by John Lawrence
NYPD Lieutenant Martin Marquis and the officers of his hand-picked Broadway Squad are the toughest, most vicious cops in pulp-fiction history. “The Marquis,” as he is called along Manhattan’s Main Stem, is trim and dapper, with a weathered face and deep-set blue eyes. In marked contrast to the average plainclothes officer, he dresses like one of New York’s “swells,” generally showing up at crime scenes clad in smartly angled derby hat, black silk scarf, black kid gloves and shoes, dark suit, and ankle-length black Chesterfield coat. His appearance notwithstanding, the Marquis is practically a gangster with a badge, only marginally less corrupt than the underworld figures he pursues. Members of the Broadway Squad share his casual morality and frequently abuse their authority not only for financial gain but personal satisfaction as well.
One of the most unusual collection of stories published in any crime pulp, the Marquis of Broadway series was written by John Lawrence, a former stockbroker whose literary career, while relatively brief, deserves more recognition than it has received to date. Most of Lawrence’s best yarns, including those featuring the Marquis and his Broadway Squad, first appeared in the pages of Dime Detective, the prestigious crime pulp second only to the legendary Black Mask in its impact on the genre.
The Complete Cases of the Marquis of Broadway, Volume 2 (The Dime Detective Library) by John Lawrence contains the following stories:
- “The Stars Said Murder”
- “Old Wives Tale”
- “Death for Twelve Months”
- “Man Hunt”
- “Albino Alibi”