The Thrills of Horror! Romantic Tales of the Eerie and Occult! You’ll find them in Spicy Mystery—stories of red-blooded men and lovely girls in dangerous situations, in an atmosphere of chills and thrills. Real life is never so tense and dramatic as when a girl is in peril—or as when a siren as deadly as she is beautiful sets her snare for a man…. Are you bored of typical weird menace plots, many of which crept into Spicy Mystery? Then sample these tales which break out of that tired formula where every ending is happy, and the only challenge is guessing which minor character gets exposed as the villain in a rubber monster suit and demon mask! The Best of Spicy Mystery, Volume 1 contains 11 classic stories by the masters of the genre, complete, uncut, and with the original illustrations. It also includes an all-new introduction by editor Alfred Jan, one of the leading experts on the series.
The Best of Spicy Mystery, Volume 1 contains the following stories:
- “Hell’s Archangel”
- “Fiend’s Feast”
- “Lorelei of Lynnwold Light”
- “Murder From Nowhere”
- “The Second Mummy”
- “Mistress of Vengeance”
- “Green Eyes”
- The Head of Mike Vasco”
- “Bat Man”
- “Mirror Magic”
- “Dance of Damballa”
Gary C. Myers (verified owner) –
A nice collection, better than expected. The stories are not so formulaic and repetitive for a genre noteable for being both. That’s the difference between a “Best of” collection and an “Everything We Could Lay Our Hands on” one.
Don’t worry if you have never heard of many of these writers. They are mostly aliases anyway, devised to hide the fact that some writers had more than one story in a given magazine issue. The present series only continues this little white lie. So Harley L. Court, Jerome Severs Perry and Ellery Watson Calder all hide Robert Leslie Bellem. Lew Merrill, Hugh Speer and Clive Trent conceal Victor Rousseau Emmanuel. And Mort Lansing, Carl Moore, Cary Moran, and Clint Morgan are among the masks of Edwin Truett Long. (Editor Jan does not comment on this.)
You may have better cause to worry if you notice that “Green Eyes” by Mort Lancing (in Volume 1) and “Flesh of the Living” by Clark Nelson (in Volume 2) are the same story. I’m not saying there are no differences. Besides the title and the author, the names of the characters have been changed, the narration has been switched from third person to first, and a lot of the prose has been tampered with. But the stories are the same. I wonder what is behind this. I read somewhere that some Spicy editors got themselves into trouble by tacking new titles and bylines onto old stories, re-purchasing them for their magazines and pocketing the money themselves. Are these stories an artifact of that ancient scam? (Editor Jan does not comment on this either.)
So, good stories and interesting history (with or without editorial comment). I look forward to seeing more.
(I got the ebook version. It is a solid production as these things go. But it does not include the old pulp illustrations that the paper version apparently does.)