Juri Nummelin, who blogs at Pulpetti, made some comments, on this post and this one, that have been helpful with regard to the issue of the identity of Spike Morelli. He noted that Steve Holland, who wrote The Mushroom Jungle and a biography of Stephen Frances (Better known as Hank Janson) did not mention Frances ever writing as Morelli. I've tried to get in touch with Holland, but he's got two blogs and no public email address. If anyone out there knows how to reach him let me know.
So, with Frances eliminated as a suspect, that leaves this possibility, as well at the possibility that Morelli was more than one person.
While Morelli was probably not Frances, the two had their book covers done by Reginald Heade. The more I see of Heade's work, the more I am intrigued. He drew some rather lurid covers for a lot of witers. One of whom, we are all familar with. He had a knack for drawing women with gravity defying clothes. Not much is known about Heade. He had a thing for this one redhead. I wonder who she was.
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