Longstreet was based in part on characters created by Baynard Kendrick. Kendrick was the author of a series of detective novels published from the late 1930s through the early 1960s featuring a blind private detective named Duncan Maclain. While all Kendrick's Maclain books are now out of print, you can locate them in used book stores, online used book sellers (such as Alibris), and even on eBay. To aid you in your quest, here is a list of the Maclain stories compiled by Kevin at the Thrilling Detective web site.
The Last Express (1937)
The Whistling Hangman (1937)
Odor of Violets (1941; AKA Eyes in the Night)
Blind Man's Bluff (1943)
Death Knell (1945)
Out of Control (1945)
You Diet Today (1952; AKA You Die Today)
Blind Allies (1954)
Reservations for Death (1957)
Clear and Present Danger (1958) (more of a spy novel than a murder mystery)
The Aluminum Turtle (1960; AKA The Spear Gun Murders)
Frankincense and Murder (1961)
"The Murderer Who Wanted More" (January 1944, The American Magazine; also issued as a special 10-cent Dell paperback in 1951)
"Melody of Death" (June 1945, The American Magazine)
"Silent Night" (1958; also 1982, Murder For Christmas, Volume 2)
"The Silent Whistle"
Make Mine Maclain (1947 - three novelettes)
Another great book by Baynard Kendrick to look out for is Lights Out (1945). It's not a Maclain novel or a detective story at all. It is the story of an army sergeant blinded in World War II. The novel takes you through the army's rehabilitation process and also follows the protagonist as he learns to deal with his blindness. As he builds a new life, he confronts love, security, racism, and independence. It is a very powerful story and worth seeking out. This novel was made into a movie, Bright Victory (1951), which garnered an Oscar nomination for best acting for Arthur Kennedy. It has not been released on pro video, but seek it out on classic movie stations or see the Collector Info page for tape trading info.
GREAT NEWS !!!
These Duncan Maclain stories are now available through the public domain site
Here you will find links to PDF files for the following Maclain books:
You Die Today
Frankincense and Murder
Clear and Present Danger
The Last Express
Make Mine Maclain
Reservations for Death
You will also find a link here to Baynard Kendrick's novel, Lights Out
And there is also a PDF attachment at the bottom of 'this' page
to the Maclain novel, The Aluminum Turtle
And for those who prefer traditional paper books, I'm happy to report that
You can read more about Kendrick from a blurb on the cover of one edition of Lights Out.
BAYNARD KENDRICK, who is not blind himself, has made a special study of blind people for years. Part of the fruit of this study was his famous series of mysteries about the blind detective, Duncan Maclain. Another result was this book, which stems from the remarkable things he has seen in his work -- the remaking into dynamic human beings of men who had always assumed they would rather be dead than blind.
Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Kendrick had a successful business career before he decided to give his full time to writing. Among his many other books and motion picture scripts is the Bantam Giant, The Flames of Time.
When the Blinded Veterans Association was founded, Mr. Kendrick was the only non-blind adviser of the group and was elected Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors.
More Kendrick info can be found at the Baynard Kendrick collection at the University of South Florida.
Duncan Maclain Book Covers
Here are just a few samples of covers from some of Baynard Kendrick's Maclain books. These editions were reprinted during the early 1970s and mention the connection to the TV series Longstreet.
More Recommended Reading for Longstreet Fans
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's list of Disabilities in Fiction provides a starting point for readers interested in blindness and other disabilities as portrayed in fiction.
The Cinema of Isolation: A History of Physical Disability in the Movies by Martin F. Norden is a detailed study of the film industry's portrayal of characters with disabilities.
The Screenwriter Looks at the Screenwriter is a 1972 book by William Froug with interviews with a number of famous screenwriters, including Stirling Silliphant. It provides an interesting window into the mind of the series creator.
You may find a copy at your library, a used book store, at Alibris, or on eBay.
The attachment below is a PDF file of
Kendrick's next-to-last Duncan Maclain novel, The Aluminum Turtle,
which I found on the web at Black Mask.com Enjoy.