They were meek and mild looking little men, those brothers Jones. The last two in the world you’d expect to find mixed up with murder. But tracking down killers was their specialty—and a simple job like doubling for a corpse on a coffin-ride was just another night’s work for Horatio & Leander Jones.
Written by Maxwell Hawkins, the Jones Brothers series was a transitional one for Dime Detective magazine’s editorial focus, from weird menace & mysteries to the more traditional gumshoe detective story pioneered by rival magazine, Black Mask. This collection contains all six stories in the series: “Alias the Corpse,” “The Devil’s Dozen,” “Death from Down Under,” “Duchess of Death,” “Fool’s Jewels,” and “Fair and Murder.”
Sinisterly beckoning, the long bony finger signaled Manhattan to its mass death—slaying hundreds of helpless victims who dared sink into a sleep from which there could be no awakening this side of hell! While the Underworld’s lawless hordes looted, only Richard Wentworth, as the Spider, dared fight, die and fight again for a fear-crazed people against a murder-Morpheus whose human quarry drowsed into death—and whose grim weapon was a Slaying Sandman sworn to turn New York into a Slumberland of Slaughter!
No criminal dared testify against another, while the Whisper was crime-emperor of New York—and the forces of the law were powerless against the ravages of the Underworld! For when the Whisper’s eerie warning fell over Manhattan men died, slashed to bloody bits by a weapon that was invisible but killed horribly! In that awe-struck city of riotous crime, where a murmuring voice brought instantaneous death, Richard Wentworth, in the Spider’s strange garb, took up a doomed people’s cause—fighting a Whispering Fury that loosed its thunderbolts in a tornado’s teeth and slew foully to pile up a fortune in streamlined corpses!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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 blood-red mailed fist crashed into the shadowy dens of New York’s underworld, dangling the promise of vast loot for alliance, and a threat of stark horror for betrayal. The answer came swiftly in an orgy of killing and rapine—the Red Hand ruled all crimeland! Richard Wentworth, hastening to set the Spider’s might against the new terror, was trapped in a murder net with Nita van Sloan, branded a policeman’s slayer in the Red Hand’s grip! Only the Spider could hope to win through this criminal army to the devil-brain behind that fist. And the Spider must battle alone, against time—and a foe who coldly put a price on wholesale, ruthless slaughter!
Coffins and gold lay side by side in the strongroom of the liner that was sailing to its doom. And Richard Wentworth had picked that ship to carry Nita and himself to their long-delayed honeymoon in Europe! Denounced by Baron Otuna as a pirate, assailed by the green men in flaming chaos, he donned once more the Spider’s dusty cloak and well-oiled guns—for an epic battle at sea with a terror that stalked in the great ship’s wake and menaced a thousand lives!
Deep-hidden in evil, Satan’s Suicide Club sat in council—and men died. What dreadful force drove these men, leaders of society with everything to live for, to end their lives at the behest of that sinister being who sardonically called himself Professor Mephisto? And why did men and women suffer the tortures of the damned rather than defy this mysterious being? Richard Wentworth once more assumes the cloak of the Spider to free these lost ones from a living hell and a disgraceful death—and steps into the jaws of a devil’s trap that casts his life among the lives in pawn!
War gongs clanged in Chinatown—but it was no tong war that tore the great Societies with fear and suspicion and deadly hate. For deeper in evil mystery than their own dark secrets lay the hidden temple of crime that loosed the Scourge of the Yellow Fangs—the menace that erupted in the yellow men’s haunts and overflowed into white men’s lives and threatened white men’s rule. Victims lived long enough to curse the unknown Man From Singapore—who knew the Spider and planned his quick removal from the finish fight… While in a tenuous truce with baffled police, Richard Wentworth, by night the Spider, accepted the top-heavy odds—and gave grim battle!
There was no clue to the kidnapping of wealthy, powerful men and beautiful, talented women—until the Man Who Dealt in Death broke into Richard Wentworth’s stroll in the moonlight with the wanton wounding of his own lookout. From that stricken gangster Wentworth obtained the first hint of the devil-brain that was using science and surgery, death and torture and extortion, to enslave the city’s great. And Wentworth, better known as the Spider, answered the challenge of the Laboratory of the Lost—gambling life and more against weird dangers that no man had ever faced before!
Without any forewarning, the madness struck. One moment the busy steel-mill town of Keystone was a peaceful industrial community… the next, it had become a shambles of murder, madness and ruthless midnight slaughter. Horror walked its streets, and terror lurked in every close-locked home… Could the Spider, hastening to answer the distressed call of the dismayed inhabitants, prevail against the death which struck from darkness? A stranger in a place of madness, unsupported by friends or allies, Richard Wentworth faces his greatest test—alone!
With appalling suddenness, a new hooded monster of crime unleashed swift murder and soul-chilling madness upon Manhattan. His army of assassins struck with wanton savagery to lash terrified millions into a paralysis of fear. The Dictator held sway!—and Richard Wentworth, the avenging Spider, driven to the ambuscades of the underworld, faced the vortex of sudden peril alone.
Up from the Devil’s Coast swarmed a hooded horde, rioting to lay America under The Cobra’s bondage. A frenzied living Pharaoh raked Manhattan with madness and murder. Against a baffling human wall that dies but never betrays its menacing master, Richard Wentworth—feared Spider of the underworld—faces his fate alone.
Looting, murdering bands of desperadoes roamed the streets of New York like wanton jackals who destroyed what they could not devour. An underworld Juggernaut had been unleashed upon Manhattan, turning it into a place of desolation and terror. The Thuggees of the East, those masters of murder, the cruel minions of Tang-akhmut, held the city in a state of siege. One man could save New York—Richard Wentworth, the avenging Spider, and Richard Wentworth, hunted by the police, hated by the underworld he fought, had been ordered shot on sight!
The most diabolical criminal ever to menace America, Tang-akhmut, the Egyptian, had descended like a blighting plague on Cincinnati. Tang-akhmut, leading a new and terrible army of dwarfed monsters—scourging helpless women with poisoned and barbed whips; who set about systematically to wreck the water supply of the city and then set uncontrollable conflagrations to cover his looting. Richard Wentworth, the Spider, penniless, a man outside the law, once more faces him in single-handed battle!
Stripped of his wealth, cut off from his faithful helpers, Richard Wentworth, known and feared throughout the Underworld as the avenging Spider, struggles with his most powerful and wily foe—the Man who came out of the East! With Wentworth’s best friend, Police Commissioner Kirkpatrick framed for murder; with the entire city capitulating before that new and cruelly cunning menace from the Orient, the Spider himself seems doomed to die on the torture racks of the Far East!
It is Wentworth himself—the Spider—who is first to feel the dread hand of that Master of Darkness—The Blind Man, and his satanic weapon. His best friend, Kirkpatrick, Commissioner of Police, is strangely attacked by the forces of evil; his beloved Nita van Sloan spirited away into a fearsome fate… And the Spider himself destined to a horrible life of pain and misery. Caught between the forces of evil, the Spider at last seems doomed to die in ignominy!
When King found a man buried alive he knew he was on the trail of his strangest case. But it wasn’t until the second murder had been committed before his very eyes that he realized he was pitted against a clever enemy—a master criminal who was gambling for fabulous stakes in a game of golden death!
Richard Wentworth—whose grim, anti-crime crusades as the Spider have made him world-famous—was the first objective in the Poison Master’s murder campaign. His best friend, Kirkpatrick, lay in a death-like stupor. His beloved, Nita van Sloan, was stricken with the horrible living death! And at the same time, countless thousands were felled by the same fatal venom… Caught in the crossfire between the Law and the Underworld, the Spider must battle the blind apathy of a nation ensnared in a subtle death-trap—must overcome the despair in his own brave heart…!
Never had Richard Wentworth—he who is the scourge of the Underworld in his guise of the Spider—faced such tremendous odds or been so alone in the strife! Nita, his beloved, had tried to kill him, was hopelessly insane. His faithful servant had been tortured beyond human endurance. And the Master of Madness, chief of a powerful, fiendish syndicate, was spreading his germs of mania unchecked. Who could rescue America from screaming, murderous frenzy when the Spider, harried by Law and lawless, himself half-doubted his own skill and bravery?
White slavery, the loathsome traffic in women’s bodies—and souls—was stripping America of wives, sisters and sweethearts. Richard Wentworth, valiant champion of human rights, knew that an Oriental master criminal was captaining the slavery syndicate, guessed the unspeakable purpose behind those wholesale abductions. But with Nita hopelessly lost, with G-men harrying him relentlessly, can the Spider outwit his most formidable foeman and save America’s doomed womanhood?
This specially-priced set includes books #11-20 in the Spider series by Grant Stockbridge:
- The Spider #11: Prince of the Red Looters
- The Spider #12: Reign of the Silver Terror
- The Spider #13: Builders of the Dark Empire
- The Spider #14: Death’s Crimson Juggernaut
- The Spider #15: The Red Death Rain
- The Spider #16: The City Destroyer
- The Spider #17: The Pain Emperor
- The Spider #18: The Flame Master
- The Spider #19: Slaves of the Crime Master
- The Spider #20: Reign of the Death Fiddler
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This specially-priced set includes books #1-10 in the the Spider series by R.T.M. Scott and Grant Stockbridge:
- The Spider #1: The Spider Strikes
- The Spider #2: The Wheel of Death
- The Spider #3: Wings of the Black Death
- The Spider #4: City of Flaming Shadows
- The Spider #5: Empire of Doom!
- The Spider #6: Citadel of Hell
- The Spider #7: The Serpent of Destruction
- The Spider #8: The Mad Horde
- The Spider #9: Satan’s Death Blast
- The Spider #10: The Corpse Cargo
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“Giant dogs at large! Kill several in Manhattan…” The nation read this story with horror, Dogs as big as horses—dogs that mutilated and destroyed. What were these beasts? What fiendish hand directed them? Only the Secret 6 guessed the real menace, dared follow the crimson tracks of a monster killer!