Greetings from The Raven!

Jul. 18, 2019

The Spider Pulp Doubles #1 Prince of the Red Looters and The City that Dared Not Eat by Grant Stockbridge

The Spider is Richard Wentworth, a wealthy criminologist. Backed up by his manservant Ram Singh, his old war pal Jackson, and his fiancé Nita van Slone, Wentworth takes on crime at the street level.

The Spider has no scruples about killing. The criminals who cross the Spider die and their foreheads are marked with a scarlet spider.

The Spider is wanted by the police, and his friend Commissioner Kirkpatrick suspects Wentworth. Hardly surprising, as everyone seems to know the Spider’s secret. Proving it is another thing entirely…

Prince of the Red Looters is the 11th novel, originally published in August 1934. It’s another winning tale by Norvell Page!

In this novel, the villain is known as The Fly. The Spider meets this bad guy when he is challenged by him! The Fly invites the Spider to “step into his parlor! They have a deadly duel with sabers—to the death!

The Fly robs a bank of a million dollars, killing people with an oddly shaped soundless pistol. He then sends presents of cash to various gang lords, wanting to unite crime under his leadership.

I believe that it isn’t Page at his best, but it isn’t bad.

The City That Dared Not Eat is the 49th novel, originally published in October 1937. This story is the second one written by Wayne Rogers.

The Spider was recently exonerated of all of his crimes. But a trial the law counted on goes wrong, and the newly freed men are attacked, one killed, one abducted in Wentworth’s own Daimler limousine! Tossed out dead into the street, the Spider’s symbol is upon the man's forehead! A gun is also dumped, with Wentworth’s fingerprints! Not only did the gun kill the man with a spider emblem, but it was also used to kill two cops!

Across the city, restaurants explode killing or maiming everyone inside. Food stores are destroyed, and people starve. Poison milk kills children everywhere, and when the Spider tries to intervene, he draws the blame for the poisoned milk as well!

There were several stories dealing with people destroying food supplies to corner the market. This one isn’t written by Page, but it is an exciting story!

I give both stories and the book as a whole four stars!

Quoth the Raven…

The book is pricey, but you can find a few deals here>

 

Jul. 18, 2019

The Spider Pulp Doubles #2 Death’s Crimson Juggernaut and Claws of the Golden Dragon by Grant Stockbridge

The Spider is Richard Wentworth, a wealthy criminologist. Backed up by his manservant Ram Singh, his old war pal Jackson, and his fiancé Nita van Slone, Wentworth takes on crime at the street level.

The Spider has no scruples about killing. The criminals who cross the Spider die and their foreheads are marked with a scarlet spider.

The Spider is wanted by the police, and his friend Commissioner Kirkpatrick suspects Wentworth. Hardly surprising, as everyone seems to know the Spider’s secret. Proving it is another thing entirely…

Death’s Crimson Juggernaut is the 14th novel originally published in November 1934. This is another smashmouth pulp novel by Norvell Page.

People are tortured to death across the city, some being nailed to walls in a wicked crucifixion. Blocks of tenements burn with no regard as to who dies in the conflagration. The criminal is known as the Murder Master, the minions serving him called the Torture Trust.

This story is interesting because the Spider is actually blinded and uses Apollo as a guide dog!  The story is another bloodbath from Norvell Page!

The Claws of the Golden Dragon is the 64th novel, originally published in January 1939.

The villain in this saga is painted in the style of Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu. The Golden Dragon, AKA The Prince of Darkness uses a variety of poisonous spiders, scorpions, snakes, etc.

The worst weapon in this oriental madman’s arsenal is the Blood Orchid, a flower that grows inside of humans and bursts through their throat and chest a la Alien! The Spider is brought into the case by a friend in Chinatown, Fu Chang whose daughter is one of the victims of The Blood Orchid!      

This one is excellent, and not overtly an imitation of the Fu Manchu tales! I like it!

I give both stories and the book as a whole five stars!

Quoth the Raven...

You can find a few offers to buy it here>

Jul. 18, 2019

The Spider Pulp Doubles #3 Slaves of the Crime-Master/The Spider and the Fire God by Grant Stockbridge

The Spider is Richard Wentworth, a wealthy criminologist. Backed up by his manservant Ram Singh, his old war pal Jackson, and his fiancé Nita van Slone, Wentworth takes on crime at the street level.

The Spider has no scruples about killing. The criminals who cross the Spider die and their foreheads are marked with a scarlet spider.

The Spider is wanted by the police, and his friend Commissioner Kirkpatrick suspects Wentworth. Hardly surprising, as everyone seems to know the Spider’s secret. Proving it is another thing entirely…

Slaves of the Crime-Master is the 19th novel, originally published in April 1935. Written by Norvell Page, it is hard-hitting pulp!

The Tempter is a soothing voice over the radio, urging youths as young as eleven to take up crime. The Spider cannot just shoot them as he might and adult criminal, so he seeks to win them over to his side.

Then there is the Doctor, a man disfigured by horrible burns. He has created a way to spread infantile paralysis through food. He also invents an antitoxin—by growing it inside living babies he kidnapped! The antidote is available—to those who can pay the Doctor’s price!

An excellent story with two villains to conqueror!

The Spider and the Fire God is the 71st novel, originally published in August 1939. It is another Norvell Page masterpiece!

A giant of a man with a huge red beard, Kalki declares himself the avatar of Vishnu. He calls for worship both of Vishnu, and himself as Vishnu’s prophet! Those who disobey are consumed by the flames of Vishnu, which destroy starting with their eyes! How do you combat a man who calls fire down from heaven!?

The Spider is in a battle with the NYPD again, under acting Commissioner Dane, so he goes undercover as Casimir Belotti, a street violinist, apparently the same disguise he formerly called Tito Caliepi. Perhaps Page simply forgot the name of this character, who knows?

The story is good, with decent action. I just don’t think it is Page at his best.

I give the first story five stars and the second three stars. The book overall gets four stars.

Quoth the Raven…

There are copies available Here>

 

Jul. 18, 2019

The Spider Double Novel Reprint #25 The Jewels of Hell/Recruit for the Spider Legion by Grant Stockbridge

The Spider is Richard Wentworth, a wealthy criminologist. Backed up by his manservant Ram Singh, his old war pal Jackson, and his fiancé Nita van Slone, Wentworth takes on crime at the street level.

The Spider has no scruples about killing. The criminals who cross the Spider die and their foreheads are marked with a scarlet spider.

The Spider is wanted by the police, and his friend Commissioner Kirkpatrick suspects Wentworth. Hardly surprising, as everyone seems to know the Spider’s secret. Proving it is another thing entirely…

The Spider and the Jewels of Hell is the 87th Spider novel, originally published in December 1940. It is another earth-shaking saga by Norvell Page!

Wanted by both the NYPD lead by Commissioner Littlejohn and the FBI, Wentworth goes on vacation with Nita. On his way to California, the Spider encounters a Russian Agent that tortures a woman to death. The Spider kills the man and marks his forehead with the scarlet emblem of justice! But since NYPD has alerted police everywhere, Wentworth is arrested!

Escaping, the Spider goes to war with a shadowy foe known only as the Killer. His deadly ray heats metal to white-hot levels. Coins in your pocket reach temperatures that melt them into human flesh! It is hard to use any weapon since guns will scald your fingers!

This novel is the usual smashmouth fiction that readers associate with hard-hitting pulp action. The story deals with something that could really happen. Think about it for a time.

Recruit for the Spider Legion is the 114th published novel, originally published in March 1943. It is also by Norvell Page and a topnotch tale!

Commissioner Kirkpatrick is framed both for embezzlement and for murder! The basis for the framing is to first remove Kirkpatrick from his office, then to send him to the electric chair! The Spider tries to shift the blame for the murder to himself, but Kirkpatrick has to go vigilante for a while!

The story was excellent! It’s perhaps a slight change from Page’s usual style. But he handles it like a master!

I give both stories, and the book as a whole, five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

The book is hard to find but you can Buy It Here at Bookfinder>

Jul. 7, 2019

 The Spider #12 Reign of the Silver Terror by Norvell Page writing as Grant Stockbridge

Volume twelve in this latest Spider series!

The Spider is Richard Wentworth, a wealthy criminologist. Backed up by his manservant Ram Singh, his old war pal Jackson, and his fiancé Nita van Slone, Wentworth takes on crime at the street level.

The Spider has no scruples about killing. The criminals who cross the Spider die and their foreheads are marked with a scarlet spider.

The Spider is wanted by the police, and his friend Commissioner Kirkpatrick suspects Wentworth. Hardly surprising, as everyone seems to know the Spider’s secret. Proving it is another thing entirely…

Reign of the Silver Terror was originally published in September 1934 in the Spider Magazine.

The United States begins to centralize the national gold reserves, and the President takes the country off the gold standard. The so-called “free coinage of silver” becomes an issue before Congress. The measure would mean the Government must purchase and coin more silver, enriching those who own silver mines.

The Senate is calling for a vote, and anyone who stands against the “free silver plan” is being systematically forced to change their vote. Blackmail, kidnapping, murder—the villains are stopping at nothing to ensure the measure passes Congress.

Wentworth is trying to get a wealthy man to join the fight against free silver, but he refuses. He will gain from the enforcement of free silver, so he isn’t going to try to stop the movement. But is he the man behind the scheme or just greedy?

A nice story based on a real issue the country had to face, (although it was more around 1873 to 1890 in the real world) the basic facts remain the same. Page manages to make it interesting, but let’s just say the story hasn’t aged so well.

I give the book three stars…

Quoth the Raven…

 

Buy It Here directly from Altus Press>