Besides posting book reviews, once in a while I will be posting articles on the subject of pulps. I hope we can generate more interest for the Blog. If you would like to share an article on the pulps, you can send me a message in the Comments of a post.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Kiss For A Killer

Honey West #6: “Kiss For A Killer” by G.G.  Fickling. When football star Rip Spensor is found murdered, and there’s a picture of Honey West in a frame by his bed, Lt. Mark Storm wants to know what Honey has to do with the case. There’s also a lead to Thom Tunny’s nudist cult. No sooner does the story get off the ground than a deadly species of tarantulas have been dumped into her car – and lap, then she’s ran off the road by a nude driver – a hunk of a man, and Honey is hired by Tummy’s cult to investigate the murder. Then there’s the Academy Award winning actress tied in with the dead man and the nude cult, and Honey gets knocked over the head. All before Page 50. And it doesn’t stop there. Honey is captured, tied, threatened with torture and rape, and even forced off a cliff. The action doesn’t stop. Not to mention she keeps waking up with murdered people. This was a fun read from the start to finish.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Deadlier Than The Male

Jana Blake #1: “Deadlier Than The Male” by Jim Conaway. I tried to look up the author, but the only Jim (James) Conaway I found did not have this series listed under his books. I think there were only two books in this series, featuring private detective Jana Blake. This story set all the characters in place: her lover, an Italian Gianni, a close friend, homosexual named Charlie Cohen, and the lieutenant of detectives (who also becomes her lover), Lieutenant Gilbert Lanahan. Jana has been struggling along with small cases of shoplifting and missing pets and children, waiting for the big case. It comes when men are murdered with their heads chopped off by an ax. The mother of one of the men wants the killer found. Although this is a female detective, it reminded me of the Dirty Harry stories. In fact, this one had a lot of similarities to the film version and plot of SUDDEN IMPACK. A woman is killing men who raped her. In the film Sandra Lock shot the men in the groin before killing them. In DEADLIER THAN THE MAIL, she uses an ax to chop their heads off. One man she doesn’t kill has already lost his mind (also has a counterpart in the movie). There’s even an old woman involved, which ties this novel tighter to the film. The only action in this book is the sex with the main characters, and the killing by the woman. There’s not much else to recommend it. Still, is was an easy read, and moved quickly.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

TV Tie-Ins

TV Tie-Ins by Kurt Peer: This comprehensive work lists over 1400 paperbacks based on TV shows -- TV tie-ins -- that were published in America through 1990. A treasure trove of information, it not only provides easy-to-use, cross-indexed lists but also explores the history of TV tie-ins as well as the paperback book industry in general and television itself. Full of interesting trivia, and with an illustrated insert section, it's a unique pop reference book all fans of classic TV can enjoy. Especially aimed at paperback collectors searching for the elusive novels written as tie-ins to favorite TV series. 365 pages of clear data, easy to follow, and spaces to mark your book in any series.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Bronze Mermaid

“The Bronze Mermaid” by Paul Ernst. An early paperback from Pennant Books by pulp author Paul Ernst. Ernst was the author of THE AVENGER series under the Kenneth Robeson house name. With the pulp magazines drying up, he moved into the paperback field with modern mysteries. In “The Bronze Mermaid” our protagonist is Sam Cates, an ex Marine now working as an insurance adjuster for Home Protection Insurance Company. Previously, he had handled the case of the home robbery involving the Duysberg diamond and other jewelry. In that case, the police had found the niece of Senator Keppert tied up and gagged, and the safe robbed. Cates investigated, and figured it was an inside job, and believed the niece to be involved, but without enough evidence, the insurance paid off. Now, several months later, Cates is leaving a French cafĂ© in New York when he spots a young girl walking down the street. She looks familiar, so he follows her out of curiosity. When she enters the Club 50, a run-down nightclub, he steps in behind her, coming face to face with Ellen Keppert, the suspicious niece in the jewel robbery. She accuses him of following her, and then hires him as an escort, and they enter the club. After excusing herself for a few minutes, someone calls the police about a murder, and the girl is again a suspect. Cates finds the Duysberg diamond in his pocket, and knows the girl slipped it in after he had been searched. So the new murder is tied in with the old jewel robbery, and his suspicion of the niece is heightened even more as the number one suspect.  A clue is a bronze mermaid gift from Sea City, a resort and vacation town. I’m not sure how many novels Paul Ernst wrote after the moving from pulps to paperback/hardbacks, but this was a very good modern mystery. Although mystery lovers should be able to figure who the killer is right away, and it lacked the fast, wild action of Paul Ernst’s earlier pulp stories. Still, it was a good read.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Radio Archives

June 3, 2016
99 Cent DVD Bonus!
The DVD set of Dragnet and Gang Busters is only 99 cents through June 16nd, when you place any order for $10 or more.
Dragnet was one of the earliest and longest running police dramas, Gang Busters, based on real cases from police and FBI files, first aired on NBC in 1952, alternating weeks with "Dragnet". This 2-DVD collection from Nostalgia Ventures includes three Dragnet episodes from 1952 and 1953 and three Gang Busters broadcasts from 1952.
Use Coupon Code 99CentCD.
World War One flying aces Robert M. Burtt and Wilfred G. Moore were responsible for bringing the adventures of Army Air Pilot Captain Jim "Red" Albright – a.k.a. Captain Midnight – across the airwaves at Chicago radio station WGN in 1938.
Like his creators, Captain Midnight saw plenty of aerial combat action in the skies over the combat zones in Europe during the Great War. Army Air Pilot Captain Jim “Red” Albright’s back story was that he earned the moniker of “Captain Midnight” after returning back from a high risk mission to an Allied airfield exactly as the clock struck midnight. The General who had sent Albright on the mission called him “Captain Midnight.”
The adventures of Captain Midnight were originally heard in syndication on select mid-western radio stations, including Chicago Radio Station WGN in 1938. Originally sponsored by the Skelly Oil Company, Captain Midnight did not become a nationwide phenomenon on the airwaves until Ovaltine took over sponsorship of the program in 1940 and expanded its range on the airwaves over the Mutual Radio Network.
A love of aviation ran deep within the veins of William G. Skelly. After founding the Skelly Oil Company in 1919, which would eventually become the world’s largest independent oil company; Skelly went on to found in 1928 the Spartan School of Aeronautics and the Spartan Aircraft Company.
Listen as Captain Midnight played by Bill Bouchey, Chuck Ramsey, Patsy Donovan, and Major Steele battle Ivan Shark, his daughter Fury, and Gardo in these 88 fifteen minute shows presented in 3 Volumes. Great commercials and the Captain Midnight Photo Premium and Airline route map premium were offered by the Skelly Oil company.
Captain Midnight has never sounded better thanks to the Radio Archives audio engineering team. Captain Midnight, Volume 3, The Mysterious Voice is available now!
8 hours - $11.99 Download / $23.98 Audio CDs
Having troubles ordering from the website?
Call us at 800-886-0551
by Paul Chadwick writing as Brant House
Read by Milton Bagby
His true face unknown, his identity forever buried in a secret government file, Secret Agent “X” came back from the dead to take on the sinister sadists and evil extortionists who prey on innocent Americans. A master of disguise who carries a non-lethal gas gun, “X” the unknown is backed by a cabal of wealthy citizens and is answerable only to the shadowy K-9 in Washington.
Unseen, horrible as the tightening coils of some spectral serpent, the dope ring worked! Those who betrayed its secrets died in the agonies of the green-hued poison death. Those who served it became sweating, shattered slaves. And Agent “X” dared both death and slavery to fight the sinister scourge!
The enigma of enigmas, Secret Agent “X” has been deputized by a high government official to battle the darkest, most diabolical enemies of America before they sink their poisonous fangs into the nation’s healthy core. Faceless and unsung, “X” infiltrates these threats in a bewildering array of disguises.
Paul Chadwick specialized in telling melodramatic mystery yarns saturated in an atmosphere of impending doom. The pulp editors called these menace stories. Eventually, these thrillers evolved into sub-genre known as weird menace. In Secret Agent “X”, a cloud of diabolical danger hangs over the heads of every innocent character until “X”, using his fists, his gas gun, or his loyal operatives, shatters the threat for all time.
No one knew who Secret Agent “X” really was. Not his readers. Not his editors. Not even his writer, conceivably. To this day in the 21st Century, his true identity is still a deep mystery. That’s keeping a secret!
Follow the Man of a Thousand Faces as he confronts the menace of The Sinister Scourge, ripped from the pages of Secret Agent “X” magazine, January 1935 and read with chilling intensity by Milton Bagby.
5 hours - $9.99 Download / $19.98 Audio CDs
More eBooks now available!
363 eBooks have been added to the website in the last six weeks with more eBooks being added to the website everyday. Here are the eBooks that have been added recently.
107 - The Spider
27 - Captain Future
42 - Operator #5
35 - G-8 and his Battle Aces
3 - Doctor Death
Dan Fowler G-Man
Maker of Shadows
Secret Agent X
The Armageddon Box
The Black Bat
The Black Lodge
The Dead Man's Kiss
The Devil's Auction
The Domino Lady
The Moon Pool and Other Wonders
The Octopus
The Scorpion
4 - The Secret 6
The Three Planeteers
Vampires Overhead
12 - The Green Lama/Double Detective
10 - Dusty Ayres and his Battle Birds
71 - Terror Tales
26 - Horror Stories
The best of timeless Pulp now available as cutting edge eBooks, bringing the greatest heroes, awesome action, and two fisted thrills to your eReader! Presenting Pulp Icons such as the Spider, G-8 and His Battle Aces, Operator #5 as well as wonderfully obscure characters like the Octopus and Doctor Death. Radio Archives brings you the best of yesterday's Pulp today! All eBooks produced by Radio Archives are available in ePub and Mobi formats for the ultimate in compatibility.
Brand New
Radio Archives Pulp Classics
by Curtis Steele
Total Pulp Experience. These exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading as an eBook and features every story, every editorial, and every column of the original pulp magazine. As a special bonus, Will Murray has written an introduction especially for this series of eBooks.
Jimmy Christopher, clean-cut, square-jawed and clear-eyed, was the star of the most audacious pulp magazines ever conceived — Operator #5. Savage would-be conquerors, creepy cults, weird weather-controllers and famine-creating menaces to our mid-western breadbasket... these were but a few of the fiendish horrors that Jimmy Christopher was forced to confront. Operator #5 returns in vintage pulp tales, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format.
Table of Contents:
by Will Murray
The Enemy is Here! — Editorial
Thrilling Feature-Length Novel of America’s Undercover Ace
The Dawn That Shook the World
by Curtis Steele
Over the entire civilized world had broken the terrible, false dawn of anarchy and revolution that threatened to consume America in its fury! But Operator 5 and his volunteer aides saw one desperate chance to avert disaster. Overseas sailed this valiant little band, on them resting the final hope of civilization. And there, in his lair, they found and fought, blow upon blow, the devil dictator who had sworn to weld the whole world into an evil empire and make an end, for all time, of freedom, justice and liberty!
Things That Made America Great
The Guns That Swam to Battle
by Morton Taney
Only one British fort stood between the Colonial troops and a great victory — yet that fort was impregnable. In this hour of darkness for young America’s hopes, a single ray of light gleamed. For one Yankee, who wouldn’t be licked, had found the way to beat the world’s greatest army — without firing a single bullet!
The Secret Sentinel — A Department
Secret Sentinel Reports — Our Readers
Radio Archives Pulp Classics line of eBooks are of the highest quality and feature the great Pulp Fiction stories of the 1930s-1950s. All eBooks produced by Radio Archives are available in ePub and Mobi formats for the ultimate in compatibility. If you have a Kindle, the Mobi version is what you want. If you have an iPad/iPhone, Android, or Nook, then the ePub version is what you want. $3.99.
Brand New
Radio Archives Pulp Classics
These exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading as an eBook. As a special bonus, Will Murray has written an introduction especially for this Horror Stories series of eBooks.
Horror Stories! The dark companion to Dime Mystery Magazine. Created to showcase stories too horrible for Terror Tales. The third of the triumvirate of fear pulps. This brand of fiction came to be called Weird Menace. The mystery-and-menace formula proved so successful that publisher Popular Publications produced Dime Mystery Magazine, Terror Tales and Horror Stories. These three dominated the Weird Menace genre all through the 1930s. Blurbed as “mystery-horror” stories instead of “mystery-terror,” Horror Stories was formulated differently that its companion titles. Damn the plot. Pour on the menace! This ebook contains a collection of stories from the pages of Horror Stories magazine, all written by Arthur J. Burks, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format.
Table of Contents:
Horror Stories — An Introduction
by Will Murray 
Men Without Blood — January 1935 issue of Horror Stories
by John H. Knox
Even knives could draw from them no blood. Yet it was blood that they sought, blood that they sucked from their victim’s headless corpses!
The Blood Moon — July 1935 issue of Horror Stories
by John Knox
The man who had come to help Cicely Blain had to look on, impotent and horrified, as the ritual fiends prepared to strip the skin from her quivering body.
When the Blood-God Ruled — November 1935 issue of Horror Stories
by John H. Knox
They called her the Lady of the Night — that savage goddess who exacted terrible sacrifices from her worshippers. Could Stanley Osborn, knowing his only hope of escaping agonizing death at her hands, call on another deity — in whom he would never believe!
The Pain People — February-March 1937 issue of Horror Stories
by John H. Knox
She gloried in the ecstasy of the passion-crazed and moon-blinded beings whose priestess she was. And she led the man who loved her, unsuspecting, down the tortuous midnight paths of that hell where Pain is King!
Dance of the Beast People — December 1940 issue of Horror Stories
by John H. Knox
What was it that turned those simple miners’ wives into savage, snarling beasts, hungry for the kill? Could it be that in them still flowed the horror-tainted blood of the Nagualists — that the black sorcery of a distant past had come again out into the open to ravage and destroy?
Radio Archives Pulp Classics line of eBooks are of the highest quality and feature the great Pulp Fiction stories of the 1930s-1950s. All eBooks produced by Radio Archives are available in ePub and Mobi formats for the ultimate in compatibility. If you have a Kindle, the Mobi version is what you want. If you have an iPad/iPhone, Android, or Nook, then the ePub version is what you want. $3.99.
The Shadow
Doc Savage Double Novel ReprintsBooks by Will MurrayLost Radio Scripts bookDoc Savage Audiobooks
by Will Murray and Lester Dent, writing as Kenneth Robeson, cover illustration by Joe DeVito
Why did a desperate man shave his head before visiting Doc Savage headquarters, only to be struck down, his pulsing brain turned to inert stone? What sinister secret did his strange slaying silence? And how was a lizard-green shadow resembling Medusa branded on Doc’s office wall?

These are only some of the questions confronting the Man of Bronze as he pursues a grisly trail of petrified corpses to post-Prohibition Chicago, whose criminal underworld is being terrorized by a serpent-haired demon engaged in a seemingly senseless slaughter spree whose ultimate target will shake Doc Savage’s men to their core.

Suspects are many, clues baffling. Death and danger lurks everywhere they turn—symbolized by the silhouette of a faceless Gorgon.

From the concrete canyons of Manhattan to the coal fields of Illinois, Doc Savage tracks a phantom fiend the likes of which he has never before hunted. Or is he the one being hunted? Softcover $24.95
The Man of Bronze returns in two action-packed novels by Lester Dent. First, Patricia Savage's disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle lures the Man of Bronze to "Poison Island" to rescue his beautiful cousin and recover stolen gold. Then in They Died Twice, Doc Savage returns to Hidalgo's Valley of the Vanished, the locale of his first adventure, to help Princess Monja defeat a criminal cabal attempting to loot Mayan treasure. This classic pulp reprint showcases a haunting cover by legendary paperback artist James Bama and both original color pulp covers by Emery Clarke, Paul Orban's classic interior illustrations, and historical commentary by Will Murray. Double Novel Reprint $14.95
Sanctum Books completes its reprinting of all 182 original Doc Savage pulp novels with three hellish thrillers by Lester Dent writing as "Kenneth Robeson." First, the Man of Bronze struggles to prevent the Nazis from obtaining "The Devil's Black Rock," a mysterious force that could change the course of the war! Then, Doc and his aides team with three ghost hunters to destroy "The Pure Evil." Finally, Doc journeys to the gates of Hell and must battle demon-like creatures in order to return "Up from Earth's Center" in his legendary final pulp odyssey! This instant collector's item showcases the classic color pulp covers by Emery Clarke, Edd Cartier and George Rozen and Paul Orban's original interior illustrations, with historical commentary by Will Murray. Double Novel Reprint $14.95
The Shadow Double Novel Reprints
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows! The Shadow investigates impossible murders in two magical mysteries by Walter B. Gibson. The Knight of Darkness investigates a bizarre "Room of Doom" to uncover the truth behind a "locked room" death. Was it suicide or murder? Then, The Shadow seeks to discover how the new owner of "The Chest of Chu-Chan" was found entombed inside his new locked acquisition! Double Novel Reprint $14.95
The Spider
The Spider Double Novel ReprintsThe Spider Double Novel ReprintsThe Spider AudiobooksThe Spider eBooks
Published by Sanctum Books
The pulp era's most lethal crimebuster wages his deadly war on crime in two violent thrillers by Norvell Page. The White House itself hangs in the balance as Richard Wentworth attempts to prevent a power-mad dictator from turning our nation into an "Empire of Doom." Then, the city burns as The Spider seeks to unmask the mysterious Munro, a murderous master of disguise who could be anyone in "The Spider and the Faceless One." This double novel pulp reprint showcases the original color covers by John Newton Howitt and Rafael De Soto, John Fleming Gould's classic interior illustrations and historical commentary by Will Murray. Double Novel Reprint $14.95
Sanctum Books presents two espionage thrillers showcasing the cowled superhero written by Norman A. Daniels! First, with the outbreak of World War II, foreign spies flood the United States to challenge the Nemesis of Crime in "The Black Bat's Spy Trail," edited by future Batman editors Mort Weisinger and Jack Schiff! Then, a rogue Nazi agent offers former District Attorney Tony Quinn a deal he can't refuse in "Captains of Death." Plus, The Mask returns in a rare 1940 illustrated classic from Nedor's Exciting Comics #3. Double Novel Reprint $14.95

Check out all the items at great prices in the Bargain Basement including a large selection of Audiobooks. Supplies are limited.

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Thanks so much for your newsletters. In the winter of 1949-50, I lived in Chicago and spent many wonderful hours at the Merchandise Mart at the NBC studios. My favorite audience program was Curtain Time and the sponsor was Mars. The dramatic show’s announcer was a young man who went on to become a celebrated network broadcast journalist, Mike Wallace. After the show, he and a member of the cast stood on each side of the studio door to thank us and hand each of us a Mars Bar. Neat, eh? Mike was married to a Chicago beauty, Buff Cobb, and they hosted a midnight hour radio talk show from a local nightclub – the Chez Paree, It was called the Buff and Mike Show or perhaps the Mike and Buff Show. Are you going to offer Curtain Time in the future?
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