Wednesday, December 16, 2009

J. Vincent Nolan

J. Vincent Nolan, as he was usually credited on his books, was, I believe, an Irish writer. I base this on the fact that most of his early stories were published by the Dublin firm of Grafton Publications, for whom he was writing regularly in 1945-46. He also penned a number of short, 16-page yarns for the Christian Truth Society of Ireland, 7 & 8 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin.

Apart from his possible Irish ancestry, I know only one other thing about James Vincent Nolan: he had a sister called Rose who served during the Second World War with the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. His first published book contained the dedication: "To my sister Rose, Q.A.I.M.N.S.R., engaged in woman's noblest and most unselfish profession, this story is affectionately dedicated."

That just leaves us with the bare bones of a list of books. From 1949, Nolan was published by a number of different paperback publishers, including Fiction House, World Distributors, Hamilton & Co. and the Amalgamated Press. Most of his known novels are Westerns, the last published in 1958, although it may have been sold some years earlier.

A glance at his known output, listed below, convinces me that Nolan also wrote under pen-names. He had six novels published in 1950, four in 1951, then nothing until 1953. My suspicions are immediately aroused: where are the books he published in 1952?

Unfortunately, I don't know the answer... but that's the nature of these "Mysteries that have me mystified" columns.

Murder Walks Alone. Dublin, Grafton, Aug 1945.
Murder Strikes Twice. Dublin, Grafton, Sep 1945.
Meet Mike Desmond. Dublin, Grafton, May 1946.
No Greater Love. Dublin, Christian Truth Society of Ireland, 1948.
The Return. Dublin, Christian Truth Society of Ireland, 1948.
Marshall of Abilene. London, Piccadilly 278, Jan 1949.
Headin’ West. Leicester, Fiction House, Jan 1950.
Awake and Die. Manchester, World Distributors, Feb 1950.
Too Tough For a Halo. Manchester, World Distributors, Feb 1950.
Trail to Tombstone. Leicester, Fiction House, Mar 1950.
Gunman From Tombstone. London, Hamilton & Co., May 1950.
The Man From Pecos (as James V. Nolan) Dublin, Christian Truth Society of Ireland, Oct 1950.
The Forgotten Patrol. Dublin, Christian Truth Society of Ireland, Oct 1950.
Colt Law. London, Hamilton & Co., Nov 1950.
Outlaw Town. Leicester, Fiction House, Jan 1951.
Mule Train. Leicester, Fiction House, Mar 1951.
Gun Toter. Leicester, Fiction House, Sep 1951.
Marshall of Jacknife. Leicester, Fiction House, Nov 1951.
The Lucky Chance. London, Amalgamated (Western Library 69), Feb 1953.
Range Rider. London, Amalgamated (Western Library 84), Sep 1953.
Gunsmoke at Sundown. London, Amalgamated (Western Library 98), Apr 1954.
Trail Drive. Leicester, Fiction House, Sep 1955.
Violent Valley. Leicester, Fiction House, Nov 1958.

Short Stories
Special Agent ‘Rock’ Granite (Another Corner Seat Omnibus, Dublin, Grafton, May 1945)
Triangle of Terror (Triangle of Terror, Dublin, Grafton, Nov 1945)
Murder Is So Easy (Red Star Detective, Dublin, Grafton, Nov 1946)

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