The Complete Cases of Bookie Barnes (The Dime Detective Library)
A truck driver employed by Murdock Motor Freight, Bookie Barnes is a tough working class hero. Though not a detective per se, he is a rough customer described as “tall, heavy-chested, with a build you see only in physical culture ads, and, though barely twenty-six, he’d been on the trucks for three years.” He is emblematic of the type of crime fighters found in pulp fiction in that he represents the typical readership of pulp fiction: an average working-class audience.
Written by one of the greats of the detective pulps, Robert Reeves—who was tragically killed in World War II—this book collects all of his Bookie Barnes stories: “Murder in High Gear,” “Over a Barrel,” and “Murder Without Death,” as well as his lone, non-series character story, “Dance Macabre.”
The Complete Cases of Cash Wale, Volume 1 (The Dime Detective Library)
Written by Peter Paige, one of Black Mask editor Fanny Ellsworth’s finds after succeeding Joseph Shaw’s tenure in that same role, Paige introduced the tough-as-nails detective Cash Wale and partner Sailor Duffy: a series worthy of the esteemed lineage of Black Mask magazine. Quickly plucked by Black Mask’s rival, Dime Detective, the cases of Cash Wale were a mainstay of that magazine for the next decade. Never before in book form, this edition collects his first five cases: “Voodoo Frame,” “The Corpse Promoter,” “Lotta Had a Husband,” “Wanted: Dead and Alive!,” and “The Bullet From Nowhere.” And it includes an all-new introduction by popular fiction authority John Wooley.
The Complete Cases of Inspector Allhoff, Volume 3 (The Dime Detective Library)
Brilliant, decisive, and hard-charging, Deputy Inspector Allhoff was the NYPD’s ace detective until bullets from a mobster’s machine gun robbed him of his legs, his career, and—in the opinion of an associate—his sanity. Yet Allhoff was too good a man to be put out to pasture, so New York’s police commissioner found a way to keep him employed and refer to him such cases as the department couldn’t or wouldn’t handle. Confined to a wheelchair and operating from a seedy tenement flat, Allhoff is assisted by two cops: Battersly, the rookie patrolman whose brief moment of cowardice cost the inspector his legs, and Simmons, the bitter career cop who detests Allhoff but sticks with the embittered cripple to protect his own pension. Created by D.L. Champion, Inspector Allhoff denied most conventions of detective-pulp fiction. He could never be confused for one of Raymond Chandler’s knights errant, trudging down those mean streets. Allhoff was no Rover Boy in trench coat and fedora. He was, in fact, a sadist and a psychopath.
With 30 entries published between 1938 and 1946, the Allhoff series was among the most popular and long-lived to appear in Dime Detective, the prestigious crime pulp second only to the legendary Black Mask in its impact on the genre. Volume 3 collects the next seven stories: “You’re the Crime in My Coffee,” “Thanks for the Ration Card!,” “The Profitable Corpse,” “The Diplomatic Corpse,” “Aaron Had a Rod,” “The Day Nobody Died,” and “Go Home and Die!”
The Complete Cases of Corpus Delicti Mort, Volume 1 (The Dime Detective Library)
Defense attorney Clarence Darrow Mort, an unkempt habitué of seedy bars, was known familiarly, if not affectionately, as “Corpus Delicti” Mort. A mainstay of the page of mid-1940s issues of Dime Detective magazine, Mort was yet another of the quirky characters which editor Ken White avidly placed in his hard-boiled pulp magazine. This collection contains the first half of the C.D. Mort stores, all by Julius Long: “C.D. for Corpus Delicti,” “No Minimum for Murder,” “Loaded for Murder,” “Corpus Delicti de Luxe,” “Mostly for Murder,” and “Murder Under Foot.”
The Complete Cases of the Jones Brothers (The Dime Detective Library)
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.”
The Complete Cases of Steve Midnight, Volume 2 (The Dime Detective Library)
Down and out former playboy Steven Middleton Knight’s fortune was destroyed by the Depression. Now a cabbie for the Red Owl Cab Company, he never fails to take on another mystery with each new fare. Created by John K. Butler, this fast-paced, Los Angeles-based hard-boiled series was published between 1940 and 1942 in the pages of Dime Detective, the prestigious crime pulp second only to the legendary Black Mask in its impact on the genre.
Volume 2 collects the final five stories: “The Killer was a Gentleman,” “Dead Man’s Alibi,” “The Hearse from Red Owl,” “Death and Taxis,” and “The Corpse That Couldn’t Keep Cool.”
Tarantula Tower: The Adventures of Scarlet and Bradshaw, Volume 4 (The Argosy Library)
Best remembered as the author of Thibaut Corday and his French Foreign Legion yarns, author Theodore Roscoe wrote another, little-known, long-running series: the adventures of curio hunter Peter Scarlet and Bradshaw, the naturalist. While each appeared in solo stories, they also teamed up in several yarns. These tales of treasure in the Orient are action-filled adventure by one of pulpdom’s best. Volume 4 collects the final five adventures, taken from the pages of Action Stories and Argosy magazines: “Tarantula Tower,” “Octopus,” “Blood of the Beast,” “The Evil Eye,” and “Port of Missing Heads.”
The Argosy Library #91
Henry Plays a Hunch: The Complete Tales of Sheriff Henry, Volume 5 (The Argosy Library)
Once voted Adventure magazine’s most popular author, W.C. Tuttle introduced the world to one of his longest-running—and most popular—series characters, Henry Harrison Conroy, in the pages of Argosy. Collected here are the next two novels: “Henry Plays a Hunch” and “Henry Hits the Warpath.”
Cave of the Blue Scorpion: The Adventures of Peter the Brazen, Volume 5 (The Argosy Library)
In 1930, Argosy Magazine brought back several of their most popular series characters, and that list was headlined by Peter the Brazen. The three stories collected in Volume 5 showcases an even more action-oriented series compared to the earlier stories, and are considered by pulp readers as among the best stories to ever appear in Argosy. Written by George F. Worts under his primary pen-name, Peter the Brazen made a marked impression on Argosy reader Lester Dent when he co-created Doc Savage. The saga of Peter the Brazen is amongst the best adventure series in the history of pulp fiction. Included in Volume 5 are the next three stories in the series: “Vampire,” “Chinese for Racket,” and “Cave of the Blue Scorpion.”
The Monster of the Lagoon: The Complete Adventures of Singapore Sammy, Volume 3 (The Argosy Library)
Sailor Singapore Sammy Shay roamed the South Seas, desperate to find the father he neither knew nor loved. For reckless old Bill Shay had absconded with the only copy of a will that left all of his own father’s worldly riches to Sammy alone. Singapore Sammy didn’t know why, and he didn’t care particularly. He just wanted to get his hands on that precious document. He had only two clues to go on: his old man loved pearls and elephants—in that order. When Sammy came into possession of the fabulous Malobar pearl, he realized that he had something to bargain with. If only he could track down the elusive Bill Shay…. In his youth, George Frank Worts had been a telegraph operator on ships making the China run when he turned his experiences in Asia into some of the most memorable escape fiction ever to appear in the pages of Argosy magazine.
The volume collects the next two stories in the saga of Singapore Sammy Shay and Lucky Jones of the schooner, Blue Goose: “The Monster of the Lagoon” and “Shark Bait.”
The Fourteen Points (The Argosy Library)
Scientific detective Craig Kennedy had solved plenty of tricky cases in his career, but none were quite like the Fourteen Points: four cases of the Compass: “North,” “South,” “East,” and “West,” the Elements: “Air,” “Water,” “Earth,” and “Fire,” the Senses: “Smell,” “Sight,” “Taste,” “Touch,” “Hearing,” and “The Sixth Sense.” It’s a classic series from the pages of Detective Fiction Weekly. Includes an introduction by Munsey editor Robert H. Davis as well as a biography of the author of the Craig Kennedy series, Arthur B. Reeve.
War Dragons: The Complete Adventures of Cordie, Soldier of Fortune, Volume 4 (The Argosy Library)
The sagas of Jimmie Cordie and his crew of soldiers of fortune were among Argosy Magazine’s most popular series when it was brought to that magazine during its early ’30s renaissance by writer W. Wirt. Quite clearly an inspiration for the creation of Doc Savage, this edition collects his next four adventures which originally appeared in Argosy in 1932–33: “War Dragons,” “The Devil’s Tattoo,” “A Manchu Robin Hood,” and “The Face in the Rock.”
Shark Trail: The Complete Adventures of Bellow Bill Williams, Volume 3 (The Argosy Library)
Finally in book form: the burly pearler—Bellow Bill Williams—was one of the most popular, and colorful, characters who appeared in the early 1930s issues of Argosy. Written by Ralph R. Perry, Bellow Bill was a seemingly-superhuman, tattoo-covered mountain of a sailor who couldn’t keep from stumbling into one adventure after another throughout the South Seas.
Clearly another inspiration for the creation of Doc Savage (whose creator Lester Dent was an avid reader of Argosy during this period), these adventures of Bellow Bill have never before been reprinted. Included here are his next seven stories, originally appearing in 1931–34.
Minions of the Shadow (The Argosy Library)
Given an overdose of an untried super-anesthetic, Mark Nevin went into a slumber that lasted for six thousand years. While he slept, there were wars; the civilization Mark knew disappeared; and mankind reverted to savagery. Detroit (AD 7952 Edition) is running around in circles—following the commands of men long dead and threatening chaos to the world. Enter Omega, swooping from the clouds with Mark Nevin flying behind him. Collecting the final story in the series, Minions of the Shadow, herein Nevin and Omega return to the Twentieth Century with investigate a murder before it even occurs.
Captain Combat #3: Low Ceiling For Nazi Hell Hawks
There is no ceiling where Death rides the grim trail of the damned, and Herr Gruber talks the language of death to a million men who serve him! Captain Combat feels these vulture claws reaching for the flesh of the civilized world and knows that now, for the sake of others—it is Combat’s turn to die!
The Spider #56: When Thousands Slept in Hell
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!
The Spider #55: City of Whispering Death
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!
Operator 5 #31: Siege of the Thousand Patriots
Over the Rockies and down the Pacific slope the Purple Emperor’s great war machine rolled on, to crush the last vestige of American resistance. Operator 5, seeing his cause already lost, decided upon the incredibly daring, typically American action—of a counter attack! Read here of his mad, secret sortie through enemy territory—across two thousand miles of hell to the guns and ammunition which alone could stave off defeat.
Luck: The Complete Black Mask Cases of Oscar Sail
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.
Black Harvest: The Complete Black Mask Cases of Jules Tremaine
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.
South Wind: The Complete Black Mask Cases of Jerry Tracy, Volume 1
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 Price of a Dime: The Complete Black Mask Cases of Ben Shaley
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 Man in the Shadows: The Complete Black Mask Cases of Terry Mack
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.
Captain Combat #2: Red Wings For the Blood Battalion
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!
The Spider #54: The Grey Horde Creeps
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!
The Spider #53: The City of Lost Men
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!
Operator 5 #30: Liberty’s Suicide Legions
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.
Captain Combat #1: The Sky Beast of Berlin
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!