Diary Review: BRANT HOUSE – Servants of the Skull.
Mystery File » Pulp Fiction
by Steve
5M ago
BRANT HOUSE – Servants of the Skull. Secret Agent X #2. Corinth CR126, paperback, 1966. Cover art by Robert Bonfil. First appeared in Secret Agent X, November 1934. [Brant House was a house name used by several writers; in this case the author was Emile C. Tepperman.]    The Skull’s plan is to kidnap ten heavily insured businessmen, then force [their] life insurance companies to pay for their release, rather than have them viciously murdered, X manages to take the place of a notorious safe-cracker and enter he Skull’s secret underground hideaway, but the capture of Betty Dale f ..read more
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Reviewed by Tony Baer: DASHIELL HAMMETT – The Dain Curse.
Mystery File » Pulp Fiction
by Steve
7M ago
Reviewed by TONY BAER:     DASHIELL HAMMETT – The Dain Curse. Alfred A. Knopf, hardcover, 1929. Reprinted many times since, in both hardcover and paperback.  TV mini-series: CBS 1978 (starring James Coburn as “Hamilton Nash.”)    The Dain Curse is a bad novel cobbled together from four interlinked stories from Black Mask. I disliked the novel when I first read it many years ago. Then after a recent debate on the Rara-Avis listserve about its merits, I resolved to read it again. This time reading the four stories as originally published to see if that improve ..read more
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Reviewed by Tony Baer: PAUL CAIN – Fast One.
Mystery File » Pulp Fiction
by Steve
7M ago
Reviewed by TONY BAER:     PAUL CAIN – Fast One. Doubleday Doran, hardcover, 1933. Originally published serially in Black Mask magazine. Reprint editions include: Bonded Mystery #10, 1946. Avon #178, paperback, 1948. Southern Illinois University Press, hardcover, 1978. Popular Library, paperback, 1978. Black Lizard, paperback, 1987.    Gerry Kells is a retired gunman living in L.A. He’s now a gentleman gambler. Or at least a gambler. Whose bets are rarely gambles at all, since the fix is almost always in. That’s what he thinks.    L.A. is wide open ..read more
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Reviewed by Mike Tooney: ERLE STANLEY GARDNER – The Exploits of the Patent Leather Kid.
Mystery File » Pulp Fiction
by Steve
7M ago
REVIEWED BY MIKE TOONEY:     ERLE STANLEY GARDNER – The Exploits of the Patent Leather Kid.  Crippen & Landru Publishers, 2010. Edited and introduced by Bill Pronzini. 13 stories.    When most people hear the name Erle Stanley Gardner, they immediately think of his most famous character creation, Perry Mason, but he was also an incredibly prolific pulp fiction writer. One of the characters Gardner created for the pulps was The Patent Leather Kid, an unoriginal amalgamation of Zorro, Raffles the Gentleman Thief, and The Scarlet Pimpernel.   &nbs ..read more
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2023 PulpFest Convention Report, by Martin Walker.
Mystery File » Pulp Fiction
by Steve
7M ago
Intro: Those of you who have been following this blog for almost as long as I have must be wondering what happened to Walker Martin’s annual PulpCon / PulpFest report. He’s missed only one since the tradition began, and that was my fault. I was too busy with personal matters to get it up and running that year, and it appeared on Sai Shankar’s PulpFlakes blog instead.    This year, though, Walker did attend but managed to catch Covid while there, and while he’s doing much better now, it took him a while to recover, and he never did manage to write up a report. As you may have sur ..read more
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Pulp Stories I’m Reading, Selected by Mike Tooney: Two by A. BOYD CORRELL.
Mystery File » Pulp Fiction
by Steve
7M ago
SELECTED BY MIKE TOONEY:     A(UGUSTUS) BOYD CORRELL, according to FictionMags, was “born in South Carolina; Newspaperman, writer for Walt Disney, author of magazine short stories; died in Los Angeles.” In 1948 he co-authored a novel, The Dark Wheel (a.k.a. Sweet and Deadly), with Philip MacDonald.    Correll specialized in short crime fiction, however, with his over two dozen stories being placed in the major detective pulps of the ’40s and ’50s; in the ’60s he generated two episodes for Robert Taylor’s Detectives TV series, and the ISFDb credits him with three w ..read more
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Pulp Stories I’ve Read: T. T. FLYNN “Bride of the Beast.”
Mystery File » Pulp Fiction
by Steve
7M ago
INTRO. This is the fifth and final story in the February 1936 issue of Dime Detective that I covered in its entirety in my column “Speaking of Pulp” in the April/May/June, 1979 issue of The Not So Private Eye.          —    The cover illustration is taken from the final story, a long novelette by T. T. Flynn entitled “Bride of the Beast,” which sounds more like a horror story from Dime Mystery than it docs a detective story. Flynn was an extremely prolific detective story writer from the pulps. He’s never seemed to have gathered much ..read more
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Archived Pulp Stories I’ve Read: Two More from Dime Detective Magazine, February 1936.
Mystery File » Pulp Fiction
by Steve
7M ago
INTRO. These are the third and fourth stories in the February 1936 issue of Dime Detective that I covered in it entirety in my column “Speaking of Pulp” in the April/May/June, 1979 issue of The Not So Private Eye.          —    The next couple of shorts can be disposed of rather quickly. “Postlude to Murder” by Donald S. Aitken features a private eye named Barker on the trail of a missing nephew who doesn’t know he’s suffering from hydrophobia. Once located, he’s immediately kidnapped. Somehow the story’s just too short for all these ..read more
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Archived Pulp Stories I’ve Read: WILLIAM E. BARRETT “The Tattooed Cop.”
Mystery File » Pulp Fiction
by Steve
7M ago
WILLIAM E. BARRETT “The Tattooed Cop.”  Novelette. Needle Mike. First published in Dime Detective Magazine, February 1936. Collected in The Complete Cases of Needle Mike, Volume 2 (Steeger Books, November 2022). INTRO. This is the second story in this issue of Dime Detective that I covered in it entirety in my column “Speaking of Pulp” in the April/May/June, 1979 issue of The Not So Private Eye. To answer the question I brought up in the first paragraph, the answer is Yes.          —    Let’s go on, I’ve never been sure if Willi ..read more
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Archived PI Stories I’ve Read: CARROLL JOHN DALY “Corpse & Co.”
Mystery File » Pulp Fiction
by Steve
7M ago
CARROLL JOHN DALY “Corpse & Co.” Novelette. Race Williams. First published in Dime Detective Magazine, February 1936. Added later (see comments #7 and #13): Collected in The Adventures of Race Williams (Mysterious Press, trade paperback, 1989), and in Just Another Stiff, The Collected Hard-Boiled Stories of Race Williams, Volume 5 (Steeger Books, 2019). INTRO: This pulp fiction PI review has been excerpted from a column I did for the April/May/June, 1979 issue of The Not So Private Eye, a fanzine published by Andy Jaysnovitch for several years in the late 70s. In this particular column, t ..read more
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