We've got a gun-totin' clown and a monkey in this Rudolph Belarski cover from DOUBLE DETECTIVE, which means, of course, that I like it. It would be even better if the monkey had a knife, but that's just me, I guess. This issue also has a great line-up of authors inside: Richard Sale, D.L. Champion, Philip Ketchum, Donald Barr Chidsey, John H. Knox, Edwin Truett Long, Wyatt Blassingame, and G.T. Fleming-Roberts. That's some high-powered stuff.
That poor horse! This cover from SPEED WESTERN reminds me of the movie stunt called a Running W that resulted in the deaths of many horses during the B-Western era. And the girl looks like she's about to get pretty shaken up, too. But inside are stories from some top-notch pulpsters, including Laurence Donovan (once as himself and once as Larry Dunn), James P. Olsen (once as himself and once as James A. Lawson), H.A. DeRosso, and house-names Walter Cook (probably also Donovan, since the story under the Cook name in the magazine has Donovan's name on it on the cover) and Stan Warner, who may well have been Donovan, too, or possibly Olsen.
I first encountered Frederick Nebel’s work in the
iconic 1965 anthology THE HARDBOILED DICKS, which made me a fan of hardboiled
pulp crime fiction ever since. Editor Ron Goulart included one of Nebel’s Kennedy
and MacBride stories, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. But then for years after
that, I didn’t read much by Nebel since there just wasn’t a lot available. Half
a dozen of his stories were collected in the paperback SIX DEADLY DAMES, but I
never came across a copy of it.
That’s changed a great deal in recent years as dozens of Nebel’s stories have
been reprinted by various presses that specialize in pulp fiction. He was a
very prolific writer, turning out Northerns, aviation yarns, and straight adventure
stories in addition to his mysteries. His first big success with a series
character came with the hardboiled private eye Donohue, who appeared in fifteen
stories in BLACK MASK from 1930 to 1935. All of these stories have been
reprinted in TOUGH AS NAILS: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION OF DONOHUE STORIES. And what a wonderful collection it is. I’ve been reading these
stories between other books for a while now and finally finished them.
"Rough Justice" (November 1930) is the first Donahue story, but it
finds him in St. Louis on the trail of a fugitive, instead of his usual
bailiwick of New York.
The next three stories are linked novellas that form a short novel of sorts:
"The Red-Hots" (December 1930), "Gun Thunder" (January
1931), and "Get a Load of This" (February 1931) find Donahue solving
several murders and scrapping with a wide variety of characters, including a
couple of beautiful women, as everybody tries to get their hands on a diamond
worth $90,000 that was stolen in Europe and smuggled into the States.
“Spare the Rod”, from August 1931, finds Donahue back in St. Louis, hired by a
crusading lawyer to recover evidence incriminating some local gangsters, but of
course, things don’t go exactly like Donohue expects them to.
In “Pearls Are Tears” (September 1931), Donahue is hired to be the go-between
in the recovery of a valuable stolen necklace, but as anybody who’s ever read
any private eye fiction knows, such exchanges never go off as they’re supposed
to. In this one, a cop winds up dead, and Donahue has to track down the killer.
“Death’s Not Enough”, from October 1931, opens with Donahue relaxing at home.
You know that’s not going to last. Sure enough, a guy with two slugs in his
belly shows up on Donahue’s doorstep and promptly dies. Recognizing the victim
as a crusading newspaper columnist, Donahue figures finding his killer will be
good publicity, so off he goes on a wild chase that features several blazing
The next three stories are connected, and the sequence forms another short
novel. Donahue actually has a date in “Shake-Up” (August 1932), but as it turns
out, there’s nothing romantic about it, the shady lady in question is actually
a witness in a case Donahue’s working on. And when she gets murdered (no
surprise there), of course Donahue sets out to find the killer, even if the
search makes him some dangerous enemies. “He Could Take It” (September 1932) is
a direct sequel, starting just a few hours after the previous story ended. Even
though Donohue solved the murder, the case isn’t over, as several new angles
crop up. Also in this story, we learn that Donohue’s actual first name is Ben,
even though all his friends call him Donny. “The Red Web” (October 1932) is set
three weeks later and wraps things up as a danger from the past comes back to
threaten a young woman Donohue has met in the previous story.
In “Red Pavement” (December 1932), Donohue feels unusually generous and picks
up a drunk out of the gutter to help him get home. Naturally, there’s a lot
more to it than Donohue expects, and almost before he knows it, he’s dodging
bullets and setting out to do a job given to him by a dying man.
The next three stories, “Save Your Tears” (June 1933), “Song and Dance” (July
1933), and “Champions Also Die” (August 1933) form a short novel in which
Donohue gets involved with the boxing racket. He solves the murder of a fight
promotor, saves a champion boxer from the wiles of a femme fatale, and tackles
the murder of another champion and a boxing manager.
The final Donohue story, “Ghost of a Chance” (March 1935), is also the longest
in the series, almost a short novel by itself. Donohue is approached by a
potential client about a simple messenger job—somebody is supposed to pick up
and deliver some money—but then a hotel house detective gets murdered, the
potential client disappears, and things get complicated. The plot in this one
is very good, but the story is weakened by the fact that it’s obviously a
rewritten story that originally featured Nebel’s other series private eye, Cardigan,
whose adventures appeared in DIME DETECTIVE. I’m not sure why the original
version was rejected—like I said, it’s a pretty good story—but Nebel didn’t do
a great job of rewriting it and it just feels a little off as a Donohue yarn.
That said, the little glitch at the end doesn’t keep TOUGH AS NAILS from being
a superb collection. Nebel was just a fantastic writer and everything I’ve read
by him has been tough and fast and very involving for the reader. This is the
type of hardboiled private eye fiction I grew up reading and loving, and I’m
glad I didn’t dig deeply into Nebel’s output until now, because I still have
plenty by him to read. TOUGH AS NAILS is easily one of the best books I’ve read
so far this year, and I give it my highest recommendation. (Below are the covers of some of the BLACK MASK issues where these stories were published originally.)
This is another science fiction and fantasy reprint magazine like FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES and FANTASTIC NOVELS, but A. MERRITT'S FANTASY MAGAZINE lasted only a handful of issues. It published some good authors while it lasted, though. This issue featured two stories originally published in ARGOSY in 1939 and 1940, "The Ninth Life" by Jack Mann and "The Little Doll Died" by Theodore Roscoe. I've never read any of Jack Mann's work (I believe his real name was E. Charles Vivian), but everything I've read by Theodore Roscoe has been excellent. And this cover is by the always top-notch Norman Saunders.
For some reason, I've always liked the scene in Western movies where the hero goes diving across the screen with a gun in each fist, blasting away. Here we have the pulp cover equivalent of that scene, and not surprisingly, I like it, too. Gordon D. Shirreffs is the top author in this issue of WESTERN ACTION, but there are also stories by Lon Willliams, A.A. Baker (never read his work, that I recall, but he was prolific), E.E. Clement (who was actually editor Robert W. Lowndes), and someone named Warner Austin, who I never heard of. By 1957, WESTERN ACTION was one of the few Western pulps left. I would have read it. (I was around then, but I hadn't learned to read yet.)
A little background is in order on this one before I talk
about the book itself. I generally pick up any vintage Gold Medals I don’t have
when I run across them and the price isn’t too high. So when I found this one
in a used bookstore for three bucks, I didn’t hesitate to buy it even though I’d
never heard of the author. At the very least, it has a nice A. Leslie Ross
Then, a while after I’d bought it, I got to looking at it and read that back
cover copy: “A novel of the daring men who grow only in the Great Northwest, by
Yukon Miles, an author who lives there himself.”
My first thought was there was no way the author’s name was really “Yukon Miles”.
That just screamed pseudonym to me. Something about the combination of the
title, the name, the cover, and the 1951 publication date made me think, “Hmm,
that’s about the time Dan Cushman started selling novels to Gold Medal, and
Cushman wrote a lot of Northerns for the Fiction House pulps . . . and I know
he expanded at least one of his Armless O’Neil novellas for JUNGLE STORIES into
a novel for Gold Medal . . . I wonder if STAMPEDE could be an expansion of one
of his Northerns!”
A little Internet research led me to a site claiming that “Yukon Miles” was
indeed Dan Cushman, but there was no information about the genesis of this
particular novel (which seemed to be the only one ever published under that
by-line). There was only one site making that Miles/Cushman connection that I
could find, however, so I wasn’t completely convinced. So I took the next
I read the book.
Which is what I should have done in the first place, because all the answers
fell into my lap on the very first page. As soon as I read about how three
drifting cowboys—Jonathan Calhoun Colter, better known as Johnny Colt; Big Bill
Spooner; and José Julio Santiago Perez Garcia y Bolivar Murphy, called Josie—rode
into the cowtown of Maverly, I knew beyond a doubt that Yukon Miles was really
Dan Cushman, as well as where this particular novel came from.
I should back up a little more. Dan Cushman was a prolific contributor to the
Fiction House pulps in the Forties and early Fifties, a star writer for LARIAT
STORY, NORTHWEST ROMANCES, FRONTIER STORIES, ACTION STORIES, and JUNGLE
STORIES. As the Fifties went on, he became a very successful novelist for Gold
Medal, Dell, and Ace, turning out mostly adventure yarns set in Africa or the
Far East, as well as the occasional Western. He wrote STAY AWAY, JOE, a
hardback mainstream novel about life on the Indian reservations in Montana that
netted him a movie sale (with Elvis Presley in the title role) and the enmity of certain political factions in his home state. He produced
some historical non-fiction and then sort of faded out of the publishing scene
for many years, before making a comeback in the Eighties and Nineties with some
well-received Western and Northern novels for Walker and Five Star. He died in 2001.
Now that you know that, I can talk some more about STAMPEDE and its origins.
That line on the cover “An Original Novel—Not a Reprint”? Well, not really. You
see, in 1950 Popular Publications, one of Fiction House’s rivals, hired Cushman
to create and write a series of short novels for a new Western pulp called THE
PECOS KID WESTERN. The magazine would feature the adventures of a trio of
trouble-seeking, gunswift hombres in the Old West: William Calhoun Warren,
better known as the Pecos Kid; Big Jim Swing; and Hernandez Pedro Gonzales y
Fuente Jesus Maria Flanagan, called Butch.
I trust you see where I’m going with this?
THE PECOS KID WESTERN ran for only five issues before succumbing to poor sales,
but decades later all five Pecos Kid novels were reprinted by Leisure Books,
two per paperback volume, except for the final one which appeared along with
two stories featuring another of Cushman’s series characters, the road agent
known as Comanche John. I had read the first four Pecos Kids and knew
immediately that STAMPEDE was a rewrite/expansion of one of them, with the
names of the three protagonists changed and the story beefed up a little. It
took looking at the reprints to determine which pulp novel supplied the source
material. Turns out it was “Three for the Deadwood Drive”, from the September
1950 issue of THE PECOS KID WESTERN. It’s not even much of an expansion. A lot
of it is word-for-word except for the character names.
Once I’d determined all this, I almost put STAMPEDE aside without finishing it.
After all, I’d read the original version, and to be honest, I wasn’t a big fan
of those Pecos Kid stories. They weren’t bad, they just didn’t grip me the way
I want a pulp yarn to. But it had been more than a decade since I’d read “Three
for the Deadwood Drive” (which was reprinted under the shorter title “The
Deadwood Drive”), so I thought why not? and stuck with STAMPEDE.
And I’m glad I did. It’s really odd, but I liked this version a lot better. The
characters are more appealing, the action is better, and the pace flows along
just fine as Johnny Colt and his pards try to help out an old friend by driving
nine hundred head of cattle to Deadwood through Indian country. The problem is,
those nine hundred head are part of a combined herd and the hard-nosed Texas
cattleman who’s heading up the drive is determined to own all of the cows, no
matter what brand is on them, by the time the drive is over. It’s a simple
story without any plot twists, really, but well told with some excellent
gunfights and, yes, a few stampedes along the way.
Since this book came out in 1951, Cushman must have done the rewrite almost as
soon as he was finished with the original. I’m not sure why he didn’t start
with the first Pecos Kid story unless he just liked this one better. For all I
know, he planned to turn all of them into “Yukon Miles” books. Why there’s only
one is a mystery. It’s possible that someone at Popular Publications got wind
of what he was doing and told him to stop. They owned the copyright on the
original version, after all. Or Cushman could have abandoned the idea himself
when his other books for Gold Medal (including that Armless O’Neil rewrite)
sold extremely well. He may have wanted to devote his energies to them rather
than rewriting more Pecos Kids.
Either way, we’re left with STAMPEDE, which is a pretty darned good book. I
enjoyed reading it, and I like uncovering a little bit of pulp and paperback
history. Seems to me that it was well worth the three bucks. And if you happen
to have a copy of STAMPEDE on your shelves and are a Western fan, it’s worth
reading, whether you know its history or not.
Which, I guess, you do if you’ve read this far. I hope I didn’t ruin it for
(Note: All five of the original Pecos Kid novels are available as inexpensive e-books. NO GOLD ON BOOTHILL contains the fifth Pecos Kid novel plus two Comanche John stories, as mentioned above.)
Mike Baron was one of the top comic book scripters for many
years and these days is a very popular, critically acclaimed mystery and horror
novelist. His latest book, FLORIDA MAN, is a bit of a departure. There’s crime
in it, but it’s not really a crime novel. It’s more a wild, fast-paced comedy
that manages to be dark, profane (it even says so right on the cover), very
well-written, and very funny.
The title character is Gary Duba, a perpetually down on his luck Florida
redneck who lives up to all the stereotypes, right down to the trailer house in
which he lives (held down by giant chains called House Suspenders by Gary, who
believes he’s invented the perfect hurricane protection system). Needing money
to bail out his girlfriend, who’s gotten arrested for fighting with a Waffle
House manager, he sets out to sell one of his prized baseball cards, and when
that doesn’t work, he takes on some work for a sleazy attorney that makes him
an unofficial private detective. (This isn’t a private eye novel, either.)
Of course things go wrong, and Gary runs into a multitude of characters who are
just as colorful and eccentric as he is, and wild adventures pile up . . .
until the plot takes an abrupt turn that would seem to indicate Gary’s luck has
finally changed for the better. Some things never change, though, including
Gary’s devil-may-care approach to life.
FLORIDA MAN is filled with sex, drugs, violence, politically incorrect humor,
and gators. The best way to describe it is this: FLORIDA MAN is a hoot. I had a
great time reading it and give it a high recommendation.
THE MEASURE OF A MAN is the second of three movies Luke Perry made for the Hallmark Channel in which he played a character he created, frontier judge John William Goodnight. In this one, Goodnight arrives in a small Wyoming settlement to hear some cases, and while he's there he not only meets an old flame of his, he's also on hand when a gang of outlaws that's been plaguing the area shows up to rob the bank. A shootout occurs, leaving one of the outlaws dead in the street and another captured. The prisoner, a young man, insists that the gang leader will come back to rescue him. Instead, we get a not too surprising plot twist that finds Goodnight setting out to hunt down the desperadoes. This movie has many of the same drawbacks as the first one, GOODNIGHT FOR JUSTICE, such as the overall cheap look of it and that drab Canadian Western town that never looks authentic to me. However, I liked it better because the script is more tightly focused, rather than wandering around all over the place like the first one, and there are some decent lines here and there. Perry again gives a solid performance and seems to be enjoying himself, and there's some effective scenery chewing by an actor named Teach Grant as a despicable villain. One oddity is that the Goodnight character seems to have lost his touch when it comes to handling a gun. He was a crack shot in the first one but can't seem to hit much of anything this time around. These movies aren't going to make anybody a Western fan who isn't one already, but there are enough nice moments that I enjoy them. I thought the ending of this one worked well, and I'm sure it won't be long before we watch the third and final film in the series.
FANTASTIC NOVELS was another reprint pulp that brought back stories from the very early days of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. This issue features A. Merritt's novel THE CONQUEST OF THE MOON POOL, originally published in ALL-STORY WEEKLY in 1919 as a six-part serial. I don't know if this version is abridged, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was. THE CONQUEST OF THE MOON POOL is the sequel to Merritt's novella "The Moon Pool", and I believe both stories were combined to form the novel THE MOON POOL. I seem to recall reading that Merritt did a lot of revising to his original stories when they were combined and/or expanded in later versions, but I'm far from an expert on Merritt and his work. He's one of those authors I've enjoyed, but I haven't read much by him and always intend to read more. I own most of his work in one edition or another. What I do know is that I like this cover by an artist usually billed simply as Lawrence, real name Lawrence Sterne Stevens. I mean, a good-looking blonde with a raygun and a bunch of spear-toting humanoid frogs . . . what's not to like?
That's a nice cover by George Rozen on this issue of GIANT WESTERN, and some pretty good authors inside, too. Jim Mayo was Louis L'Amour, of course, and a few years later he expanded his novella "Showdown on the Hogback" into the novel SHOWDOWN AT YELLOW BUTTE. Then there's W.C. Tuttle, one of my favorites, with a story featuring his character Cultus Collins (I haven't read any of this series). Also on hand are Leslie Scott, another favorite, writing under his pseudonym A. Leslie, old-timer Charles Alden Seltzer, Arch Whitehouse, better known for his aviation stories, and house-name Charles Alan Gregory.
Most of the Perry Mason novels by Erle Stanley Gardner have
been reprinted numerous times, some by several different publishers, and there
are many, many cover variations. However, for me the most iconic editions are
the ones published by Pocket Books during the late Fifties and early Sixties in
the short paperback format, often with covers by Robert McGinnis. Those and the
cheap hardback reprints from the Forties published by Triangle Books were my
introduction to Perry Mason.
THE CASE OF THE GLAMOROUS GHOST, published in hardcover by William Morrow in
1955 and reprinted by Pocket as part of its Cardinal line in 1957, doesn’t have
a McGinnis cover, but the one on this edition by Charles Binger isn’t bad.
(That’s my copy in the scan.) It’s also, mostly, a very good novel.
It opens with Della Street, Mason’s secretary, handing him a newspaper
containing a story about a beautiful young woman who caused havoc in the local
lover’s lane by appearing almost nude, in some sort of diaphonous get-up, and
distracting the couples parked there from their necking. I’m not sure how
ghostly that is, but we can allow Gardner that stretch for the sake of a good
title. Not surprisingly, Mason winds up representing the young woman, who
claims she has amnesia when she’s picked up by the cops for disturbing the
In no time at all, of course, the case becomes a lot more complicated,
involving a hurry-up marriage in Yuma, Arizona (or was there actually a
marriage?), jealous girlfriends, the international jewel trade, and a dead body
found in the vicinity of the same lover’s lane where the beautiful “ghost” was
cavorting. Mason’s memory-impaired client quickly goes from being charged with
disturbing the peace to being on trial for murder. In fact, the entire second
half of the book is taken up with the trial, in courtroom scene after courtroom
scene, which is a good thing because nobody ever did a better job of writing
those than Erle Stanley Gardner. They really kept me turning the pages.
My only real quibble is that while I’m used to complicated plots in a Gardner
novel, this one becomes ludicrously so with a lot of elements hauled in late
from left field. It all makes sense, but Mason seems to pull a lot of the
solution out of thin air.
However, I realized a long time ago that the actual appeal of the Perry Mason
novels doesn’t lie in the plots, although some of them are more interesting and
well-constructed than others. What I really enjoy about this series is the
friendship and banter between Perry, Della, and Paul Drake, and seeing Hamilton
Burger get his courtroom comeuppance yet again. Burger is in fine form in this
one. He accuses Mason of being on a fishing expedition, blusters about his
grandstanding, and at one point even says, “Your Honor, counsel is trying to
turn this court room into a carnival sideshow!” Classic stuff that puts a grin
on my face every time. Some readers might call it formulaic, but it’s exactly
what I want from a Perry Mason novel, and THE CASE OF THE GLAMOROUS GHOST does
a good job of delivering the goods. I’ve been reading Gardner for more than
fifty years now (I actually started with one of his Donald Lam/Bertha Cool
books) and don’t intend to stop any time soon.
FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES was primarily a reprint pulp, bringing back science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories originally written and published before such genres truly existed as we know them now. I seem to recall reading that some of the reprinted novels were abridged, but I don't know that for a fact. FFM was also noted for its good covers, many of them by Virgil Finlay including this one. As you can see, the lead stories in this issue are "The Colour Out of Space" by H.P. Lovecraft and "Palos of the Dog Star Pack" by J.U. Giesy, neither of which I've ever read. There's also a short story by L. Patrick Greene, better known as the author of the African adventure series featuring a character called The Major, and a poem, apparently original in this issue, by Robert W. Lowndes. I really ought to read more of this stuff.
I think the expression on that girl's face may be more dangerous than the six-shooter in the cowboy's hand. This is another great cover from Norman Saunders. There are only three stories in this issue of BEST WESTERN NOVELS, two from top-notch authors Dean Owen and William Heuman and one from Lee Floren, a writer I've come to appreciate more in recent years even though I still wouldn't call him a favorite. I love novella-length Western yarns, so I'm sure I'd enjoy this issue.
Clifton Adams had a short but solid career in the Western
pulps, lasting about five years in the late Forties and early Fifties. I assume
the reason he stopped writing short fiction is that he became a successful
paperback novelist and eventually moved on to more success and Spur awards as a
regular author for Doubleday’s Double D Western hardcover line. He was also
well-regarded as a hardboiled crime novelist, although not nearly as prolific
in that genre.
GAMBLING MAN is one of his early novels, published by Gold Medal in 1955 and
never reprinted, as far as I know. Despite the title and the cover, this is
actually a coming-of-age novel, and a really superb one, at that.
Twelve-year-old Jefferson Blaine lives in the small Texas town of Plainsville,
which lives up to its name as far as Jeff is concerned. Once a cattle town, it’s
now mostly a supply center for farmers and a pretty boring place. Jeff lives with
his aunt and uncle because his mother died giving birth to him and his father
left right after he was born.
Then one day Nathan Blaine comes back to town to see his son, and Jeff is
surprised to discover his father is a gunman, a gambler, and quite possibly an
outlaw. His aunt and uncle don’t like Nate and don’t want Jeff to have
anything to do with him, but of course that’s not the way things play out. Then
the situation takes yet another turn, and a tragic one, when the local bank is
robbed and Nathan Blaine goes on the run again.
This takes up the first half of the book, and it’s absolutely compelling
reading, rich in characterization and very well written. Halfway through the
book there’s a time jump of five years, to the point when Jeff Blaine is nearly
grown and getting a bad reputation himself, just like his father. Then more
outlaws show up in town, which has gotten wild again since the railroad
arrived, and bring unwelcome news of Jeff’s father, news that threatens to make
him finally cross the line and become a real owlhoot himself.
The second half of GAMBLING MAN doesn’t quite live up to the first half, but it’s
still very, very good and builds to an exciting, emotional climax. Adams’
writing is hardboiled and top-notch all the way. This is a very solid
traditional Western and gets a high recommendation from me.
The arrival of a new novel by Peter Brandvold is always
cause for celebration among Western fans, and that’s certainly true where
STILLMAN’S GUN is concerned. Sheriff Ben Stillman was the first of many series
characters created by Brandvold, who has been chronicling the sheriff’s
adventures for twenty years now. In this one, Stillman is on a manhunt that
nets him not only a bank robber prisoner but also a small fortune in the loot
the robber was carrying. Complicating the situation is the fact that the outlaw
is an old acquaintance of Stillman’s.
Given these circumstances, a lesser man might be tempted to keep the money and
let the robber go, but Stillman is determined to bring both back to
civilization, despite the danger of transporting that much money through wild
country where plenty of hardcases will want to get their hands on it. Then
there’s another twist involving a beautiful woman and the vengeful cattle baron
who’s pursuing her. As usual, Stillman has his hands full with trouble from all
Nobody in the business writes better action scenes than Brandvold, and he’s a
master of setting and character as well. If you’re a Western fan and haven’t
read his work, you really need to. If you’re a long-time reader like me, you’ll
want to grab this one up. STILLMAN’S GUN gets a high recommendation from me.
It has to be this way every weekend, Laura said as we lay
side by side. How can it be? My father will be home. After he has gone to sleep
I can come to you. What if he should catch us? He won't catch us. We'll be
smart. He's a sound sleeper but if that doesn't work out we can always take a
ride into the country. I sighed and closed my eyes. This was my father's wife.
And my lover....
THE STRANGEST SIN
Sharon Doyle felt dirty when she woke up in Jimmy Slade's
bed, but that wasn't unusual. She always felt dirty after a night of passion in
Jimmy's cheap room... Sharon owns a bar and too often ends up blotto at the end
of the evening, letting Jimmy take her back to his place. Her neighbor Carl
Evans is a nicer guy, but he won't make a move. Between them is Bert Robinson,
the local racketeer who wants Sharon all to himself, no matter what it takes.
But Sharon is tired of them. She finds herself more attracted to her bartender,
Lucy, who keeps the local guys satisfied in a room upstairs. It's a lit-fuse
situation, and all it takes is a single act of violence to set it off.
I wrote the introduction to this double volume from Stark
House that will be out later this fall, and I'm proud to have done so. Both
novels are top-notch tales from a great storyteller, and I give this collection
a very high recommendation.
That's a pretty brutal cover on this issue of GOLD SEAL DETECTIVE, a short-lived pulp that appears to have featured mostly stories about G-Men. The lead novella is part of the Rough 'Em Up Radigan series by "Clark Aiken", who was really Frederick C. Davis, so you know it's got to be pretty good. With five of these novellas running in GOLD SEAL DETECTIVE, I wonder if the series would be a good candidate for reprinting. I don't know about you, but I'd buy THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF ROUGH 'EM UP RADIGAN. Norman A. Daniels is also on hand in this issue, twice, in fact, once as himself and once as David A. Norman. James Perley Hughes and Darrell Jordan are the best-known names among the other authors, and they're best remembered for their work in the aviation pulps. But I think this issue would be worth reading just for Davis and Daniels.