Lady Don't Fall Backwards

The Hancock's Half Hour episode 'The Missing Page' featured a fictional book called 'Lady Don't Fall Backwards' by the fictional author Darcy Sarto. Now Alex Skerratt, with the permission of Ray Galton, Alan Simpson and the BBC has published his novelisation of the book.  The book uses all of the character and plot details as created by Ray and Alan and is available as a hardback via his website or can be downloaded as a e-Book including via Amazon.

Ray and Alan may have invented the author’s name of Darcy Sarto but it wasn’t pure invention!  The fictional author’s name was a combination of two authors of the day Darcy Glinto and Ben Sarto and a number of original books have recently been added to the Society’s archive from the late Malcxolm Chapman’s collection.

More on the books now in the Society’s archive later but who were these authors’s and what sort of books did they write.

Darcy Glinto

Interestingly, Darcy Glinto wasn’t a real name either being a pseudonym for Harold Ernest Kelly.  Harold was born in London in 1899 and died in the Canary Islands in 1969.  He founded (with his brother) Everybody’s Books in 1943 and then founded the Robin Hood Press in 1946.  In addition to the crime novels of Darcy Glinto, Harold also wrote westerns, sci-fi and horror.  The Lucian Crolus series of occult detective novels were written by Harold during the period as the Darcy Sarto novels but this time he used the pseudonym Eugene Ascher.  During the 1960’s he wrote crime stories under the name Hank Janson.

There are about eighteen Glinto novels, and they are hard to find. When they do surface they are quickly picked up by collectors (see details later re the value of some of these paperbacks). It is said that they aren’t even in the British Library. In 1942, Pilot Officer René Barbazon Raymond (James Hadley Chase), Harold Ernest Kelly (Glinto), and their respective publishers were found guilty of obscenity in a puritanical trial at the Old Bailey and were heavily fined.

Ben Sarto

There’s no surprise that Ben Sarto is also a pseudonym.  There is very little information available about Ben Sarto but it is believed that he was the ‘house name’ for Milestone Publications ‘Men’s Own Library’. A house name or collective name, is sometimes used with series fiction published under one pen name even though more than one author may have contributed to the series. In some cases the first books in the series were written by one writer, but subsequent books were written by ghost writers.

For novels ‘written’ by Ben Sarto, one of the main authors was Alistair Paterson, who wrote at least 8 of the novels with the last published in 1958.

Paterson was born in Croydon Surrey with his first novels appearing in the early 1950’s under the House Name of ‘Griff’, a house name used by ‘Modern Fiction’.

Paterson then began writing for the publishing company ‘Scion’.  This time he used the house name of Hans Lugar and these were a series of novels featuring a new character, Phil Casey. Unfortunately, ‘Scion’ went into liquidation but Paterson continued writing for both companies under 3 pseudonyms: Hank Spencer, Nat Karta and Blair Johns. It was at this stage that Paterson started writing the Ben Sarto novels. For Milestone Publications.

The Books

Please note that the titles and synopses of these books reflect the time in which they were written.  All of the synopses below have been transcribed from the books themselves.

You Took Me…Keep Me Darcy Glinto

This edition of the book is a reprint from the first series of Darcy Glinto’s famous books and dates from 1950 although the story was originally published in 1941.  In common with many of these books, the description of ‘paperback’ is absolutely accurate with both the front and back covers being made of paper rather than card.  This explains the ‘wear and tear’ seen on the front cover of this book!

Here’s the description of the story from the inside front cover:

‘Edda’s story was so like the tale the floozies told that Max got the wrong impression. He thought it was just the hooey and went right ahead. Once it became a fight he got mean and Edda had to lose then. But she was still different.

“You took me, keep me” she told max. He did – and liked it.

It may be there was something different about Max too.  He was in the rackets and has ambitions.  He was pretty good too. So good the big-timers were scared of giving him promotion.  If he could have kept that truck load of Scotch whiskey…But the cops caught up. Things went bad after that…

Yet there was still Edda.  She believed in Max. She figured he deserved his chance no matter what it might cost – cost her.  She went along to see Tasse and she paid what any dame asking Tasse a big favour had to pay.

Max only heard about that much later.  There could be only one ending once he did hear. Yet in a way Edda was satisfied.

One More Nice White Body Darcy Glinto: 1950

The Story in brief: To the mortuary janitor it was just one more nice white body. To Tim Bray it was the body of the girl he had loved, the girl who had gone away to have his baby. He could recognise it even though the face had been shot away, and the recognition came near to jolting away his sanity.

The story back of the tragedy began innocently enough but it lead to the dubious nursing home run by Dr Gruner. Unwanted motherhood must always bring it’s complications.  Gruner had found a way to exploit them.

On the surface Gruner’s Nursing Home seemed innocent enough.  Underneath it was the headquarters of a unique criminal racket.  Tim Bray burst it open at last but he almost sacrificed himself and another beautiful girl to the exposure.





Lady Don’t Turn Over Darcy Glinto 1950

The story in brief: Clare Holding went to a night club, but she didn’t go back home.  Her parents had a card from her to say that she was on holiday….Let us warn you – this is not a story for the delicate-minded, for those who prefer to gloss over the facts.  It is a tale of dreadful realism – of cold, calculated brutality, and yet all the time the stark, staring truth of the deadliest of all America’s rackets – the Snatch Game worked with the White Slavers!

The Liquor Rackets, the Protection Rackets – these were bad enough, but they were child’s play to the Snatch Game.  The latter started with abduction of children but it soon grew. This is where the White Slavers became interested.  If children could be ‘snatched’ so could mature girls – and girls from the ranks of society at that.  The hunt was on – the money began to pour in.

The edition in the Society’s archives has been signed by Ray Galton, Alan Simpson and Alec Bregonzi.




Curtains For Carrie  Darcy Glinto 1953

The story in brief: Carrie was born to rum-running, yet there was something in her blood, something high-up, aristocratic, clean.  But her father clashed with Paulos. That meant every kind of treachery. Her father died in ‘the chair’. Carrie took over.

Paulos thought that was fine. Carrie had all the shape, all the looks that put in her in a class by herself. He thought he could take her over as well as the rum trade. But Carrie knew the truth, and to her Paulos stank. She had sworn Paulos should fry – and he did







Miss Otis Desires 1954 Ben Sarto

The story in brief: Apart from adding to the Otis collection of rocks and trinkets, what Miss Mabie Otis desires most is the trifling matter of a seven-thousand dollar Russian sable wrap – the only one of it’s kind in existence, naturally.  As Otis admirers will know, Manhattan’s own baby always gets what she’s after.  Her methods may not be strictly ethical, but they’re strictly entertaining.  In ‘Miss Otis Desires’ Mabie has her men well in line and the Russian sable joins the mink in the Otis clothes-closet.








Licence for Lust Darcy Glinto 1959

This edition did not contain a synopsis.  During a check on the internet (Feb 2014) there were a couple of copies of this edition available with the cheapest being £250.00 and the most expensive at more than double this price!












Born To Die Darcy Glinto 1960

This edition also did not contain a synopsis.  The following synopsis is taken from the AbeBooks website where this book was available for purchase in Feb 2014 for £200:

The million selling Darcy Glinto, he of the outrageous plots and the wild characters, is offered here in a paperback edition that is extremely hard to find in a decent collectable state.  Complete with screaming girl on the cover! Not designed for the collectors market, not even intended to last at all in any sense, these cheap productions are now VERY RARE. This is a swift moving story of wise guys, dopey dames, and sleazy meeting places, sandwiched between a wonderful garish front cover, beautifully and slickly painted. This really is all the pulp you could possibly want. Definitely, a very rare title for the fan of the noir thriller.





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