On the strength of having sold only two stories to the legendary Black Mask magazine, Doc Savage creator Lester Dent is today hailed as one of the foremost practitioners of the Hardboiled School of detective fiction fostered by Carroll John Daly, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and others.
But what stories they were! Employing his personal experiences treasure hunting in the Caribbean, Lester created Miami’s boat-dwelling private detective Oscar Sail, a clear forerunner to John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee and Miami Vice’s Sonny Crockett.
This definitive collection brings together both much-anthologized Oscar Sail exploits, as well as a variant draft of “Sail” featuring a strikingly different version of the Florida sleuth.
Also included are related stories featuring similar characters and settings.
Laughing Death is a story of gunfire and airships, of love and revenge. Sanford Greer (S.G.), Prosecuting Attorney of Center City, is put “on the spot” by five men. Gary Greer, who is the pilot in charge of the South Side Airport, starts out to get those five men and avenge his father’s death.
Swift, written in dynamic prose, thrill piled on thrill, this book by Raoul Whitfield has the gusto of an Edgar Wallace, and something of the power of a Dashiell Hammett.
Quite possibly Raoul Whitfield’s best novel, it has achieved legendary status due to its rarity, no doubt due to it appearing in desirable issues of Black Mask which also published serial installments of The Maltese Falcon and The Glass Key. Rarely have readers had the chance to read this superior series in its original form, until now.
Collected for the first time: prolific pulp writer Norvell W. Page’s stories of private sleuth Jules Tremaine and his battles with the Catrini crime family from the pages of Black Mask magazine. Witnessing their cruelty first-hand, Tremaine sets out to whittle the Catrini down to size—violently. Over the course of three consecutively published stories, Page built a compelling narrative of gut-wrenching crimes and brutal street justice.
Among the earliest detective stories written by the future author of The Spider magazine, the popularity of the Jules Tremaine series likely helped Page in snagging that prestigious Spider assignment. Also collected in this edition are several other detective stories by Page from the same era, including his backup story from the first issue of The Spider. Includes an all-new introduction by pulp historian Will Murray.
Premiering in the pages of Black Mask magazine during the speak of editor Joseph T. Shaw’s era, author Theodore A. Tinsley penned one of the longest-running and most popular series to see print in the pages of that historic Detective magazine. Celebrity gossip reporter for The Daily Planet, Jerry Tracy was a cynical, wisecracking columnist. Though a bit of a muckraker, Tracy had a sense of justice when it came to his friends and his fellow New York City residents.
Written by one of the authors of The Shadow magazine, these tough-written stories are a fast-paced and action-packed read. Featuring an introduction by Boris Dralyuk.
The Black Mask writings of one of the great detective pulp writers are finally collected in book form. Author Norbert Davis broke in to the pages of the prestigious Black Mask magazine while still in college: sales which launched his influential pulp writing career. So influential that Davis’ Black Mask story, “Red Goose,” so impressed Raymond Chandler that he decided to submit his work to that magazine upon reading it.
Known best for his Max Latin series of screwball detective stories, these earlier efforts for Black Mask in the mid-1930s were among those which editor Cap Shaw proudly purchased for that magazine. In addition to both stories of his series character, Ben Shaley, this collection also includes three other early Davis stories from Black Mask. Includes an all-new introduction by Norbert Davis aficionado Bob Byrne.
The first hard-boiled detective character, “Three-Gun” Terry Mack is collected for the first time. This groundbreaking series from the pages of Black Mask magazine set the template for all Black Mask authors to follow. Written by Carroll John Daly, Terry Mack debuted just two months prior to Daly’s most famous creation, Race Williams. Williams’ popularity with Black Mask readers doomed Terry Mack after just two stories, but Daly revisited the character a few years later for a full-length novel, The Man in the Shadows.
This edition contains both Terry Mack short stories, along with The Man in the Shadows, which has never before been reprinted. Includes an all-new introduction by Evan Lewis.
Solomon’s Carpet and Solomon’s Submarine: The Adventures of John Solomon, Volume 6 (The H. Bedford-Jones Library)
John Solomon, the mysterious ship’s chandler and secret agent, returns in two more rare adventures from early in prolific pulp author H. Bedford-Jones’ career: “Solomon’s Carpet” and “Solomon’s Submarine.” Continue the story of John Solomon with this next book in the series, complete & uncut from the pages of People’s Magazine. Includes the original illustrations.
The skies are filled with the birds of war, and the echoing cries of the vanished dead. And it is here Bill Combat makes his fight against a power whose creed is Hatred! A Yankee flier in Europe’s bloody skies, he lends his skill and his courage that freedom may not perish beneath the heel of tyranny—that the brave might be forced to salute no flag except their own!
Down from the bleak Kentucky hills swept the stark-naked mob of murder-maddened Blancos—sacking and slaying as they came! Neither steel nor bullet could stem that terror-tide of man-made albino monsters, whipped to a frenzy of lust by their criminal chief. Eastward they crept until New York, itself, was at their mercy, and human victims, bloodied and outraged, lay in their path. Once again Richard Wentworth, in the Spider’s disguise of doom, fought alone to wipe out crime’s crowning horror and save mankind from death!
Over New York’s Finest—the police organization without equal in the world—fell the blight of lunacy, sweeping on like wildfire until it had turned Manhattan into a chill, whimpering madhouse and released the helpless city’s wealth to a wild carnival of crooks and vandals! What was that incredible, unseen force which, in a split-second, could transform sane men into drooling maniacs? No human being could stand against that Mask of Madness, and yet Richard Wentworth, in the Spider’s strange vestments, took up the fight—to strike blow for blow against the merciless emperor of idiocy who had captured a metropolis by addling its brains!
In the far reaches of High Asia, the Purple Empire had set up its factories and its smelters, to forge the most powerful weapon yet devised in military history. That weapon was a fleet of super-dreadnoughts equipped with a strange secret device to render our Defense Force helpless… In this gripping novel of the historic Purple Invasion, giant guns ashore and turret magic at sea hurl death at America’s crumbling bulwarks as intrigue knifes the stout defenders. And Operator 5, Secret Service ace, becomes a man without a country, with death and disgrace as his only reward.
Bill Combat stands beside the dead body of his mother and swears an oath, before God and man, which her murderers shall perish by his hand! Here is an American Ace, thrown into the hell and misery of Europe’s war, offering his life, his courage, his guns and his flying skill, that dictators may vanish from a troubled world!
Like an eerie devil-dawn, that green death-ray spread its lethal shadow over New York—burning to smoking crisps the helpless hundreds who dared its path. For the Eye of Flame had loosed his fire-fiends upon America’s proudest city, and, as prisons poured forth their criminals, and the underworld came into its terrible own, no man could hope to combat that ray of death. Single-handed, Richard Wentworth, in the Spider’s gruesome garb, dared the Flame—fighting for an entire people’s safety against a monster who had learned to make millions out of human misery and the charred cinders that had once been men!
Colonel Milo March penetrates into North Vietnam to rescue an American who disappeared in the highlands while on a mission of peace. Crossing the jungle on foot with the guidance of the possibly treacherous Madame Lê, a beautiful officer of the Viet Cong, and confronting obstacles with the help of a small military dog, Milo prevails in the end through crazy risk-taking inspired by an old tradition—to stay alive for one more day.
For the first time in book form—six vintage pulp adventures from the pages of Bluebook and Popular Detective magazines, featuring Milo March, the shrewd insurance investigator and brazen secret agent created by M.E. Chaber. First published in the early 1950s and ’60s, the stories are packed with fast action and surprising turns of events as Milo grapples with jewel thieves, a bizarre insurance fraud scheme, and the capture of an American U-2 pilot in the midst of the Cold War.
Stillness like that of the cold tombs had descended upon America’s greatest city, and in that cheerless, ringing void, no man dared raise his voice above a whisper. For the Silencer was at work, his giant ear strained to catch the innermost secrets of every citizen, turning upon them a blackmail scourge such as the world had never seen, as he drove those helpless multitudes to wholesale suicide! Never before had Richard Wentworth been called upon to battle a crime-emperor so powerful. As he donned the Spider’s eerie armor, to take up the Silencer’s trail of faceless corpses—it meant war to the death with a monster whose reign extended clear into the sky, itself, and whose victims died whispering, in hell!
It was inconceivable that America should ever bow beneath the heel of the invading tyrant, the self-styled Emperor Rudolph I—yet two-thirds of the nation had been seized and laid waste. A courageous but deluded people had muttered, “It can’t happen here!”—even when the purple hordes had swept over Europe and Asia. Now these people were retreating before the bloody battalions of the conqueror. And finally, when even the women of the nation had hurled themselves against the enemy in a last desperate effort to stay his irresistible progress, America staggered under the most paralyzing blow of all—the devastating barrage of the cholera bombs… What could one man—even though he be the veteran Jimmy Christopher, Operator 5—do against such odds?
Milo March treads on dangerous ground as he investigates an old, abandoned gold mine in one of Nevada’s historic boomtowns. In the short time since it reopened, the mine has produced a massive amount of gold. But suddenly the vein dries up—and with it the hopes of the insurance company, which had issued an unusually large policy against the mine’s running out of gold. The riddle is: How do you get gold out of a mine that has no gold in it? The answer must be that you bring gold into the mine, then take it out again. But that raises another question: Where did all that gold come from? With the Syndicate in the picture, things take a deadly turn several times before Milo closes the case, as usual in his own independent way.
Two naive young women, both bonded employees at a New York brokerage firm, leave work one day with $1.5 million in bonds and securities stuffed into their bags. The only way to cash in the securities is by selling them to someone in the Syndicate. And it’s just a matter of time before that someone will start to worry about the fact that the girls could testify against him. After one of the girls is found murdered and dumped in the Everglades, insurance investigator Milo March is sent to track down the remaining witness and recover the stolen goods from the Miami underworld.
After the shooting death of a Congressman, the FBI and police are unable to locate the prime suspect—a loser with an unforgettable face. Intercontinental Insurance sends their best man, Milo March, to capture the assassin as a public service. The chase sends Milo from Cleveland to the West Coast (where he questions a shady plastic surgeon), to Lisbon, Hong Kong, and Cape Town, and to a final confrontation in the City of Love.
Thundering across a ravished America comes a loot laden train bearing twenty million dollars in gold, hurtling toward the despoiled metropolis of New York, where the dread foreign conqueror, Emperor Rudolph I, has established headquarters. Suddenly the train trembles to a stop. A desperate little band of American patriots, who refuse to bow to the conqueror’s yoke, make a bold attack. Their leader, Jimmy Christopher, known as Operator 5, realizes that with that trainload of gold he can flood the skies with a thousand fighting planes, the only chance for America to repel the brutal invaders! Already they have ravished the Eastern seaboard. Even now they are hammering at the surviving citadel of American freedom—the Rocky Mountain stronghold of the brave men who will not yield.
Over Manhattan’s dizzy towers fell that insidious, invisible menace—an unseen cloud of death that first transformed the entire metropolis into a laughing, drunken riot and then blasted it to bits! Who was the evil Master of these Flame Men, who had found a real way to amass millions by gutting New York with fire? In defense of those reeling, giggling victims, trapped in their awesome death-spree, Richard Wentworth, in the Spider’s weird robes, rose from the charred embers—to fight his greatest battle against an arson assassin no one had ever seen—for a doomed people so blind-drunk they could not see!
The last of three books collecting the Silver Trent short stories that appeared in Star Western following the cancellation of The Western Raider. Includes “Blood of the Yucca,” “The Madness of Silver Trent,” “Silver Trent’s Blood-Bounty Feud,” and “Silver Trent Rides Alone.”
Famine marched through America’s metropolis, and the starving multitudes who sat down to eat found only the choice of empty plates—or a murder-menu! Richard Wentworth, with the whimpering chorus of unfed babies ringing in his haunted ears, picked up once more the Spider’s eerie weapons of mercy—to fight a new and awful figure in the field of crime, a criminal red Spider who, with a thousand unknown assistants, was contaminating the city’s food supply!
Before the horrified eyes of the Senate’s jammed galleries, that revered Senator died by his own hand. And Richard Wentworth, who had reached Washington in response to the newspaper agony column’s personal, “In the name of democratic humanity, come to Washington before September 9…” knew that this marked only the beginning of a yogi-ridden dictator’s reign. Behind that welter of machine guns and storm troops moved the Cobra, striking at the nation’s very chief—and the Spider was face to face with the strangest battle ever fought by man!
The defense forces of the United States have been crushed by the powerful war machine of Emperor Rudolph, Warlord of the World… From the Atlantic to the Mississippi the brutal conqueror is subjecting millions to his merciless, bloody reign of terror—and his ruthless gray-clad hordes are steadily sweeping westward, leaving a vast path of death and destruction in their wake… Faced with the surrender of America’s army, only Jimmy Christopher—known to the Intelligence Service as Operator 5—and a pitiful handful of desperate men stand between the Mad Emperor and his bloody conquest of the nation…
The second of three books collecting the Silver Trent short stories that appeared in Star Western following the cancellation of The Western Raider. Includes “The Gun-Prayer of Silver Trent,” “The Secret of Torture Ranch,” and “One Last Raid For Trent’s Hell-Hawks.”
Ruthless, invulnerable, that Scarred Hand reached out to destroy the entire law machine of New York—blasting into merciless oblivion those juries which dared convict even a single criminal. In that twilight of terror, when empty cells yawned for the felons who never arrived, and helpless Justice hid her bloodied head—no one but Richard Wentworth could combat this invisible Juggernaut which had paralyzed five mighty boroughs. Once more, in the Spider’s weird vestments, Wentworth sets out—this time to annihilate a brain so evil that it is encased in two heads!
A ruthless businessman supposedly perished when a building he owned was torched during a night of violent protests in a black neighborhood of Los Angeles. But investigator Milo March suspects that the fire may have been set to cover a worse crime. The case is solved with the help of a black hipster who has access to some surprising information.
As a CIA agent, Milo March goes undercover as a vending machine expert invited to teach the Russians how to build their own machines. His dual mission is to find a missing American agent and to solve a World War II mystery about a Soviet spy who was supposedly executed by the Japanese but who may be still alive and operating secretly.