My father, Albert Nussbaum (1934-1996), was once known to fans of mystery and suspense as a master storyteller. In this volume of his short stories, I want to reacquaint readers with just how good he was. In writing about crime, Al knew what he was talking about. He had been a notorious bank robber. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover once called him "the most cunning fugitive in the country." Al was an expert with weapons, burglar-alarm systems, and explosives, and also was an accomplished safecracker. His exploits are described in detail in an upcoming biography of his friend, amnesiac hardboiled novelist Dan Marlowe: Gunshots in Another Room: The Forgotten Life of Dan J. Marlowe.
Al was a regular contributor to publications such as Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. He was so prolific that he had to use numerous pseudonyms lest he dominate the market.
While behind bars, Al transformed himself from a criminal into a writer with the help of Marlowe. After leaving prison, Al moved to Hollywood. There he associated with established writers such as Donald Westlake (who wrote the "Parker" novels and screenplays for such films as The Grifters), and Gary Brandner, author of The Howling. Al used the knowledge he'd picked up on the street and in prison as fodder for his stories rather than tools to further a life of crime. His transformation was complete: he helped Dan Marlowe recover from memory loss, wrote inspirational short books for young people, and became chairman of the Southern California Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America.
This work is a collection of Al's short stories intertwined with stories about his life. Crime novelist Lawrence Block, who knew Al, has agreed to write the foreword.
I'm still working out which of my father's stories to include, but I have a lot of classics to choose from, such as "The One Who Got Away," "An Easy Score," "When the Captain Died," and "Open Sights." There is even a large selection of previously unpublished stories to choose from.
Funds from this campaign will be used to acquire the rights to various stories and photos, as well as an initial print run. The initial goal is $5,000 with supplemental goals of $10,000 and $15,000. As each supplemental goal is reached, rewards and content will be increased.
More about Al's story and his friendship with mentor Dan J. Marlowe can be found at the links listed on this page. We specifically invite you to visit www.albertnussbaum.com and ask you to leave some feedback on your feelings about this project. A sample of Al's work can also be found on this site. And please be sure to follow us on www.twitter.com/nuttreeal for updates on this and other related projects.
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