Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Morning Western Pulp: Range Riders Western, February 1946

I don't know about you, but I love a title like "Ghost Killers of Skull River". Actually, it's my inner ten-year-old that loves it, but hey, he's in charge most of the time anyway. I'm also fond of this one because the lead novel featuring range detectives Steve Reese, Hank Ball, and Dusty Trail is by "Gunnison Steele", who was of course Bennie Gardner, father of long-time mystery fan and all-around great guy Barry Gardner, who is no longer with us, unfortunately. Bennie Gardner was a fine writer who often had a strong mystery element to his Western yarns, especially his novels. He was also a master of the short-short story. The back-up stories in this issue are by Cliff Walters, Ralph Yergen, Frederick W. Bales, and Harold Cruikshank. Cruikshank's Pioneer Folk stories are about as bland as they can be, but they're readable. I'm not familiar with those other authors. It's hard to go wrong with a Gunnison Steele story, though.

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