his e-mail address is pulpnoir22@aol.com.

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