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Jonathan Wyatt Latimer (October 23, 1906 – June 23, 1983) was an American crime writer noted for his novels and screenplays.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, he attended the Mesa Ranch School in Arizona (1922–25) and later studied at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1929. Latimer became a journalist at the Chicago Herald Examiner and later for the Chicago Tribune, writing about crime and meeting Al Capone and Bugs Moran, among others. In the mid-1930s, he turned to writing fiction, starting with a series of novels featuring private eye William Crane, in which he introduced his typical blend of hardboiled crime fiction and elements of screwball comedy.
During the Second World War Latimer served in the United States Navy. After the war, he moved to California and continued his work as a Hollywood screenwriter, including 10 films in collaboration with director John Farrow.
The William Crane series
- Murder in the Madhouse (1935)
- Headed for a Hearse (1935) filmed 1937 as The Westland Case; Preston Foster as Crane
- The Lady in the Morgue (1936) filmed 1938 (aka The Case of the Missing Blonde in the UK); Preston Foster as Crane
- The Dead Don't Care (1938) filmed 1938 as The Last Warning; Preston Foster as Crane
- Red Gardenias (1939)
- Solomon's Vineyard (1941) (published in paperback in 1951 and republished in 2014 under the title The Fifth Grave)
- Sinners and Shrouds (1955)
- Black Is the Fashion for Dying (1959)
- The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939) (based on a novel by Louis Joseph Vance)
- Topper Returns (1941) (original screenplay)
- The Glass Key (1942) (based on the Dashiell Hammett novel)
- Night in New Orleans (1942) (based on a story by James R Graham)
- Nocturne (1946)
- They Won't Believe Me (1947) (based on a story by Gordon McDonell)
- The Big Clock (1948) (based on the Kenneth Fearing novel)
- Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948) (based on the Cornell Woolrich novel)
- Plunder of the Sun (1953) (based on the David F. Dodge novel)
- The Unholy Wife (1957) (co-authored with William Durkee)
- The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays (1957) (with Frank Capra)
- The Unchained Goddess (1958) (with Frank Capra)
- 32 episodes of the Perry Mason television series
- The Greenhouse Jungle (from the second season of the Columbo television series, 1972)
- Hard boiled American crime fiction for a discussion of Solomon's Vineyard, the publication of which was suppressed in the United States for a long time.
- Jonathan Latimer Miscellaneous Scripts and Screenplays MSS 133. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego Library.
- Petri Liukkonen. "Jonathan Latimer". Books and Writers
- Jonathan Latimer on IMDb
- "Register of the Jonathan Latimer, Miscellaneous Scripts and Screenplays".
- Angelini, Sergio. "J is for Jonathan Latimer". Tipping My Fedora. wordpress. Retrieved 9 April 2016.