Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Dime Detective, December 1943
I finished reading this pulp tonight and thought that it was a very good issue. The lead story is a long novelette by Merle Constiner about private detective Wardlaw Rock, also known as the Dean. I've read several stories from this series and liked them all. Constiner takes several wildly different plot elements, obscure historical trivia, bizarre scientific facts, and mixes them all into coherent, highly entertaining mystery yarns. If I had to compare the Dean stories to something current, it would be the TV series MONK, although personality-wise the Dean and Adrian Monk are completely different. The small press publisher Battered Silicon Dispatch Box has done a pricey volume reprinting all the Dean stories. I haven't sprung for it yet, but I may one of these days.
This issue of DIME DETECTIVE also features novelettes by Norbert Davis (a Bail-Bond Dodd story) and Day Keene. Davis's stories are always well-written and funny, and Keene is a long-time favorite of mine. And it has a striking cover to boot. Good stuff.