Sunday, December 11, 2022

Sunday Morning Bonus Pulp: G-Men Detective, Winter 1946

I don’t own a copy of this pulp, but the Dan Fowler lead novel, “Diamonds Across the Atlantic” by Edward Churchill, used to be available as an inexpensive e-book. It appears to be gone from Amazon now, but it's still on my Kindle, so I read it recently. I’m going to be writing a Dan Fowler story myself in a few months, so I have to get in the proper frame of mind. Not to mention, I always enjoy the Fowler yarns that appeared in G-MEN and G-MEN DETECTIVE.

This story finds Inspector Dan Fowler of the F.B.I. on the trail of a gang that robbed a train traveling between New York and Detroit. Assisted as usual by fellow agents Larry Kendal and Sally Vane (Fowler’s girlfriend, but they can’t really get serious because they have jobs to do; you know how that goes), he soon discovers that the robbery is connected to a bunch of Nazi saboteurs smuggled into the country on a fishing boat that docked in Boston. The object of the robbery is a secret at first, but I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler (it’s right there in the title) to reveal that what everybody’s after is a bunch of industrial diamonds that the failing German war machine desperately needs. (By the time this issue was published, the war had been over for almost a year, but clearly, this Fowler novel was written much earlier.)

The trail of the Nazis and the diamonds leads from Detroit back to New York and then on to Miami and ultimately Brazil. Our heroes get shot at, knocked out, and thrown off speeding trains. There’s plenty of action, as well as some actual detective work by Fowler. The Fowler novels were never actually police procedurals, but they came close at times. Everything wraps up in a satisfying, high-flying climax.

Edward Churchill wrote ten Dan Fowler novels, some under his own name and some under the house-name C.K.M. Scanlon. He also wrote several dozen other stories for various detective, sports, and aviation pulps. He’s not much remembered these days, probably because his writing style was a little flat and bland at times. But on the other hand, he could put together an exciting, interesting plot, as he does in “Diamonds Across the Atlantic”. I wouldn’t put this one in the top rank of Dan Fowler stories, but I enjoyed it quite a bit and it probably won’t be long before I read the other Churchill entry I have, “Escape From Alcatraz”.

The rest of this issue, according to the Fictionmags Index, features stories by Norman A. Daniels (writing as Wayland Rice), Johnston McCulley, David X. Manners, and Curtiss T. Gardner. Daniels and McCulley are always worth reading. I haven’t sampled any work from the other two. But it looks like a good issue overall, with a nice cover.


Bill Kelly said...

This and three other Churchill stories can be found on the Pulpgen archive:

James Reasoner said...

Thanks, Bill. I just downloaded the two stories I didn't have.

Bill Kelly said...

I found another Churchill story in MASTER MYSTERY STORIES (1945), an anthology edited by Leo Margulies, entitled "Murder in San Diego". Curiously, this story is not listed in Contento. The copyright information is rather sketchy: not specific to story. The anthology for download can be found under Leo Margulies entry in Luminist Archives: