CONFESSIONS OF A GHOST-HUNTER
I have finally uncovered the identity of the ghost writer who collaborated with Jasper Maskelyne. In our 1995 correspondence Alistair Maskelyne was adamant that a ghost writer had produced both Magic–Top Secret and the earlier White Magic, but he could not provide a name. I had no reason to doubt Alistair, but understandably required additional evidence. In 2004 I contacted Random House who now own Stanley Paul. I spoke to their archive librarian, Jean Rose. She helpfully located the original contract for Magic–Top Secret signed by Jasper Maskelyne on June 23rd, 1947. The surviving contract did not refer to a second writer.
I pressed her on this point. She said that from Stanley Paul’s perspective Maskelyne was the sole person contracted to write the book. However, she added that the contract also referred to Jasper’s literary agent, Rupert Crew. Jean informed me that the Rupert Crew agency still existed and gave me their number. I then spoke to Doreen Montgomery, the agency director.
I introduced myself by saying: “I’ve done a great deal of research on the wartime career of Jasper Maskelyne. I’ve corresponded in detail with his son, Alistair. But his son claims that Magic–Top Secret was ghost-written....”
Click on the image opposite to nail the ghost.