Stephen Marlowe

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Milton Lesser c.1953.

Stephen Marlowe (born Milton Lesser, (1928-08-07)August 7, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York, died February 22, 2008(2008-02-22) (aged 79), in Williamsburg, Virginia) was an American author of science fiction, mystery novels, and fictional autobiographies of Goya, Christopher Columbus, Miguel de Cervantes, and Edgar Allan Poe. He is best known for his detective character Chester Drum, whom he created for the 1955 novel The Second Longest Night. Lesser also wrote using the pseudonyms Adam Chase, Andrew Frazer, C.H. Thames, Jason Ridgway, Stephen Wilder and Ellery Queen.


Lesser attended the College of William & Mary, earning his degree in philosophy, marrying Leigh Lang soon after graduating. He was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War. He and his wife divorced during 1962.[1]

He was awarded the French Prix Gutenberg du Livre during 1988 for The Memoirs of Christopher Columbus, and during 1997 he was awarded the "Life Achievement Award" by the Private Eye Writers of America. He also served on the board of directors of the Mystery Writers of America. During the later part of his life he lived with his second wife Ann in Williamsburg, Virginia.[2]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Lesser's novella "All Heroes Are Hated!" was the cover story for the November 1950 issue of Amazing Stories.
Lesser's short novel "Secret of the Black Planet" was the cover story for the June 1952 issue of Amazing Stories.
Lesser's novella "Voyage to Eternity" was cover=featured for the July 1953 issue of Imagination.
Lesser's novella "Jungle in the Sky" was the cover story in the second issue of If during May 1953.
As "C. H. Thames", Lesser wrote the "Johnny Mayhem" stories, which were published in magazine Amazing during the 1950s but were not collected until 2013.
As "Stephen Marlowe", Lesser wrote several mystery novels.

As Milton S. Lesser:

  • Somewhere I'll Find You (1947)
  • Earthbound (1952)
  • The Star Seekers (1953)
  • Recruit for Andromeda (1959)
  • Stadium Beyond the Stars (1960)
  • Spacemen Go Home (1961)
  • Secret of the Black Planet (1965)

As Stephen Marlowe:

  • Catch the Brass Ring (1954)
  • Model for Murder (1955)
  • Turn Left for Murder (1955)
  • Dead on Arrival (1956)
  • Blonde Bait (1959)
  • Passport to Peril (1959)
  • The Shining (1961)
  • Colossus: A novel about Goya and a world gone mad (1965)
  • The Search for Bruno Heidler (1966)
  • Come Over, Red Rover (1968)
  • The Summit (1970)
  • The Man with No Shadow (1974)
  • The Cawthorn Journals (or Too Many Chiefs) (1975)
  • Translation (1976)
  • The Valkyrie Encounter (1978)
  • Deborah's Legacy (1983)
  • The Memoirs of Christopher Columbus (1987)
  • The Death and Life of Miguel De Cervantes (1991)
  • The Lighthouse at the End of the World (1995)

Chester Drum novels (as Stephen Marlowe):

  • The Second Longest Night (1955)
  • Mecca for Murder (1956)
  • Killers Are My Meat (1957)
  • Murder Is My Dish (1957)
  • Trouble Is My Name (1957)
  • Terror Is My Trade (1958)
  • Violence Is My Business (1958)
  • Double in Trouble (with Richard S. Prather, co-starring Prather's series character Shell Scott) (1959)
  • Homicide Is My Game (1959)
  • Danger Is My Line (1960)
  • Death Is My Comrade (1960)
  • Peril Is My Pay (1960)
  • Manhunt Is My Mission (1961)
  • Jeopardy Is My Job (1962)
  • Francesca (1963)
  • Drum Beat - Berlin (1964)
  • Drum Beat - Dominique (1965)
  • Drum Beat - Madrid (1966)
  • Drum Beat - Erica (1967)
  • Drum Beat - Marianne (1968)

As Adam Chase (writing with Paul W. Fairman):

  • The Golden Ape (1959)

As Andrew Frazer:

  • Find Eileen Hardin - Alive! (1959)
  • The Fall of Marty Moon (1960)

As Jason Ridgway:

  • West Side Jungle (1958)
  • Adam's Fall (1960)
  • People in Glass Houses (1961)
  • Hardly a Man Is Now Alive (1962)
  • The Treasure of the Cosa Nostra (1966)

As Ellery Queen

  • Dead Man's Tale (1961)

As C. H. Thames:

  • Violence Is Golden (1956)
  • Blood of My Brother (1963)


  1. ^ "Introducing the Author: Milton Lesser", Imagination, July 1953, p.2
  2. ^ "Stephen Marlowe: Crime and thriller writer". 4 March 2008. Archived from the original on 2022-05-25.

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