As World’s Press News put it back in the 70’s, “when Dr Johnson coined the term ‘literary adventurer’ he might well have had someone like Frederic Mullally in mind.” By then, Mullally’s involvement with the written word had already spanned three successive and distinct careers of journalist, public relations and best-selling novelist.
His journalism, from 1937 to 1949 was as a reporter with the Times of Malta, then as sub-editor on the Statesman of Calcutta and Editor, at 19, of The Sunday Standard of Bombay.
Back in his birthplace, London, he worked as a feature writer for the Financial News, as co-editor of the weekly Tribune and finally as political editor and columnist of the Sunday Pictoral (now the Sunday Mirror).
From 1950 to 1955, he headed the public relations firm of Mullally & Warner, with clients ranging from Audrey Hepburn and Frank Sinatra to Douglas Fairbanks jnr., Paul Getty, Frankie Laine, the Festival Ballet and Picture Post.
His first novel was the 1958 world best-seller, Danse Macabre. This was followed by twelve more titles published in Britain, the USA and worldwide, including his semi-autobiographical novel, Clancy, dramatised by BBC TV in five one-hour episodes in 1975 and 1977 under the title “Looking for Clancy”. Non-fiction titles have included Death Pays a Dividend co-authored with Fenner Brockway, Fascism Inside England, The Silver Salver and Primo, the story of “Man Mountain” Carnera in 1991.
Between books, Mullally compiled and wrote with the collaboration of the BBC the album The Sounds of Time, a dramatised history of Britain (1933-1945) and the long-running Penthouse Magazine’s strip cartoon, Oh Wicked Wanda!
Thrice Around the Mulberry Bush is his autobiography.