Two Raven novels — Raven and the Paperhangers, published by Macmillan in 1980, dust jacket photograph by Bill Richmond whose work also appears on the covers of books by , and , and Nobody Here by That Name, published by Macmillan in 1986, dust jacket illustration by Martin White — both of which may well have been inscribed to the same two people I can't quite make out the names; suggestions in the comments please , and: The Kyle Contract, published by Hodder in 1971, dust jacket design uncredited but which may well be by. I'd never heard of Donald MacKenzie, though I now see that there is a fleeting mention - very fleeting - in The Canadian Encyclopedia. I wonder who the recipient of that one was. For twenty-five years MacKenzie lived by crime in many countries. He began writing and selling stories when in American jail.
I don't like meat, cocktail parties, Spanish gin, policemen, most judges, talk about things I don't understand, pompous people, good losers, or writers who 'spell it out' for you. For me that makes him a more interesting writer — that and his colourful background — but I suppose it might be one reason why he's less celebrated than some other classic crime writers; certainly he merits more coverage online than has heretofore been the case — hence this post and its bibliography, the most detailed and accurate yet assembled for the web to my knowledge. I note also that Canadian journalists and other ne'er-do-wells are common in his novels. MacKenzie's writing is characterised by a noirish sensibility, an economical style and clipped, deadpan sentences. I did find a couple of bibliographies not as organized as yours and started reading his work chronologically, including the two autobiographies, while at the same time reading the Raven series from the beginning. He began writing and selling stories when Donald MacKenzie was born in Ontario, Canada, and educated in England, Canada and Switzerland. I jotted down MacKenzie's name as the credits rolled by, and went online to find more — there's precious little, as you say.
Anyway, I've added the jackets of all three of those signed books to. Donald MacKenzie 1918—1993 is one of those authors who, if you're into classic and vintage crime fiction and you frequent secondhand bookshops, chances are you'll have come across at some point, and yet about whom there is online — this despite, in MacKenzie's case, having published three dozen novels and two volumes of autobiography over the course of a four-decade career. Would you know if any actually take place in Canada? Zaleski is a middle-aged philanderer determined to retrieve the Virgin's Dowry, a jeweled monstrance worth £500,000, which has reappeared for display in an art gallery in Conduit Street in London. The other is fear — the fear of getting caught, found out or busted, sent back to jail, being broke and so forth. I like travel, kippers, American cars, Spanish suits, ice hockey, prize fights, walking, flowers, sun, dogs, Brahms, horseback riding, settling old scores, people who like me. The books are relatively easy to find, although I'm not particularly looking for collectible copies although some of the dust jackets you show above are really fantastic.
The Canadian-born MacKenzie does have , but it's in French. This latter one isn't as prevalent in the Raven series, of course, but seems to be a powerful motivator both for MacKenzie as a writer and his reformed, or not-so-reformed, protagonists. The two general themes that continually come through for me are his acute power of observation and detailed descriptions of his surroundings, coming I suppose from hours and hours of staking out houses to be robbed or marks to be conned. I just did a bit of digging myself and see that he was the son of a farmer in the Glengarry area of Ontario not far from where the Ottawa meets the St. . For twenty-five years MacKenzie lived by crime in many countries. He began writing and selling stories when in American jail.
Thanks for this post, Nick. As you work through the canon, you'll see many traces of his self-described criminal behavior and modus operandi in the novels which follow. For twenty-five years MacKenzie lived by crime in many countries. I've added all three of those artists' MacKenzie wrappers to , which marks the debut of Ionicus and Pagram on that page. Really great to know there are some other Donald MacKenzie fans out there.
Zaleski is a middle-aged philanderer determined to retrieve the Virgin's Dowry, a jeweled monstrance worth £500,000, which has reappeared for display in an art gallery in Conduit Street in London. Donald MacKenzie was born in Ontario, Canada, and educated in England, Canada and Switzerland. I guess you could call him a stylist, except that he's not in my opinion quite up there with the likes of, say, or. I've also added Pagram's wrapper for the 1965 Hodder edition of 's Crime of Silence, which I suddenly remembered whilst writing this post that I had sitting on my shelves. Panther, 1984 ; however, those were actually penned pseudonymously by Christopher Priest. ? I recommend both Fugitives and Gentleman at Crime as excellent starting points for anyone interested in reading MacKenzie.
So far, so unremarkable: there are scores of crime writers who, like MacKenzie, have largely slipped from the collective consciousness. The back of the dust jacket of the British first edition of MacKenzie's debut novel, Nowhere to Go Elek, 1956 — which, incidentally, was the novel, not the dust jacket — offers synopses of both of MacKenzie's non-fiction titles click on the image above left to read them , while the back of the dust jacket of the British first edition of his third novel, The Scent of Danger Collins, 1958 — the first of two books to star burglar Macbeth Bain — features an amusing potted biography widely quoted online, invariably unattributed : Born in Ontario, Canada, in 1908 and educated in England, Canada and Switzerland, for twenty-five years MacKenzie lived by crime in many countries. What makes MacKenzie unusual among his crime-writing brethren is that he genuinely knew of what he wrote. . .
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