Maurice Procter

[1906-1973]



This SideTrack looks at some aspects of the life and works of Maurice Procter

Books by Maurice Procter : Titles

Many titles have been reprinted and are still in print

A Body to Spare
The Bowstring Murders

The Chief Inspector's Statement

Death has a Shadow
Devil's Due
Devil in Moonlight
The Devil was Handsome
The Diamond [Film]
The Diamond Wizard [Film]
The Dog Man

Each Man's Destiny
The End of the Street
Exercise Hoodwink

Flucht aus London [TV Film]

The Graveyard Rolls

Hell is a City
Hell is a City [Film]
Hideaway
His Weight in Gold
Homicide Blonde
Hurry the Darkness

I will Speak Daggers

Killer at Large

Man in Ambush
The Midnight Plumber
Million Dollar Diamond [Film]
Million Dollar Mystery
Moonlight Flitting

No Place for Magic
No Proud Chivalry

Out for Christmas

The Pennycross Murders
The Policeman & the Lamp
The Pub Crawler

Rich is the Treasure
The Ripper
Rogue Running

Somewhere in This City
The Spearhead Death

Three at the Angel
Two Men in Twenty

Books by Maurice Procter : Details

This list shows the various publication dates and the number of pages in that edition

Those editions marked LP are large print editions for visually impaired readers

A Body to Spare

Published by Hutchinson [1962]

Published by Hutchinson [1972]

ISBN: -09-111150-1

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau

There was an extra body in the morgue – a body stripped of all identification and with its face badly battered. That was, however, just the beginning ...

The Bowstring Murders
[1952] A short story

Published in Collier's November 1st 1952

The Chief Inspector's Statement

Published in 1951

Published in 1966

Published by Long [1976]

ISBN: -09-123250-3

Published in 1998

Published in 2001

ISBN: -75-408589-9

The first book about Chief Inspector Hunter.

The story is set in the West Riding village of Pennycross. When the unsolved murder of 6-year-old Daphne Beaumont is followed 8 months later by the murder of 5-year-old Jessie Baker, Hunter and his assistant, Sergeant Dutton, are again sent to investigate. With 2 suspects and no major clues, Hunter establishes a set of observation posts from which the police watch the village. Hunter receives several personal taunts – a cardboard gravestone, poison-pen letters, a scare-crow effigy.

The major part of the novel is narrated by Hunter.

Nice description of the village and its people, and of the investigation. Rather a flat ending and no real explanation of why the villain chose to murder the two little girls. The only surprise is when 20-year-old Barbary Beaumont says that she will marry Hunter.

The book was subtitled Chief Inspector's Statement on Two Brutal Child Murders.

It was published as The Pennycross Murders in the USA

Death has a Shadow

Published by Hutchinson / White Lion [1965]

Published in 1974

ISBN: -85-617432-7

Published in the UK as Homicide Blonde

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau

Devil's Due

Published by Hutchinson [1960]

Published by Ulverscroft [1972]

Before the story starts, £20,000 in new notes has been stolen in a robbery at the Northern Counties Bank. The story begins when two accomplices of Granchester mobster, Dixie Costello, are found shot dead. Inspector Martineau investigates. An anonymous caller tells how the two men were shot by a man whom they had been chasing. The man had been carrying a suitcase, and next morning, an empty suitcase arrives at police headquarters. In the local evening paper, the Found column carries a notice that £10,000 has been found in the street. The story takes us through the seedy world of prize-fighting and organised crime.

Costello pops up again in Hell is a City

Devil in Moonlight

Published by White Lion [1962]

Published by White Lion [1973]

ISBN: -85-617412-2

A Chief Inspector McCool story.

A Dutch edition was published as Een Duivel bij Maanlicht

The Devil was Handsome

Published by Hutchinson [1961]

Published by Ulverscroft [1979]

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau

The Diamond [Film]
[1954] The title of one release of the film version of the novel Rich is the Treasure.

The film was released under a number of other titles: The Diamond Wizard, Million Dollar Diamond.

Details are given in the entry for Million Dollar Diamond

The Diamond Wizard [Film]
[1954] The title of one release of the film version of the novel Rich is the Treasure

The film was released under a number of other titles: The Diamond, Million Dollar Diamond.

Details are given in the entry for Million Dollar Diamond

The Dog Man

Published by Hutchinson [1969]

Published by F. A. Thorpe Publishers, Leicester [1972]

ISBN: -09-096980-4

This was the last book to be published

Each Man's Destiny

Published by White Lion [1947]

Published by Longmans [1947]

Published in 1973

ISBN: -75-617372-X

The End of the Street

Published by Longmans [1949]

Exercise Hoodwink

Published by Hutchinson / Popular Library [1967]

Published in 1971

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau

When a murderous mobster-king confounds the police again – and again – an ingenious mantrap is set ...

Flucht aus London [TV Film]
[1981] Trans: Flight from London. A German TV version of the novel Two Men in Twenty.

The film was directed by Wolfgang Storch.

The screenplay was by Frank Schaumann.

  • Angelika Bender as Dorrie Cain

  • Dieter Hufschmidt as Chief Inspector Martineau

  • Anja Kruse as Flo Baker

  • Matthias Ponnier as Howard Cain

  • Dieter Prochnow as Leo Husker

  • Friedhelm Ptok as France

Others in the cast included:

Helmut Düvelsdorf, Dorothea Kaiser, Joachim Kerzel, Bill Knox, Claus-Dieter Reents

The Graveyard Rolls
Aka Moonlight Flitting. [1963]

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau

Hell is a City

Published in 1954

Published by Hutchinson [1972]

ISBN: -09-111160-9

A thriller set in Granchester in which Inspector Harry Martineau tracks down an escaped prisoner, Dixie Costello, whom he jailed 14 years earlier – in Devil's Due – and who now turns murderer. The inspector has a frigid, nagging wife who resents the time he spends on his work.

Also published as Murder, somewhere in this city and Somewhere in this city in the USA.

The book was adapted by Val Guest who directed the 1959 Associated British-Hammer film version under the same title.

This was his most successful book and, in 1972, Maurice said that it had made him about £1,000

Hell is a City [Film]
[1959] The book was adapted by Val Guest who directed the Associated British-Hammer film version.

The film was produced by Michael Carreras

The music for the film was composed and conducted by Stanley Black.

The black and white film was photographed in Hammerscope by Arthur Grant. It was filmed on location in Manchester – where the film adaptation was set – and the interiors were filmed in the Associated British Studios at Elstree.

The film ran for 98 minutes.

It was re-released in 1998.

The cast included:

  • Stanley Baker as Inspector Martineau - Baker performed all his own stunts

  • Maxine Audley as Julie Martineau

  • Joby Blanshard as Tawny Jakes

  • Sarah Branch as Silver Steele

  • George A. Cooper as Doug Savage

  • John Crawford as Don Starling - in the film, the character Dixie Costello became Don Starling. Crawford performed all his own stunts

  • Lois Daine as Cecily

  • Geoffrey Frederick as Devery

  • Vanda Godsell as Lucky Lusk

  • Charles Houston as Clogger Roach

  • Peter Madden as Bert Darwin

  • Warren Mitchell as Commercial Traveller

  • Charles Morgan as Laurie Lovett

  • Russell Napier as Superintendent

  • Dickie Owen as Bragg

  • Donald Pleasence as Gus Hawkins

  • Joseph Tomelty as Furnisher Steele

  • Billie Whitelaw as Chloe Hawkins - the film caused a stir in 1959, thanks to a brief nude scene featuring Billie Whitelaw

  • Alastair Williamson as Sam

Hideaway

Published by Popular Library / Harper & Row / Hutchinson [1968]

ISBN: -09-089690-4

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau

His Weight in Gold

Published by Hutchinson [1966]

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau

Homicide Blonde

Published by Popular Library [1965]

Published in the US as Death has a Shadow

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau

Hurry the Darkness
Aka Diamond Wizard.

Published by White Lion [1952]

Published in 1976

ISBN: -85-617442-4

I will Speak Daggers
The second book about Inspector Hunter.

It was published as The Ripper in the USA

Published in 1957

Published in 1966

Published by White Lion [1973]

ISBN: -85-617382-7

Killer at Large

Published by Hutchinson [1959]

Published by J. Long [1976]

ISBN: -09-123240-6

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau in which

... he must find Guy Rainer, the escaped prisoner who had been sent to jail for 7 years for killing his fiancée's lover. What would he do now that he was loose? Police were watching closely in case he tried to contact his frightened fiancée. In the midst of the hunt, a nine-year-old girl, Dessie Kegan, disappears. Has she been murdered? Did Guy take her for reasons of his own? Was there actually any connection with the prison break? Martineau had to work fast – and he knew it

The story of his hunt, written with unusual skill, is gripping and unflagging in its suspense and excitement

Man in Ambush

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau

Published by Hutchinson [1958]

The Midnight Plumber

Published by Black Dagger [1957]

Published in 1996

ISBN: -74-518682-3

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau in which he rounds up a gang of burglars

Million Dollar Diamond [Film]
[1954] The title of the Gibraltar Films version of Rich is the Treasure.

This was the first of his books to be made into a film. In 1972, Maurice said that he thought that it was

a rotten film

The screenplay was by John C. Higgins and Dennis O'Keefe, under the name Jonathan Rix.

The film was produced by Steven Pallos, and directed by Dennis O'Keefe and Montgomery Tully for United Artists.

The film starred

  • Dennis O'Keefe as Joe Dennison

  • Margaret Sheridan as Marline Miller

  • Philip Friend as Inspector McClaren

  • Alan Wheatley as Thompson Blake

  • Paul Hardtmuth as Dr Eric Miller

  • Francis De Wolff as Yeo

  • Eric Berry as Hunziger

  • Michael Balfour as Hoxie

  • Gudrun Ure as Sgt Smith - the Scottish actress appeared under the name Ann Gudron

  • Cyril Chamberlain as Castle

  • Seymour Green as Lascelles

  • Donald Gray as Gilles

  • Colin Tapley as Sir Stafford Beach

Others in the cast included:

Larry Burns, Dan Cunningham, Alastair Hunter, Gordon McLeod, Hugh Morton, Arthur Mullard, Paul Whitsun-Jones, and Victor Wood

It was the first full-length 3-D film to be made in Britain

The film was released under a number of other titles: The Diamond, The Diamond Wizard.

Million Dollar Mystery
[1961] It was reprinted in 1961 under the title ??

Moonlight Flitting
Aka The Graveyard Rolls.

Published by Ulverscroft [1971]

No Place for Magic
[1955] A short story.

Published as The Policeman and the Lamp in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine of July 1961

No Proud Chivalry

Published by Longmans Green [1946]

Published in 1972

This was the first book to be published and – according to a 1972 review in Police, the Journal of the Police Federation – still ranks as one of the finest police stories ever written.

It took a critical look at the police force.

The book caused a stir at Halifax police headquarters, and there were rumours of a libel action because of the book and some of his former colleagues imagined that Procter had based his characters on them

Out for Christmas
[1977] A short story.

It was reprinted in 1977 under the title of ??

The Pennycross Murders
[1953] The title of the US edition of The Chief Inspector's Statement

The Policeman & the Lamp
[1961] A short story.

The title of No place for magic when it was published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in July 1961

The Pub Crawler
The story of a young policeman on an undercover assignment

This is listed as one of the 50 Classics of Crime Fiction 1950-1975

Published by Hutchinson [1956]

Published by I Henry [1980]

ISBN: -86-025163-2

Published in 1983

Rich is the Treasure

Published by Hutchinson [1952]

This was the first of his books to be made into a film, and appeared under a number of titles: The Diamond, The Diamond Wizard, Million Dollar Diamond

The Ripper
The title of the US edition of I will speak daggers

Rogue Running

Published by Hutchinson [1967]

Published by White Lion [1974]

ISBN: -85-617402-5

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau

Somewhere in This City
The title of the US edition of Hell is a city

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau in which he leads the hunt for a brutal killer

The Spearhead Death

Published by Hutchinson / Chivers [1960]

Published in 2003

ISBN: -75-408637-2

Three at the Angel

Published by Hutchinson / Popular Library [1958]

Two Men in Twenty

Published by White Lion [1964]

Published by White Lion [1974]

ISBN: -85-617422-X

A story featuring Detective Chief Inspector Henry Martineau

In 1981, there was a German TV version of the novel under the title Flucht aus London




© Malcolm Bull 2018
Revised 08:34 /5th March 2018 / mmp186 / 27896

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