Clayton Rawson

From Academic Kids

Clayton Rawson (1906 - 1971) was a mystery writer, editor, and amateur magician. His four novels frequently invoke his great knowledge of stage magic and feature as their fictional detective The Great Merlini.

He was born in Elyria, Ohio, the son of Clarence D. and Clara (Smith) Rawson. He became a magician when he was 8 years old. He married his wife, Catherine Stone, the same year he graduated from Ohio State University (1929); they had four children together. He moved to Chicago and lived there, working as an illustrator.

His first novel appeared in 1938, Death from a Top Hat.

He was one of the four founding members of the Mystery Writers of America, which also present annual prizes in various categories of mystery fiction. All of his fine novels were written before the founding of this group.

At least two movies were made based on the Merlini books. One them, Miracles for Sale, 1939, was evidently based on the Merlini exploits in general and had no character named Merlini. A 1942 movie called The Man Who Wouldn't Die was based on No Coffin for the Corpse but the Merlini character was changed to that of a popular fictional private eye of the time, Michael Shayne.

Contents

Bibliography

Mystery novels

  • Death from a Top Hat (1938)
  • The Footprints on the Ceiling (1939)
  • The Headless Lady (1940)
  • No Coffin for the Corpse (1942)

Collections of short stories

  • Death Out of Thin Air (1941) (as Stuart Towne)
  • Pictures Don't Lie (1950)
  • The Great Merlini (1979)

Other books

  • Scarne on Dice (1945) (with John Scarne)
  • Al Baker's Pet Secerts (1951) (with Albert Baker)
  • How to Entertain Children with Magic you can do (1963) (as The Great Merlini)
  • The Golden Book of Magic: Amazing Tricks for Young Magicians (1964) (as The Great Merlini)

Movies


External link

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