Saturday, September 20, 2008

Clayton Matthews

I corresponded with Clayton Matthews some years ago - it must've been in 2001 or 2002. He's an American novelist and short story writer who focused mainly on paperback markets. He started out in late 1950s writing short stories and then coming up with paperback novels, mostly in the crime genre, in the early 1960s. I notice now that Clayton Matthews died in 2004, quite shortly after my interview (damn, the Nummelin curse again!). His widow and long-time collaborator Patricia Matthews (who was once called "the queen of the romance paperbacks" or something along those lines) died in 2006. Had Clayton Matthews lived to see this day, he'd be 90.

I wrote a short article based on his letter and published it in my fanzine, Pulp. I've posted the article in here. It's understandably in Finnish.

Nevertheless, late last night I came across his letter and the bibliography he sent alongside it. They were buries in a heap of books. I've scanned the bibliography and put it up in the Pulpetti Bibliographic Section. For some reason or another, Matthews didn't include his solo efforts in the bibliography, so I'm putting them as a separate post here. I've compiled the data from Hubin's bibliography and the Fictionmags Index and checking out Abebooks.

There's one curious item in Clayton Matthews's letter. There's a paperback novel called Las Vegas from 1974 (Pocket Books) that he wrote in collaboration with Arthur Moore, but there are also rumours that he himself was Arthur Moore. Some sources say Moore died in 1977, after penning some other paperbacks with Marilyn Granbeck and Don Hoyt and writing some Western paperbacks under his own name. I asked about this from Matthews and all he had to say was: "Yes, Arthur Moore is still alive and definitely did not die in 1977." I gather this means that he really was Arthur Moore and there was never a "real" Arthur Moore. So Matthews may have written all the books that have been published as Arthur Moore. But I can't say I know this for sure.

On the side (or on top, actually, since this got so long) the cover of the only book-length translation from Matthews, Dive into Death (1969) under the title Houkutteleva saalis (Manhattan 91, 1971). His first name is written wrong in the cover. Matthews told me he didn't know his book had been translated into Finnish. It's possible he got royalties only from the Swedish edition (or that the royalties included also possible publications in other Nordic countries). The book is very much okay, a hardboiled adventure yarn, and reminiscent of John MacDonald's Travis McGee books. Matthews had also some short stories translated in the Alfred Hitchcock mags in the seventies and they are okay, too, if nothing spectacular.

On the side, one of Matthews's early erotic novels.

PS. Having written all this and posted stuff on various blogs, it just occurs to me to Google. And lo and behold, Clayton Matthews's bibliography, including even his erotic paperbacks, is up on Fantastic Fiction and Wikipedia!


Steve said...


Al Hubin has no information on Arthur Moore other than the name and the books he's credited for, including three pen names, all of which were joint collaborations with other authors. There's only one book in Crime Fiction IV that's under his name only.

There is an Arthur Moore who wrote a few westerns, and at least one SF novel was written by an Arthur Moore.

Were they all written by the same guy? Arthur Moore is an awfully common name, so I haven't been able to pinpoint down which Arthur Moore did or did not write what.

Have you any references to the rumors that Clayton Matthews might have been Arthur Moore? Al Hubin doesn't include a 1977 death date for Moore, but that doesn't prove anything either way as to whether Matthews and Moore were one and the same.

-- Steve

Juri said...

Sorry, no references on Matthews/Moore. I think it was on some discussion or e-mail list, probably WesternPulps or some such. And the death year I'm sticking to this guy escapes me. I would've said it's from Hubin.

I think I found a bit of evidence though. Matthews wrote to me that he wrote for Saint Detective Magazine. Now, I can't find any reference on him having written for that magazine (I'm dependent on Fictionmags Index only, though, so checking more thorough indices might indicate other evidence), but there were at least two stories in that mag as by Arthur Moore. Per FM Index:

* Bum Rap, (ss) The Saint Detective Magazine (UK) Mar 1964
* Wriggle Room Only [*Katzie’s Saloon; Robert Dubois], (ss) The Saint Detective Magazine (UK) Nov 1965

So I think it is entirely possible that Matthews was Moore. I received an e-mail saying that there was a Moore who wrote the Westerns that were attributed to him, but all the other books were by Matthews. But if Matthews was Moore, then he used the penname already in the early sixties, ten years before Moore's Western paperbacks.

Steve said...

According to the Cook-Miller index, Clayton Matthews write stories for Hitchcock, Mike Shayne, Edgar Wallace & Man from Uncle. No Saint's.

Arthur Moore wrote for Ellery Queen, Hitchcock, Shayne and The Saint, all in the same time period. One that FM is missing for the latter is "Scratch One Paradise" in the Sept 1967 issue.

I think that the western writer Arthur Moore is another fellow. I'll see if I can't come up with one the westerns. Sometimes Gold Medal has brief bios in the back.

But Matthews and the "other" Arthur Moore could be one and the same. Like you, though, I've got nothing tangible to prove it, one way or the other.

-- Steve

Juri said...

It's a common enough name, but still it strikes me as a bit too coincidental, if there really was Arthur Moore who wrote the Westerns. But it is possible.