Albert Leffingwell (novelist)

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Albert Leffingwell (April 24, 1895 – 1946) was an American novelist who wrote crime and mystery thrillers under the pen names "Dana Chambers" and "Giles Jackson".


Albert Fear Leffingwell was born April 24, 1895, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the first son of Dr. Albert Tracy Leffingwell, and Dr. Elizabeth Fear. He graduated from Harvard, Class of 1916.[1][2] In 1916, while still at Harvard, he wrote a book of poetry, Castles in Spain,[3] and had 2 poems published in the Harvard publication, Made to Order. He served in WWI in France as a member of the Intelligence Department, 108th Infantry Regiment, 27th Division, under the command of General John F. O'Ryan.

Following his return from the war, he began his career in advertising, co-founding the advertising agencies, Riegel & Leffingwell, and Olmstead, Perrin, & Leffingwell in New York City. in 1929, Olmstead, Perrin, & Leffingwell was absorbed by the ad giant, McCann, a year before its merger with Erickson.[4] In 1928, he wrote Toujours de l'avant, about the Pineaud perfumery in France. This book was illustrated with numerous water colors by Will Hollingsworth, who also provided illustrations for many of Leffingwell's advertising accounts, such as Brooks Brothers and Forstmann's Woolens. In 1930, he wrote a short monograph in memory of his younger brother, Dana, which was also illustrated by Hollingsworth.

Between 1939 and 1946, he wrote 13 crime and mystery thrillers under his own name, as well as the pseudonyms, Dana Chambers and Giles Jackson. His first novel, Some Day I'll Kill You, introduced the radio ad man turned hard-boiled detective, Jim Steele, who would re-appear in a number of subsequent novels, and later be referenced a number of times by Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye (Ch. 10, "I told them my name was Jim Steele, just for the hell of it.").

Albert Leffingwell died in 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut. Brothers included Thomas Arthur Leffingwell (Cornell Class of 1918), former Mayor of Aurora, NY, and owner of "Hygh-Fylde Farms",[5] and Dr. Dana Jackson Leffingwell (Cornell Class of 1921, and Associate Professor of Zoology at the State College of Washington).[6] He was married to Helen Lillian Urie, and had 2 daughters, Elisabeth and Joan Jackson.


  • Castles in Spain (Privately printed, 1916)
  • Dana Jackson Leffingwell (Privately printed, 1925)
  • Toujours de l'avant (Paris ; New York : Pinaud, c1928.)[7]

"The facts presented in this book were specially gathered in Paris during the spring of 1928 by the author, Albert Leffingwell. The illustrations are the work of Will Hollingsworth. The book was printed as a limited edition of 1500 copies by the Smithsonian process, at the printing house of William Edwin Rudge, inc."[8]

  • Some Day I'll Kill You (New York : Dial Press, 1939.)[9]
  • Too Like the Lightning (New York : Dial Press, 1939.)[10]
  • She'll Be Dead by Morning (New York, The Dial press, 1940.)[11]
  • The Blonde Died First (New York, The Dial press, 1941.)[12]
  • Nine Against New York. New York: Henry Holt and Company (1941)[13]
  • Witch's Moon (New York, The Dial press, 1941.)[14]
  • The Frightened Man (New York, The Dial press, 1942.)[15]
  • The Court of Shadows (New York, The Dial press [1943])[16]
  • The Last Secret (New York : Dial Press, 1943.)[17]
  • Darling, This is Death (New York, Dial press, 1945.)[18]
  • Death Against Venus (New York, Dial press, 1946.)[19]
  • The Case of Caroline Animus (New York, The Dial press. [1946])[20]
  • Rope For An Ape (New York, N.Y., The Dial press, 1947.).[21]


  1. ^ 1916 Harvard Class Album
  2. ^ No Writer Attributed (1917-03-01). "87 DEGREES CONFERRED | News | The Harvard Crimson". Retrieved 2012-10-17.
  3. ^ Leffingwell, Albert Fear (7 August 2018). Castles in Spain. OCLC 79785663.
  4. ^ Tramp, The Passing (5 April 2014). "The Passing Tramp: A Country House Mystery, Shaken and Stirred: Some Day I'll Kill You (1939), by Dana Chambers". Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2017-04-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Cornell Alumni News, March 27, 1930
  7. ^ "Library of Congress LCCN Permalink 29004772".
  8. ^ "Library of Congress LCCN Permalink 29004772".
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ Chambers, Dana (7 August 2018). "Too like the lightning: a new Jim Steele mystery". Dial Press. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  11. ^ Chambers, Dana (7 August 2018). "She'll be dead by morning! A new Jim Steele mystery". The Dial press. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  12. ^ Chambers, Dana (7 August 2018). "The blonde died first". The Dial press. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Library of Congress LCCN Permalink 41009243".
  14. ^ [2][dead link]
  15. ^ Chambers, Dana (7 August 2018). "The frightened man". The Dial press. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  16. ^ [3][dead link]
  17. ^ Chambers, Dana (7 August 2018). "The last secret". Dial Press. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  18. ^ [4][dead link]
  19. ^ [5][dead link]
  20. ^ Chambers, Dana (7 August 2018). "The case of Caroline Animus". The Dial press. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  21. ^ Chambers, Dana (7 August 2018). "Rope for an ape". The Dial press. Retrieved 7 August 2018.